Rare Books and History of Printing Curator

Department: UCLA Library Special Collections

Rank and Salary: Assistant – Associate Librarian ($56,170 – $75,337)

Position Availability: Immediately

Application deadline for first consideration: July 16, 2018

The UCLA Library seeks applications and nominations for the position of Rare Books and History of Printing Curator.  The ideal candidate will be an enthusiastic, innovative librarian/curator able to thrive in a large and busy department, within a matrixed library environment, attentively developing and promoting its diverse collections of rare books and printed materials.  The candidate selected must be an open, communicative, and confident professional with strong analytical skills and creativity and must exhibit a high degree of receptivity to new ideas and different fields of study.

The Rare Books Curator is responsible for the Library’s large and wide­ ranging collection of rare books, which includes the internationally known Ahmanson Murphy Aldine Collection, an extensive collection of the 15th and 16th-century imprints of Aldus Manutius and his successors; the related Ahmanson-Murphy Collection of Early Italian Printing (through 1600); and the Elmer Belt Library of Vinciana, representing the library and milieu of Leonardo da Vinci.  The department is renowned for its holdings of 18th- and 19th-century British literature, of which the library of Michael Sadleir is the nucleus, and houses one of the top collections of British and American children’s books printed before 1900.  In addition, the department holds important collections of historical and contemporary Californiana and a substantial collection of modern fine-press printing and artists’ books. The successful candidate will promote the rare book and print culture materials within a broad context as an integral part of the Library’s research and teaching resources and programs, serving faculty and students in a variety of disciplines across the curriculum, and provide specialized reference, access, outreach, exhibit development, and instruction services as a part of the curatorial team.  In addition to leading rare book and print culture programs and initiatives, the incumbent will work closely across the UCLA Library’s distinctive collecting areas including the Richard C. Rudolph East Asian Library and international studies.

Position Duties

Under the direction of the Head of Curators and Collections, the Rare Books and History of Printing Curator is responsible for the following duties:

  • Collaborates with library colleagues and faculty to support both faculty and student research utilizing the collections, works with faculty to integrate the collections into their curricula and serves as key instructor and support for teaching with the rare book and history of printing collections, in close coordination with the Head of Outreach and Community Engagement.
  • Provides specialized reference services to support the collections in collaboration with Outreach and Community Engagement.
  • Collaborates with library colleagues, faculty, and researchers to provide expertise and coordination for digitization, linked data, and digital humanities projects to support broad teaching, research, and use of the collections.
  • Works collaboratively with colleagues in the department and throughout the Library to develop and present exhibits featuring the rare book and history of printing collections.
  • As a member of the curatorial team and in consultation with the Head of Curators and Collections, carries out the collection management, development, and acquisition of materials to support research and teaching, including purchasing responsibilities for specific endowments and funds associated with the collections.
  • Develops a set of evolving collecting priorities for rare books and the history of printing that meet and anticipate evolving academic needs and that reflect broader discussions within the profession on productive approaches to diversifying collections.
  • Works with the Head of Curators and Collections, AUL for Distinctive Collections, and Library Development staff to identify funding opportunities and prepares project funding proposals.
  • Works with Library Development in the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individual and institutional donors, including participating in meetings, events, and private views; preparing funding requests; and providing stewardship information on the use of endowment funds and Library resources.
  • Cultivates beneficial relationships with antiquarian booksellers, funding entities, donors, and potential donors and handles correspondence, invoices, and gifts paperwork in a professional manner consistent with university and Library policies.
  • Works closely with UCLA research fellows, including Ahmanson Research Fellows to encourage and support their research and coordinate scholarly presentations.
  • Participates in departmental, Librarywide, and university committees as appropriate.
  • Participates in professional library and bibliographic organizations and maintains expertise in rare books librarianship via both print and virtual professional publications, and by attendance at professional conferences, presentations, and publishing.

Required Qualifications

  • ALA-accredited Master’s Degree in Library or Information Science OR significant graduate-level coursework toward such a degree OR equivalent education and experience (subject expertise combined with professional library education and/or experience).
  • Demonstrated knowledge in a specialized field, especially related to literature, cultural history, languages, or other areas within UCLA’s rare books and print materials collections.
  • Awareness of and engagement with issues surrounding how to diversify collections of print-based materials
  • 3-5 years of professional experience as a librarian/curator working with rare books.
  • Demonstrated commitment to doing excellent outreach in a special collections environment within an academic or research or special library setting.
  • Demonstrated experience teaching with rare books and supporting faculty in integrating rare books into their curricula.
  • Experience with and working knowledge of digital technologies related to special collections and a strong understanding of digital humanities and linked data.
  • Demonstrated facility with using digital technology – including social media – to promote use of the collections.
  • Demonstrated success in collection development and proven commitment to providing enhanced access to holdings.
  • Experience with donor relations and significant cultivation and sustainability of positive donor relations and of private collectors.
  • Experience and interest in significantly expanding donor and Library Development opportunities and experience working and collaborating with fundraising and donor relations staff.
  • Experience in the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individual and institutional donors, including participating in meetings, events, and private views; preparing funding requests; and providing stewardship information on the use of endowment funds and Library resources.
  • Ability and experience to lead and manage teams and projects.
  • Demonstrated leadership ability, analytical skills, creative and innovative problem-solving skills, and creative public programming (exhibits, events, etc.) experience.
  • Experience with cataloging conservation, and/or preservation standards and workflows.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the history of the book, book arts, literary studies, and the rare book market.
  • Reading knowledge of at least two European languages, preferably Italian and Latin.
  • Record of scholarly research and professional achievement.
  • Ability to work within a team environment and to promote teamwork.
  • Demonstrated initiative, flexibility, and excellent analytical, interpersonal, and communications skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with a diverse population of faculty, staff, students, and community members, and other constituencies.
  • Demonstrated ability to view rare books through a progressive and critical lens, address issues of diversity and equity, and provide a broad range of historical perspectives.

