Florence Fearrington Rare Materials Cataloger

Rare Book School (RBS) seeks a motivated, collaborative individual capable of precise and complex work, to join its team as the School’s full-time Florence Fearrington Rare Materials Cataloger. The successful candidate will be responsible for contributing to the cataloging and processing of RBS’s teaching collections. This is a three-year, full-time contract.

Located on central Grounds at the University of Virginia, RBS offers a close-knit, highly collaborative, mission-centered work environment with an abundance of engaging, bookish people and fascinating historical objects. The School currently maintains a teaching collection of more than 80,000 items, including papyri, medieval manuscripts, incunabula and rare printed books, prints, photographs, ephemera, printing and book-making equipment, artists’ books, and other artifacts.


Under the supervision of the Associate Curator of Collections, the Rare Materials Cataloger’s primary responsibility will be to catalog a wide range of books, ephemera, manuscripts, periodicals, realia, and related items according to the School’s in-house cataloging procedures. In 2020, Alderman Library, in which RBS is currently located, is slated for renovation. In addition to general cataloging duties, the cataloger will contribute to organizational and logistical tasks related to the relocation of RBS collections during the Alderman renovation. The cataloger will also: enhance records for previously cataloged items; contribute to the ongoing maintenance and development of the School’s new online catalog; assist with the processing, preservation, and shifting of materials; and occasionally perform programs-related tasks during RBS course sessions, as required.

Required qualifications

  • Master’s degree in library and information science from an accredited institution, or equivalent professional experience
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and professional experience with rare book cataloging standards, including DCRM(B) and RBMS Controlled Vocabularies
  • Service-oriented, systematic, analytical thinker with excellent communication skills
  • Demonstrated interest in and engagement with book history and bibliography, the humanities, special collections librarianship, conservation, and/or the antiquarian book trade
  • Basic knowledge of two or more languages, in addition to English (e.g., Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Japanese, Spanish, &c.)

Desired qualifications

  • Experience in logistical planning related to inventorying and moving collections during a library renovation
  • An undergraduate or graduate-level degree with a concentration or specialization in bibliography and/or book history
  • Training or experience in digital photography as related to conservation and collections documentation

The salary for this position is $40,000. The successful candidate will receive three weeks of paid vacation, as well as sick leave, and health insurance. Retirement benefits are available after the first year of employment. In addition, the successful candidate will be able to attend one RBS course per year of employment (tuition free), and will receive funding to attend the annual RBMS conference.

The RBS workspace is a standard special collections library environment with possible exposure to mold and dust. Some work on weekends is required when RBS programs are in session.

Applicants should submit the following materials:

  • A cover letter discussing: a) your interest in RBS; b) the various strengths you could bring to RBS’s collections and staff; c) the skills you hope to cultivate at RBS and the areas in which you hope to grow; and d) the ways in which this position would inform your longer-term professional goals
  • A c.v. listing three professional references
  • A writing sample demonstrating your best work

Please send electronic copies of application materials to Ruth-Ellen St. Onge, Associate Curator of Collections: ruthellen.stonge@virginia.edu.

Deadline for applications: 28 February 2019

Desired start date: April 2019

Rare Book School is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity, equity, and inclusiveness.

Program Assistant/Associate

Rare Book School (RBS) is searching for an organized, energetic, and detail-oriented full-time Program Assistant or Associate (depending on experience) to assist the Director of Programs & Education in facilitating excellent educational programming. In addition to working with the Director of Programs & Education, she or he will work closely with the Program Manager and Admissions Officer to maintain and improve upon the successful educational programming at RBS.

The Program Assistant/Associate will be asked to:

  • Communicate regularly with RBS faculty members and applicants as well as individuals who are sponsoring, supporting, or variously related to RBS courses and programs
  • Support programs logistics for course sessions in Charlottesville (setting up classrooms, participant registration, evening receptions, communicating with conference services and students about dormitory housing, &c.)
  • Oversee logistics relating to select satellite courses (including catering, space reservations, and course materials)
  • Assist with tracking course applications through the admissions process
  • Assist with writing and disseminating course-specific advertising
  • Assist the Director of Programs & Education with course schedule planning
  • Design and update Information Guides for each course session and distribute to the participants
  • Print and bind course workbooks, and prepare other print and digitally-distributed course materials
  • Oversee travel and housing reservations for faculty members, session staff, and lecturers
  • Design, order, and maintain stock levels of RBS-related merchandise
  • Assist with tracking student progression through Certificate of Proficiency requirements
  • Carry out other program-related duties as needed

Our organization offers a fast-paced, creative, and collaborative work environment located on Central Grounds at the University of Virginia. Rare Book School, a non-profit organization, separate from but affiliated with the University, provides cutting-edge, specialized instruction vital for understanding and preserving artifacts central to our cultural heritage.

Required qualifications: Qualified applicants must have a bachelor’s degree; strong attention to detail; steady work ethic; integrity; strong written and oral communication skills; an interest in planning events; proficiency with the Mac operating system and MS Office Suite; ability to work with database systems; and the ability to deliver high-quality customer service. The Program Assistant/Associate must also be able to work longer hours, including weekends, during class sessions, and be able to travel to satellite course locations as needed.

Desired qualifications: A degree in the humanities or social sciences; close 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. Applicants will be working in a collections-focused environment. The Program Assistant/Associate may be asked to lift up to 40 pounds during their employment.

This is a full-time, year-round, non-exempt, salaried position. Starting salary ranges from $34,000 to $38,000, depending on qualifications and experience. Benefits include health and dental insurance, annual leave, sick leave, an RBS course each year, and a 403(b) retirement plan with matching contributions.

Applicants should submit the following materials:

1) A cover letter discussing your qualifications and your interest in the position and the School
2) A curriculum vitae, including the phone numbers and email addresses of at least three references

Please send electronic copies of materials to Laura Perrings, Director of Programs & Education, at laura.perrings@virginia.edu. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Rare Book School is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity, equity, and inclusiveness.