Employment

Full-Time Curatorial Position

Rare Book School (RBS) seeks a dynamic and collaborative individual with experience caring for rare books and cultural heritage materials to serve as curator of its hands-on teaching collection of 100,000-plus items. Located in new, purpose-built quarters in the University of Virginia’s Shannon Library, RBS offers a close-knit, highly collaborative, mission-centered work environment. RBS’s curator will work with RBS’s collections team to steward and augment RBS’s celebrated holdings, which span six millennia, multiple formats, and diverse cultures. Through exhibitions and outreach, RBS’s curator will educate and inspire audiences by demonstrating how books as physical objects—as well as text and illustration technologies over the longue durée—illuminate history. The curator will also be responsible for managing collections requests made by RBS faculty. Working closely both with RBS faculty and the Director of Collections, Exhibitions & Scholarly Initiatives, the curator will build on the School’s existing strengths and Inclusive Excellence goals, continuing to diversify its hands-on teaching collection. The curator will also be responsible for managing collection use in RBS courses. The successful candidate will thrive as a participant in RBS’s programmatic activities, moving easily from exhibition research to engagement with RBS staff, faculty, and diverse communities.

As described below, the curator’s duties, title, and salary will be based on the successful candidate’s level of experience. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning April 29. The position reports to the Director of Collections, Exhibitions & Scholarly Initiatives.

Primary duties:

  • Serve as a public-facing presence for Rare Book School, its collections, and its exhibitions program;
  • With the Director of Collections, Exhibitions & Scholarly Initiatives, help manage RBS’s exhibitions program, which is centered in a new, prominent 20-case gallery in Shannon Library. Applicants hired at the associate or full curator level will be encouraged to propose solo or jointly curated shows within the program’s scope, and to contribute to grant-writing efforts;
  • With the Director of Collections, Exhibitions & Scholarly Initiatives, and in consultation with RBS faculty and stakeholders, select materials for the School’s teaching collection. The successful candidate will work in close partnership with the director to form and maintain relationships with the book trade, including attendance at book fairs. Applicants hired at the full curator level will manage a portion of the budget;
  • Liaise with RBS faculty members regarding RBS collections usage for RBS courses;
  • Liaise with staff members of UVA’s Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library to plan RBS faculty visits to Special Collections;
  • Work with the RBS collections team to research and describe the collections, with an eye to discoverability and to making visible materials within the collection that were created and/or owned by individuals underrepresented in the book-historical record, including, but not limited to: women; BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and working-class communities; immigrants and migrants; and global communities of the book beyond the United States, Canada, and Europe.
  • Work with the collections and communications teams on collections outreach, and contribute to social media posts;
  • Work with the collections team on collection preservation and maintenance strategies;
  • Work with the collections team to maintain and improve RBS’s internal online collections catalogue, Silva, and related finding aids; and
  • Help manage part-time collections staff and summer session assistants in Charlottesville.

More experienced candidates will provide support for projects undertaken by the Director of Collections, Exhibitions & Scholarly Initiatives, ranging from securing loans and insurance for collections to generating publications and grant-related research. Development work will vary depending on experience. An associate curator would receive and acknowledge gifts, assist with donor relations and grant writing, and take part in senior staff meetings. A full curator would engage more directly in fundraising, grant writing, and donor visits, and would serve as department head when the director is on leave.

Entry-level qualifications

  • An ALA-accredited master’s degree in library or information science; or an advanced degree in the humanities or social sciences, with two years of experience working in a field involving rare books, such as the book trade;
  • Superior verbal and written communication skills;
  • A solid track record of working with teams in collaborative, fast-paced professional settings;
  • Comfort interacting in large groups and in professional and social settings;
  • An understanding of current best practices in rare materials collections management and bibliographical description, including ethical approaches to cataloging and stewarding cultural heritage materials;
  • Reading knowledge of at least one language in addition to English (e.g., Chinese, Latin, French, or Spanish);
  • Evidence of advancing multicultural collections initiatives/building inclusive collections;
  • Experience working with both Macintosh and Windows operating systems, and applications such as MS Word, MS Excel, Adobe Acrobat Pro, and Adobe Photoshop. Experience working with Trello, CollectiveAccess, Omeka, and Microsoft Teams desired, but not required; and
  • A valid driver’s license and ability to operate an automobile.

Qualifications for advanced position of associate or full curator

Associate curator. Requirements listed above, plus:

  • Two masters’ degrees (preferably including an M.L.I.S.) or a doctoral degree or one master’s degree with equivalent experience in a book-related profession (see below);
  • At least two full years (or four years of part-time employment) in a service-oriented profession that centers cultural heritage communities and professionals, particularly in the area of rare books;
  • Some experience with making rare book acquisitions;
  • Experience with curating a large-scale, public-facing exhibition featuring books as physical objects;
  • A record of publication and public speaking on special collections or cultural heritage materials, or equivalent book trade experience;
  • Experience managing part-time staff members; and
  • Reading knowledge of at least two languages in addition to English.