Desired Qualifications

  • Additional advanced degree in humanities, social sciences or sciences disciplines.
  • Reading and writing knowledge of a (non-Romance) language such as Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, or Persian.
  • Fluency (verbal and written) in any languages other than English.
  • Collection development experience for rare books in (non-Romance) languages including Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, or Persian.

General Information

Professional librarians at UCLA are academic appointees. Librarians at UCLA are represented by an exclusive bargaining agent, University Council – American Federation of Teachers (UC-AFT). This is a represented position. They are entitled to appropriate professional leave, two days per month of vacation leave, one day per month of sick leave, and all other benefits granted to non-faculty academic personnel. The University has an excellent retirement system and sponsors a variety of group health, dental, vision, and life insurance plans in addition to other benefits. Relocation assistance may be provided.

Appointees to the librarian series at UC shall have professional backgrounds that demonstrate a high degree of creativity, teamwork, and flexibility.  Such background will normally include a professional degree from an ALA-accredited library and information science graduate program.  In addition to professional competence and quality of service within the library in the primary job, advancement in the librarian series requires professional involvement and contributions outside of the library, and/or university and community service, and/or scholarly activities.  Candidates must show evidence or promise of such contributions.


Application Procedures

Anyone wishing to be considered for this position should apply here: https://recruit.apo.ucla.edu/apply/JPF03803

Applications must include:

  • a cover letter describing qualifications and experience;
  • a current resume/vitae detailing education and relevant experience; and
  • the names and contact information for three professional references, including a current or previous supervisor.

Candidates applying by July 16, 2018, will be given first consideration for this position.  UCLA welcomes and encourages diversity and seeks applications and nominations from women and minorities.  UCLA seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitment to serve the people of California, to maintain the excellence of the university, and to offer our students richly varied disciplines, perspectives, and ways of knowing and learning.

Description of Institution and Library

As one of the world’s great public research universities, UCLA integrates education, research, and public service so that each enriches and extends the others. From its beautiful neighborhood campus in a uniquely diverse and vibrant city on the Pacific Rim, teaching and research extend beyond the classroom, office, and lab through active engagement with communities, organizations, projects, and partnerships throughout the region and around the world.

UCLA’s diverse community of scholars encompasses nearly 30,000 undergraduates pursuing 125 majors, 13,000 graduate students in fifty-nine research programs, and 4,000 faculty members including Nobel Laureates; Rhodes Scholars; MacArthur Fellows; winners of the Fields Medal, National Medal of Science, Pritzker Prize, and Pulitzer Prize; and recipients of Oscars, Emmys, Tonys, and Golden Globes. UCLA ranks tenth in the Times of London Higher Education World Reputation Rankings, twelfth in the Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and fifth in the U.S. by Washington Monthly. The National Research Council ranks forty of its graduate and doctoral research programs among its top ten.

To enable these accomplished students, faculty, and staff to create, disseminate, and apply knowledge for the benefit of global society, the UCLA Library is re-envisioning how it is acquired, synthesized, and shared across academic audiences and with the public.  It was among the first academic libraries to develop subject-specialist librarians and to launch a program to enhance students’ research skills. Its Special Collections pioneered the acquisition by public institutions of rare and unique books, children’s literature, pulp and detective fiction, works by or about women and minorities, screenplays, architectural plans, and Los Angeles-related materials and today leads the way in collecting archival resources in digital format such as emails and manuscripts.  It has launched innovative data management services and an affordable course materials initiative that have served as models for other libraries.

The Library serves UCLA students, faculty, and staff whenever and wherever they need its resources and expertise. Reconfigured, high-tech spaces and services in its ten campus libraries enable users and librarians to explore and work with print and digital materials collaboratively or individually, pursue new lines of inquiry, and develop new pedagogical approaches as well as novel forms of scholarship.  More than 3.5 million people visit annually, while an additional 3.4 million visitors enter online through its virtual front doors.

Whether on campus or online, the Library forms the intellectual heart of UCLA, a hub for cutting-edge discovery, scholarship, and instruction.

Description of Unit

With a focus firmly on the future and roots securely in the past, UCLA Library Special Collections inspires discovery, cultivates knowledge, advances research, and preserves cultural heritage to create a distinctive environment of intellectual engagement for communities at UCLA and beyond. Its rare and unique primary-source holdings support the broad spectrum of contemporary academic endeavor, encompassing the humanities and social sciences, life and physical sciences and medicine, performing and visual arts, UCLA history, and interdisciplinary cultural, historical, and social studies.

From its founding in 1946, the department has defined “special” broadly, collecting not just items created centuries ago but also actively seeking out contemporary and non-traditional formats such as photographs, screenplays, maps, postcards, recordings, and printed ephemera. Today, its collections feature a diversity of materials including rare books and fine printing broadly defined, archival collections in both physical and born-digital forms, visual materials ranging from paintings and prints to architectural plans and clothing designs, and oral histories.

The department has long defined print culture expansively, collecting published works not generally held by more established libraries, such as children’s literature, popular Victorian fiction, pulp and detective fiction, and materials produced in or about Los Angeles. In more recent years it has further expanded its collecting focus on print-based materials to include works beyond traditional rare books, while remaining justifiably proud of its excellence in this area.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status.  For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:  UC Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action Policy at http://policy.ucop.edu/doc/4000376/NondiscrimAffirmAct

Under federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally authorized to work in the United States as established by providing documents specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.  Employment is contingent upon completion of satisfactory background investigation.

Visit the Jobs @ UCLA Library website at:  http://www.library.ucla.edu/about/jobs-ucla-library

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