Curator of Rare Books - University of Chicago

The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) is a well-designed exhibit space as well as beautiful public service spaces supporting reading room research, group studies, and media-enhanced classrooms. SCRC supports activities of the Library Society, the University of Chicago's friends group, and forms part of the Chicago rare book community, with distinguished library and museum collections, book collectors, and the city's bibliophilic organization, the Caxton Club. 

The SCRC rare book collections include 340,000 volumes with particular strengths in classics; Renaissance humanism; theology; history; literature and drama; the history of science and medicine; historical children's books; Jewish life and culture; and English and American poetry. The Curator of Rare Books (CRB) will play a leadership role in developing and interpreting the Library's rare book collections, and will actively engage a broad audience of scholars, students, collectors, and donors. 

Reporting to the Director of Special Collections, the Curator of Rare Books (CRB) enhances and promotes the rare book collections. The CRB is responsible for rare book collection development; solicitation of gifts and grants; collaboration in research and instruction drawing on rare books; creation of bibliographies, instructional guides, etc.; web and digital presentations; and exhibitions and other academic and public programs focused on rare books and special collections. CRB responsibilities include working with faculty to integrate the rare book collection into teaching and learning activities; leading tours and presentations; working with faculty to develop exhibits relevant to the University of Chicago research, teaching, campus events and other topics that serve to highlight the collection, providing reference for the collection, establishing a presence in the rare book community (local, regional and national) by forming relationships with rare book dealers, collectors, and participating in professional activities and organizations. The CRB manages the Rare Books Unit in Special Collections, directly supervises a Rare Books Librarian and indirectly supervises a part-time rare book assistant and one rare book cataloger. The CRB participates in the work of Library committees and scholarly, professional, and bibliophilic organizations. 

The successful candidate must have a Master of Library Science degree from an ALA-accredited institution, with an additional degree in a disciplinary field; or a Ph.D. in an appropriate field related to the rare book collections; professional experience managing rare book collections; and a record of providing support for scholarship, teaching, public programs, and cultivation of donors and collectors. 

The Committee will evaluate candidates' records and professional accomplishments to determine their knowledge of rare books and the history of the book; knowledge of rare book cataloging and bibliographic description; knowledge of Western European languages; experience in providing course-integrated instruction and public presentations; experience in providing public services and reference; experience with digitization of special collections; ability to work collaboratively and effectively with colleagues, faculty and students, and donors; and communications skills. 

To Apply: 

Submit cover letter, curriculum vitae, and reference contact information. Applications must be submitted through, requisition #03417, or via Quicklink:

Contact , Library HR, with questions. 

Review of applications will begin September 5, 2017. Screening of applications will continue until the position is filled or the search is closed. 

Salary and Benefits: 

Appointment salary based on qualifications and experience. Benefits include retirement plan, insurance, and paid time off. There is a tuition benefit plan for college age and younger children. 

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. 

For additional information, please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination

Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-0287 or their request.