Full curator. Requirements listed above, plus:

  • Experience managing a budget;
  • Experience working in, or with, the antiquarian book trade;
  • Solid track record of peer-reviewed publications and public-facing exhibitions;
  • Experience teaching with books as objects; and
  • Experience with development work, which could include receiving and acknowledging gifts, grant writing or management, and meeting with donors.

Rare Book School is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, citizenship status, Vietnam era or special disabled veteran’s status, or sexual orientation.

The starting salary range for this position will be $58,000 to $70,000, depending on the qualifications met above. Benefits include three weeks of vacation plus five personal days (not including holidays), sick leave, health insurance, and contributions toward retirement, as well as departmental professional development funds, annual funding to attend the RBMS conference, and the opportunity to attend one RBS course each year.

This post requires the repetitive use of a keyboard at a workstation, manual dexterity, and the ability to climb ladders and lift boxes weighing up to 40 lbs. The RBS workspace is a standard special collections library environment with potential exposure to mold and dust. Saturday and Sunday shifts are typically required during the RBS summer session (June through early August).

Applicants should submit the following materials:

1) A cover letter discussing: a) your interest in RBS; b) the various strengths you could bring to RBS’s collections and staff; c) your professional experience supporting diversity and inclusion in research or programming; d) the skills you hope to cultivate at RBS and the areas in which you hope to grow; and e) the ways in which this position would inform your longer-term professional goals.

2) A C.V., including at least three references.

3) A writing sample of 20–30 pages, double-spaced.

Please send inquiries/electronic copies of materials to the Director of Collections, Exhibitions & Scholarly Initiatives, Barbara Heritage, beh7v@virginia.edu. Review of applications will begin April 29, 2024 and continue until the position is filled.

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Program Assistant

Rare Book School seeks an organized, conscientious, and detail-oriented part-time Program Assistant to join the Programs department in facilitating excellent education programming.

This position is a temporary appointment, through mid-August 2024, with the opportunity for renewal for another year. This is an administrative-based position, with 10–20 hours per week during the Spring semester and 40­–50 hours per week during the summer (mid-May through the first week of August), with overtime wages for hours worked over 40 per week. Wages will be $15 per hour. The Program Assistant reports to the Director of Programs & Education and will work with members of the Programs department to maintain and improve upon the successful programming of RBS’s in-person and online courses.

Undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to apply. Must be based in Charlottesville for the summer months.

The Program Assistant will be asked to:

  • support programs logistics for course sessions;
  • assist with writing and disseminating course-specific advertising;
  • liaise with RBS faculty members about their course materials, including print and digital workbooks;
  • print and bind course workbooks, and prepare other print and digitally distributed course materials;
  • communicate regularly with RBS faculty members and applicants as well as individuals who are sponsoring, supporting, or variously related to RBS courses and programs;
  • for courses in Charlottesville, assist with setting up classrooms, participant registration, evening receptions, communicating with conference services and students about dormitory housing, assist with catering and catering staff, &c.;
  • facilitate connections between RBS and UVA departments and students;
  • carry out other program-related duties as needed.

Our organization, now in its 41st year, offers a fast-paced, creative, and collaborative work environment located in the Edgar Shannon Library, on Central Grounds at the University of Virginia. We provide cutting-edge, specialized instruction vital for understanding and preserving artifacts central to our cultural heritage.

Rare Book School is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer as a nonprofit affiliated with the University of Virginia. RBS is committed to fostering an inclusive, respectful, and welcoming environment that embraces a richly diverse representation of human attributes, perspectives, and disciplines. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, citizenship status, Vietnam era or special disabled veteran’s status, or sexual orientation. We champion an accessible, diverse, and inclusive learning environment and invite candidates to review Rare Book School’s Inclusive Excellence goals (see http://www.rarebookschool.org/inclusive-excellence-plan).

Required qualifications: Qualified applicants must have a strong attention to detail; steady work ethic; integrity; strong written and oral communications skills; an interest in planning events; and the ability to deliver high-quality customer service. The Program Assistant will be asked to work longer hours, including weekends, during summer class sessions. The position will run through the second week of August 2024, with potential for renewal at that time. The successful candidate will work in the Charlottesville, VA RBS office. In-office or on-site work will be required, although we encourage flexibility in work schedules.

Desired qualifications: Proficiencies with Mac operating systems and the MS Office Suite; ability to work with database systems; an interest in or familiarity with one or more of the constituencies from which our students and faculty principally come (e.g., book history & bibliography, special collections librarianship, book arts, antiquarian bookselling, archives, digital humanities, and higher education); and familiarity with The Chicago Manual of Style and the Adobe Creative Suite.

