Director of Special Collections, Smith College, Northampton MA
posted June 25, 2013 9:10 PM
Smith College seeks a dynamic, accomplished and innovative leader to transform Smith's extraordinary special collections into a vibrant, widely accessible and renowned repository for the 21st century.
The Director of Special Collections will unify the Sophia Smith Collection (women's history), the College Archives and the Mortimer Rare Book Room by creating a shared vision and fostering a collaborative work environment with 11 highly knowledgeable and committed staff.
The Director's primary responsibilities are to:
- lead, manage and develop services and collections that document the history of women, the college and the book
- sustain, preserve and expand collections in key strategic areas
- develop and manage a digital program that increases and enhances discovery, access, preservation and delivery of the collections and services
- work closely with faculty and instructional librarians to teach research methods for and provide hands-on experience with primary sources
- extend and expand Special Collections' resource base through alumni and donor cultivation and external funding
- collaborate with library leadership, staff, faculty, the campus, the Five Colleges and outside organizations
The Director will be chief curator of the Sophia Smith Collection, overseeing the collection and attuned to emerging areas of women's history research. With over 700 collections, the Sophia Smith Collection is an internationally recognized repository of manuscripts, archives, photographs, oral histories, periodicals and other primary sources that document the history of women. Subject strengths include, for example, birth control, reproductive justice, women's rights, and suffrage, transnational activism of U.S. women, and the contemporary women's movement across race, class, and sexual orientation. The Collection has successfully received major grants from numerous agencies and foundations including the National Endowment of Humanities, the Ford Foundation and the National Historical Publications & Records Commission.
The College Archives documents women's education in the U.S. through the academic, student and administrative history of Smith College from the 1860s to the present. Together the Sophia Smith Collection and the College Archives form one of the largest women's history archives in the world.
The Mortimer Rare Book Room houses the College's rare books and literary manuscripts. Broad in scope, it includes works from all time periods and subjects ranging from ancient history to zoology and includes papers of Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath.
The Director will have the incredible opportunity to lead one of the most significant college library special collections in America.
Serving on the Libraries' leadership team, the Director will collaborate with colleagues to realize the mission and vision of the Libraries. The Director will contribute to library-wide strategic planning, policy development, assessment and resource management and will demonstrate leadership in and commitment to the concepts and practices of the learning organization. The Director will have faculty status.
Requirements: a Master's degree, PhD preferred, in an academic field relevant to the collections; 5 years of progressively responsible experience in planning, implementing, and managing archives, experience transitioning traditional archival repositories into digital archives; substantial supervisory and leadership experience; demonstrable subject knowledge in women's history, cultural production and/or social movements; or an equivalent combination of education and experience. The successful candidate will demonstrate an ability to think strategically at both a systems level and a group level; to apply critical, analytical and innovative thinking to work; to successfully manage projects, prioritize work, and identify and solve problems. Excellent written and oral communication skills and familiarity with best practices in special collections and digital scholarship are essential. Preference will be given to candidates with a professional or scholarly record, and demonstrated ability to lead a robust archival or cultural heritage repository.
Located in Northampton, MA, Smith College offers an opportunity to live and work in an area known for its lively arts scene as well as the strong cultural and intellectual life of the Five Colleges and natural beauty of the Pioneer Valley.
Review of applications will begin on July15, 2013. To be considered for this position and to review a full position description, apply on-line at http://jobs.smith.edu/