University of Rochester Special Collections Librarian/Archivist for Discovery & Access in Rochester, New York


Full Time 40 hours Grade 000 Rare Bks, Spcl Collctns & Pres


Position Summary:

The River Campus Libraries (RCL) Department of Rare Books, Special Collections seeks a dynamic discovery and access-focused librarian/archivist to provide leadership, coordination, and oversight for the accessioning, arrangement, description, and management of Special Collections materials across all collecting areas. Reporting to the Assistant Dean for Special Collections and Preservation, the Special Collections Librarian/Archivist for Discovery and Access is part of a collaborative team that provides vision and leadership for the continued development and use of rare and unique materials in research, instruction, exhibitions, collaborative projects, digital scholarship, and in other contexts.

The successful candidate will oversee the department’s ArchivesSpace instance and will have primary responsibility for the implementation of best practices for archival processing within the department. Working closely with colleagues across the Libraries, the successful candidate will take a lead role in archival processing and training others in archival processing within the department.

The candidate will also have some curatorial responsibility for specific collecting areas within Special Collections, and will develop expertise and knowledge in these areas and across the collections. The specific collection areas assigned may be based in part on the current strengths of the candidate; the successful candidate will have a demonstrated interest in and ability to engage in new topics.

Collections areas of strength and focus include, but are not limited to local history and culture (Western NY/Rochester); Abolition (including papers of Frederick Douglass), Women’s Suffrage (including papers of Susan B. Anthony and other important suffrage pioneers), 19th and 20th c. political collections (including the papers of William Henry Seward and Thomas E. Dewey), modern literature and literary collections (including the papers of John A. Williams and John Gardner); human rights and social justice collections; HIV/AIDS education; religion/interfaith collections; the history of science/optics/xerography; history of photography (including the Eastman Kodak Historic Collection), American and British theater, and more. See our A-Z list of manuscript collections here: and our Collection Development and Management Policy here:

The libraries are committed to providing expert research assistance, increasing access to digital and physical resources, and developing technology-enriched spaces.

Specific Responsibilities:

Discovery and Access Coordination:

  • Serve as the primary manager of the department’s instance of ArchivesSpace, overseeing best practices and standards, upgrades. Works with colleagues across the Libraries in training and implementation.
  • Serve as primary liaison regarding description and metadata with Digital Scholarship and Metadata Services staff in enhancing metadata, organizing incoming and unprocessed collections and creating finding aids across the department
  • Incorporate best practices for preservation and digital preservation into their work and training

Archival Collections Processing:

  • Provide archival processing for manuscript materials using ArchivesSpace/XML
  • Provide processing support for collections, including training students and staff in archival processing best practices and methods
  • Collaborate actively with colleagues across the Libraries on the creation, access and preservation of online projects using special collections materials.

Acquisitions and Collection Development:

  • In consultation with colleagues, acquires manuscript materials and published materials through gift and purchase. Participates in collection development discussions across all collecting areas.
  • Help to shape and refine collection development policy and digital collection development policy

Research Support/Outreach/Instruction:

  • Provide expert, in-depth reference and consultation services to a diverse community of onsite and offsite users, including students who require access to historical collections in their research and classwork.
  • Develop working relationships with faculty to support the University’s teaching, research and learning endeavors through the use of Library’s collections
  • Present information in support of the University’s teaching, research and learning endeavors to internal and external groups as requested on special collections topics and collections
  • With the support of the Exhibits Manager, curates and co-curates exhibitions
  • Help to identify and promote collections using social media, blog, and through other venues.

Professional Development and Service:

  • Maintain currency with library functions, resources, practices and procedures
  • Participates in and contributes towards River Campus Libraries and University committees, meetings, and events
  • Maintains professional collaborations with River Campus Libraries colleagues and other campus constituencies.
  • Contributes to the profession through active participation in conferences, associations, research, writing, etc.
  • Performs other duties as assigned


  • ALA-accredited MLS/MLIS with a concentration in special collections, archives, or archival administration, or Master’s in Archival Studies
  • Experience working with collection management tools such as ArchivesSpace
  • Outstanding interpersonal, verbal, and written skills
  • Excellent organizational, time, and project management skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work cooperatively in a diverse, dynamic, team setting
  • A commitment to service and professional development
  • A strong commitment to diversity
  • Ability to perform physical requirements of the job including the ability to lift materials weighing up to 40 pounds, and tolerance to dust

Preferred Qualifications

  • Second graduate degree in History, American Studies, or a related subject area
  • Two or more years of experience in a special collections or archives setting
  • Supervisory, project management, or other experience directing the work of others

About the River Campus Libraries

This is an exciting time to join the dynamic University of Rochester community and the University of Rochester’s River Campus Libraries as we embark upon a new strategic plan. With more than 3.5 million volumes, extensive digital resources, and world-renowned collections of rare and unique materials, the River Campus Libraries forms the intellectual foundation of learning and research at the University of Rochester. The iconic Rush Rhees Library, located at the heart of the campus, is home to the Art and Music Library; the Digital Scholarship Lab; the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections & Preservation; the Gleason Library, a flexible, collaborative study space; the Rossell Hope Robbins Library for medieval studies; and the University Archives. The Carlson Science and Engineering Library, located in the Computer Studies building, houses the VISTA Collaboratory, a state-of-the-art data visualization lab. The Physics-Optics-Astronomy Library is located in the Bausch and Lomb building. Other University of Rochester Libraries include the Sibley Library, part of the Eastman School of Music, and the Minor Library, part of the University of Rochester Medical School.

Please apply online and send letter of application, resume, and the names, addresses and phone numbers of three references to:

Kelley Kitrinos

Rush Rhees Library

University of Rochester

Rochester, NY 14627

The University of Rochester is an Equal Opportunity Employer: EOE Minorities / Females / Protected Veterans / Disabled

Job Title: Special Collections Librarian/Archivist for Discovery & Access

Location: Central Administration

Job ID: 202928

Regular/Temporary: Regular

Full/Part Time: Full-Time