To apply, applicants should submit the following materials to Laura Perrings, Director of Programs & Education, at laura.perrings@virginia.edu:

1) A cover letter
2) A curriculum vitae
3) The phone numbers and email addresses of at least three references, at least one of whom has served as your supervisor (we will not contact references until the offer stage)

In your cover letter, please address: 1) your competency and experience with regard to the responsibilities and desired qualifications; 2) why you are interested in working for Rare Book School; 3) your efforts to advance the values of diversity and inclusion in your studies or work experiences, and 4) when you will be available to begin.

Review of applications will begin March 25, 2024; applications will remain open until the position is filled. 

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Summer Assistants

Rare Book School (RBS) at the University of Virginia provides continuing-education opportunities for students from all disciplines and skill levels to study the history of written, printed, and digital materials with leading scholars and professionals in the field. Each summer, RBS offers a series of week-long courses on the history of the book and bibliography in Charlottesville, at remote partner institutions in New York City, Philadelphia, and elsewhere, as well as online classes.

For the summer course sessions in Charlottesville, RBS is hiring Summer Assistants who will provide support in managing course sessions, catering, and other tasks related to the running of our summer programming. This is an exciting opportunity to participate in a leading humanities organization and aid in Rare Book School’s mission of creating a “community equipped to advance historically informed understandings of our cultural heritage.”

RBS is seeking conscientious, detail-oriented, and service-driven undergraduate and graduate students as well as early career professionals to work as Summer Assistants in Charlottesville during the following weeks:

  • 28–31 May
  • 2–7 June
  • 9–14 June
  • 7–12 July
  • 21–26 July
  • 28 July–2 August
  • 5–9 August

The Summer Assistants will also work in the days leading up to and following each course week.

The starting wage for this position is $15 an hour, with time-and-a-half paid for hours worked over 40 hours. Summer Assistants typically work 40–50 hours a week when courses are running, including work on the weekends.

During each course week, RBS provides housing in apartment-style dormitories for summer staffers who are not based in Charlottesville. Breakfast, lunch, coffee/tea, and some dinners are provided. Staff who work four full weeks are eligible for a tuition credit for one RBS course.

Depending on the nature and focus of their work, assistants report to managers either in RBS’s Programs or Collections division who create their weekly schedules. Tasks and projects are supervised by full-time members of the Programs and Collections team.

Responsibilities may include:

  • Retrieving collections materials (books, artifacts, and other objects) from RBS collections storage areas
  • Assisting with the transport of collections materials to classrooms in UVA Library’s main library and in the Harrison/Small Special Collections building
  • Organizing collections materials and other classroom supplies in the classrooms
  • Assisting RBS faculty members with teaching needs (e.g., making and assembling photocopies, arranging classroom materials, setting up show-and-tells, &c.)
  • Assisting with RBS class visits to the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
  • Assisting with lab sessions (e.g., printmaking, papermaking)
  • Assisting with the preparation of materials such as nametags
  • Helping prepare spaces for RBS events (e.g., lectures, coffee breaks, lunches, and dinners)
  • Assisting in food preparation, making coffee, managing catering orders, grocery shopping, and clean up
  • Other related tasks as assigned

Required Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated interest in book history, book arts, librarianship, archives, bibliography, languages, and/or history
  • Interest in service-oriented, hospitality role
  • Punctuality
  • Organizational skills
  • Ability to lift up to 30 pounds, ability to push/pull carts with books and classroom materials, or carts carrying food and drink, and ability to stand for at least as long as an hour
  • Basic aptitude with computers and related devices

Desired Qualifications:

  • Previous experience working in a library or similar education setting
  • Previous experience in food services
  • Driver’s license
  • Use of a car

Please note that the RBS workspace is a standard special collections library environment with possible exposure to mold and dust.

Please submit a cover letter, a resume, and the names of two professional references to laura.perrings@virginia.edu.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until all open positions are filled.

Rare Book School (RBS) is committed to fostering an inclusive, respectful, and welcoming environment that embraces a richly diverse representation of human attributes, perspectives, and disciplines. We are equal opportunity and affirmative action employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, citizenship status, Vietnam era or special disabled veteran’s status, or sexual orientation.

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Summer IT Assistants

Rare Book School (RBS) at the University of Virginia provides continuing-education opportunities for students from all disciplines and skill levels to study the history of written, printed, and digital materials with leading scholars and professionals in the field. Each summer, RBS offers a series of week-long courses on the history of the book and bibliography in Charlottesville, at remote partner institutions in New York City, Philadelphia, and elsewhere, as well as online classes.

RBS is seeking conscientious, detail-oriented, and service-driven undergraduate and graduate students as well as early career professionals to work as IT Assistants for RBS classes taught in Charlottesville during the following weeks:

  • 28–31 May
  • 2–7 June
  • 9–14 June
  • 7–12 July
  • 21–26 July
  • 28 July–2 August
  • 5–9 August

The IT Assistants will also work in the days leading up to and following each course week.

The starting wage for this position is $15 an hour, with time-and-a-half paid for hours worked over 40 hours. IT Assistants typically work 40–50 hours a week when courses are running, including work on the weekends. Several hours of training will be held before the IT Assistants’ first full week.

No detailed knowledge of A/V or IT is required, as training will be provided. However, basic facility and aptitude with the hardware and software of computers, projectors, document cameras, and similar technology is required.

During each course week, RBS provides housing in apartment-style dormitories for summer staffers who are not based in Charlottesville. Breakfast, lunch, coffee/tea, and some dinners are provided. Staff who work four full weeks are eligible for a tuition credit for one RBS course.

Each IT Assistant is supervised by one of the following RBS senior staff members: the Director of Programs & Education, the Program Manager, or the Miranker Online Program Manager.

Responsibilities:

  • Providing assistance as needed during the class sessions
  • Setting up classrooms with appropriate power strips, extension cords, dongles, projectors, and document cameras
  • Assisting RBS faculty members with setting up the AV supplies in their classrooms, connecting them to the local wifi
  • Assisting RBS students with IT tasks such as connecting to the wifi
  • Liaising with RBS staff members
  • Other related tasks as assigned

Required Qualifications:

  • Interest in service-oriented role
  • Basic aptitude with computers and related devices
  • Punctuality
  • Organizational skills
  • Ability to bend, kneel, and twist while setting up power cords and technological devices

Desired Qualifications:

  • Advanced familiarity with IT support
  • Interest in book history, book arts, librarianship, archives, bibliography, languages, and/or history

Please note that the RBS workspace is a standard special collections library environment with possible exposure to mold and dust.

Please submit a cover letter, a resume, and the names of two professional references to laura.perrings@virginia.edu.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until all open positions are filled.

Rare Book School (RBS) is committed to fostering an inclusive, respectful, and welcoming environment that embraces a richly diverse representation of human attributes, perspectives, and disciplines. We are equal opportunity and affirmative action employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, citizenship status, Vietnam era or special disabled veteran’s status, or sexual orientation.

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Part-Time Collections Assistant

Rare Book School, an international institute located at the University of Virginia, is seeking to hire two conscientious, detail- and service-oriented UVA undergraduate or graduate students for the part-time position of Collections Assistant. (First- or second-year undergraduates are preferred, as are first- or second-year doctoral students.) This is a nine-month contract for 12-15 hours a week with the possibility of renewal. The starting wage is $15.00 an hour. Successful applicants can begin work as early as March 1.

As a part-time member of Rare Book School’s Collections Team, the Collections Assistant will contribute to the organization and preservation of RBS’s collection of 100,000 items, including books, manuscripts, ephemera, printing surfaces, and other book historical artifacts. The Collections Assistant’s duties include:

  • Labeling, stamping, and flagging newly cataloged books and items
  • Creating archival-quality enclosures, such as Melinex folders, custom boxes, and dust jacket covers for books and related materials
  • Photographing collections materials
  • Shelving and shelf-checking collections materials
  • Organizing and moving collections
  • Dusting and cleaning collections storage areas
  • Assisting with preparatory work for RBS exhibitions
  • Assisting with installing RBS’s public-facing exhibitions
  • Assisting with RBS events and programs, including open houses and courses
  • Updating existing catalogue records and creating new basic catalogue records

Required Qualifications:

  • A strong, demonstrated interest in book history, book arts, curation, conservation, preservation, librarianship, archives, bibliography, languages, and/or history

Desired Qualifications:

  • Solid communication skills and clear handwriting
  • Previous experience working in a library setting
  • Studio arts experience (printmaking, letterpress printing, &c.) and/or experience with a craft that requires manual dexterity and precision
  • Ability to lift 40 pounds and climb step ladders

Please note that the RBS workspace is a standard special collections library environment with possible exposure to mold and dust.

Please send an up-to-date CV, a cover letter, and the names and contact information of two references to Barbara Heritage, Rare Book School, at: beh7v@virginia.edu. Applicants are encouraged to submit their materials by February 23, 2024 to start work at the beginning of March. The position will remain posted on RBS’s website, and RBS will continue to accept applications on a rolling basis until both positions are filled.

Rare Book School is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer as a nonprofit affiliated with the University of Virginia. RBS is committed to fostering an inclusive, respectful, and welcoming environment that embraces a richly diverse representation of human attributes, perspectives, and disciplines. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, citizenship status, Vietnam era or special disabled veteran’s status, or sexual orientation. We champion an accessible, diverse, and inclusive learning environment and invite candidates to review Rare Book School’s Inclusive Excellence goals (see http://www.rarebookschool.org/inclusive-excellence-plan).