founded in 1831, is a diverse,
energetic liberal arts community where critical thinking and
practical idealism go hand in hand.
Located in Middletown, Connecticut, Wesleyan University is one
of the nation’s premier liberal arts colleges with 3,000
undergraduates and 200 graduates. Established in 1831, Wesleyan is
known for its rich, open, and interdisciplinary curriculum. We have
a long-standing commitment to creating a dynamically diverse campus
comprised of students from all racial, ethnic, cultural, and
Within this intellectually stimulating environment, the
Wesleyan University Libraries play an important role. Special
Collections is made up of over 45,000 volumes of rare books ranging
from medieval manuscript codices and early printed books to
21st-century fine press books. It holds materials in multiple
formats, including books, pamphlets, broadsides, and maps. It also
maintains a strong collection of over 1,000 artists’ books with one
highlight being those on social justice and related issues.
Wesleyan’s Special Collections is part of the newly formed Unique
Collections department that includes the: University Archives,
Archaeology & Anthropology Collections, Center for East Asian
Studies Art & Archival Collections, and the World Music
Reporting to the Dietrich Family Associate University Librarian for
Unique Collections, the Head of Special Collections will lead in
developing collaborative, sustainable approaches to managing a
complex portfolio of Special Collections services, projects, and
programs. Additionally, they will work to strengthen the
department’s focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism
in collections practices.
- Oversees the housing, preservation, cataloging, and discovery
of Special Collections materials and provides leadership in
long-range planning for the collection.
- Leads collection development for rare books, artists’ books,
and special collections including working with donors, dealers,
other library specialists, and faculty to acquire unique and
distinctive items and collections.
- Develops and instructs classes, through an active program of
outreach to faculty, across the curriculum involving rare books,
history of the book, manuscripts, and artists’ books. Conducts
personal research sessions with students in these areas.
- Supervises staff, including the Special Collections Cataloging
Librarian, undergraduate students, and occasional graduate
- Oversees the reference services for Special Collections and
University Archives. Provides reference services in the reading
room, online, and by telephone. Coordinates the reference desk
schedule and staffs the desk for 6-8 hours per week.
- Promotes Special Collections through presentations, exhibits,
writings, and other means to the Wesleyan community and beyond with
an eye for collaboration and cross-collection promotion.
- Plans projects and promotes digital access to Special
- Develops policies and sets priorities for the collection.
- Performs other duties as assigned by the AUL for Unique
Master’s degree in a relevant subject area and a minimum of
four years of progressively responsible experience (both
professional and graduate school experience will be considered) in
Special Collections or a related field or an equivalent combination
of education, training and experience.
In-depth knowledge of the history of printing, book
collecting, and the book trade.
Demonstrated experience working with donors and book dealers
to grow collections and make acquisitions while working within a
Experience providing instruction in the use of rare books and
primary source literacy.
Demonstrated understanding of issues and trends in curricular use
of rare books and manuscripts.
Demonstrated experience in supervising, evaluating, and mentoring
Ability to manage projects and a willingness to seek creative
solutions to challenges.
Excellent interpersonal skills.
Effective communications skills with the ability to present
Proven ability to work independently and collaboratively in a
Demonstrated commitment to work within a diverse environment and
interact collegially with individuals of different
Strong user-service orientation and desire to work with
constituents in an academic environment.
Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends.
Ability to physically engage with the collection, including
climbing, lifting, and use of ladders/step stools and the ability
to lift up to 40 pounds with our without accommodation.
Reading knowledge of languages other than English.
Experience in developing collaborative outreach programming for
Special Collections in person and/or through online channels.
Experience with digitization projects.
Familiarity with DCRM and best
practices for rare book cataloging.
Familiarity with library services platforms, such as ExLibris Alma,
and platforms LibAnswers and LibCal.
Special Instructions to Applicants
Position is open until filled. For full consideration please
apply by October 13th when first review of applications will
All offers to external applicants are contingent on the
candidate’s completion of apre-employment
background check screening
to the satisfaction of
Wesleyan University, located in Middletown, Connecticut, does
not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religious creed, age,
gender, gender identity or expression, national origin, marital
status, ancestry, present or past history of mental disorder,
learning disability or physical disability, political belief,
veteran status, sexual orientation, genetic information or
non-position-related criminal record. We welcome applications from
women and historically underrepresented minority groups. Inquiries
regarding Title IX, Section 504 or any other non-discrimination
policies should be directed to Vice President for Equity and
Inclusion, Title IX and ADA/504 Coordinator. Wesleyan University
complies with the Clery Act and maintains records of campus crime
statistics and security policies. Copies of Wesleyan University?s
Clery Act Report are available on request and online at