Director of Special Collections & College Archives

Job description

Lafayette College Libraries, winner of the 2014 ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award, seeks applications and nominations for the position of Director of Special Collections & College Archives. Reporting to the Dean of Libraries, the director provides leadership and vision for the collections, services and programs of the Special Collections & College Archives unit of a premier liberal arts college library. Lafayette’s Special Collections are notable for their close connections to the College community, including a robust program of library instruction, research services, exhibits and events. The excellent collections are especially strong in holdings related to the Marquis de Lafayette, slavery and abolition, artists’ books, and College history. The College Archives supports the administrative and historical needs of the College. The Special Collections & College Archives facility occupies prime space in the renovated Skillman Library, including a beautiful reading room and adjacent seminar and lecture rooms.

Duties and responsibilities:

  • Provides strategic leadership for Special Collections & Archives including collection development, management, digitization, reference, instruction, exhibits and programs.
  • Develops solutions to address the challenges and opportunities facing Special Collections, including the implementation of digital tools for collection management, preservation, and access.
  • Participates in teaching and reference and promotes the collection through outreach and programming.
  • Builds collections that support the curriculum and faculty interests, and which document underrepresented voices in the College and local community.
  • Collaborates with colleagues across the Libraries, especially with Digital Scholarship Services to develop strategies for digital access and preservation.
  • Work with the Dean of Libraries to pursue opportunities to support and expand the work of Special Collections through grants, foundations and fundraising.
  • Manages and evaluates the work of the unit’s two professional positions, the College Archivist and Rare Books Cataloger, facilitates their professional growth, and encourages participatory leadership within the unit.
  • Manages and evaluates the work of support staff and students.
  • Represents Special Collections & Archives in local, statewide and national organizations. Engages in continuous professional development.

This is a full-time, 12-month position which will begin on July 1, 2019. Lafayette College offers a competitive salary and generous benefits package as compensation.


  • An ALA-accredited Master’s degree in library or information science, with second Master’s preferred; or an equivalent level of education and experience.
  • Significant experience of at least 5 years in a special collections environment, with evidence of increasing responsibility, innovative leadership, and successful personnel supervision.
  • Evidence of broad knowledge of best practices in special collections and archives.
  • Proven track record of engaging students, faculty and the community through special collections outreach, exhibits, and instruction.
  • The ability to articulate the value of special collections and archives to learning, research, teaching, and community engagement.
  • Experience with collection management and preservation tools including ArchivesSpace and Archivists’ Toolkit.
  • Demonstrated expertise in digitization of archival and unique collections and the development of digital libraries to enhance access.
  • Understanding of metadata standards and their application in digital libraries.
  • Excellent skills in collaboration, communication, and self-education.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Track record of successful grantsmanship and evidence of success in the stewardship of donors.
  • Experience in or familiarity with a liberal arts college environment.

Lafayette College is committed to creating a diverse community: one that is inclusive and responsive, and is supportive of each and all of its faculty, students, and staff. The College seeks to promote diversity in its many manifestations. These include but are not limited to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability, and place of origin.   




Diversity Profile: University



View more

Learn more on Inside Higher Ed's College Page for University

Arrow pointing right
Job No:
Posted: 9/19/2019
Application Due: 11/11/2019
Work Type: