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Archives & Literary Mss. Spec. @ U. of IL

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Topic: Archives & Literary Mss. Spec. @ U. of IL
Posted By: al.milo
Subject: Archives & Literary Mss. Spec. @ U. of IL
Date Posted: 24/Mar/2014 at 3:58pm
Academic Professional Position
Archives and Literary Manuscript Specialist
Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Position Available: As soon as possible after closing date of search.

This is a full-time Academic Professional position in the University Library. The successful candidate will report to the Director of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, and will collaborate with colleagues in other Library Units, including Preservation/Conservation, Digital Content Creation, University Archives, and Library Information Technology.

Duties and Responsibilities: Working under the supervision of the Director of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Archives and Literary Manuscript Specialist uses advanced knowledge and training in multiple disciplines to develop and implement policies, systems, recommendations, and workflows that will improve access to complex archives and collections of literary manuscripts. The policies, plans, practices, and workflows that the successful candidate establishes and executes will improve access and use of these materials in research, teaching, and service.

Specific responsibilities will vary over time but will initially include:
·        Developing policies, procedures, and processing plans leading to the classification, arrangement, and description of complex/hybrid (i.e., mixed print, digital, and audiovisual) collections.
·        Applying knowledge of literature, history, and related disciplines to analyze documentary forms/genres, communication patterns, and relationships between documents and those who created or used them.
·        Using specialized subject knowledge and research skills to develop and encode descriptive metadata for complex textual, photographic, A/V, and “born-digital” collections.
·        Selecting and designing appropriate metadata schema and encoding practices to enhance the discovery and use of literary manuscripts; ensuring metadata integrity, normalization, portability.
·        Developing descriptive records and archival finding aids that meet national standards such as Describing Archives: A Content Standard.
·        Collaborating in departmental and library-wide technology planning and implementation activities, such as digitization and access projects.
·        Coordinating the work of staff, students, and others involved in the arrangement, description, and digitization of RBML’s manuscript collections.
·        Advising RBML and Library faculty and staff on issues relating to arrangement and description of manuscripts, literary history, archival metadata, or digitization of rare archival materials.
·        Analyzing emerging technologies and recommending their potential application, to significantly improve information resource discovery and retrieval.
·        Planning and overseeing projects to convert print finding aids to digital format.
·        Identifying materials requiring preservation or conservation treatment and collaborating with preservation/conservation staff in the development of recommendations.
·        Preparing grant applications to secure additional processing resources.
·        Academic Professional employees are encouraged to use “investigation time” to pursue areas of interest, not directly in support of an immediate program need, in accordance with the University Library’s policy on Investigation Time for Academic Professional Employees <>. Some investigations originating in this manner may evolve into regular work assignments or production activities

Environment: The University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign is one of the preeminent research libraries in the world. With more than 13 million volumes and significant digital resources, it ranks second in size among academic research libraries in the United States and first among public university libraries in the world. As the intellectual heart of the campus, the Library is committed to maintaining the strongest possible collections and services and engaging in research and development activities in pursuit of the University’s mission of teaching, scholarship, and public service. The Library currently employs approximately 90 faculty and 300 academic professionals, staff, and graduate assistants. For more detailed information, please visit <>. The Library consists of multiple departmental libraries located across campus, as well as an array of central public, technical, and administrative service units. The Library also encompasses a variety of virtual service points and “embedded librarian” programs.

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is one of the largest repositories for rare books and manuscripts in the United States. The collections-nearly half a million volumes and three kilometers of manuscript material-are strong in the broad areas of literature, history, art, theology, philosophy, technology, and the natural sciences. Particular strengths lie in early printing (over 1100 incunabula) and imprints from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with English literature, works by Shakespeare, various important editions of the Bible, and renaissance school books standing out as distinctive and deep collections. Also noteworthy are collections in the history of science and technology and the history of economics. The Library is renowned for its collection of emblem books and for its extensive holdings of works by and about John Milton. A special emphasis of the Library's collections is drama, from neo-Latin plays to Italian baroque drama, to Elizabethan and Jacobean playbooks, to twentieth-century set and costume design. Significant resources for northern Italian history can be found in the Cavagna Collection, which includes material from the twelfth to the twentieth century. The Spanish Golden Age collection includes more than 1,200 volumes dating from 1472 to 1700 and comprises not only Spanish literature, but also religion, law, politics, medicine, and astronomy. Finally, modern literary archival material housed in The Rare Book & Manuscript Library include the papers of Gwendolyn Brooks, H.G. Wells, Carl Sandburg, and W.S. Merwin; letters of Marcel Proust; and manuscript collections associated with such figures as Anthony Trollope, John Ruskin, Grant Richards, William Allingham, Richard Bentley, Benjamin Disraeli, Lewis Carroll, and John Richardson, among others.

Qualifications: Required:
·        Master’s degree in one of the following fields: Library/Information Science, Literature, History, or a related humanities field.
·        Advanced training in the management, arrangement, and description of archives and manuscript collections.
·        Demonstrated experience arranging, describing, and preserving complex manuscript and/or archival collections.
·        Demonstrated knowledge of national data content and structure standards related to the control of archives and of archival and library management systems such as Archon, ArchivesSpace, or the Archivists Toolkit.
·        Experience working collaboratively and independently with varied groups within a complex organization and a rapidly changing, team environment.
·        Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communications and analytical ability.
·        A record of designing projects and bringing them to a conclusion in a timely fashion.
·        Second degree in one of the areas listed under required qualifications.
·        Reading proficiency in one or more Western European languages, in addition to English.
·        Demonstrated experience using emerging technologies to improve access to archives and/or manuscript collections.
·        Two years of prior employment in an archives, manuscripts repository, or research library.
·        Demonstrated supervisory experience.

Salary and Rank: Salary commensurate with credentials and experience.

Terms of Appointment: Twelve-month appointment; 24 annual vacation days; 11 annual paid holidays; 12 annual sick-leave days (cumulative), plus an additional 13 sick-leave days (non-cumulative) available, if needed, each year; health insurance requiring a small co-payment is provided to employee (with the option to purchase coverage for spouse and dependents); required participation in State Universities Retirement System (SURS) (8% of annual salary is withheld and is refundable upon termination), with several options for participation in additional retirement plans; newly-hired employees are covered by the Medicare portion of Social Security and are subject to its deduction.

Campus and Community: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a comprehensive and major public land-grant university (Doctoral/Research University-Extensive) that is ranked among the best in the world. Chartered in 1867, it provides undergraduate and graduate education in more than 150 fields of study, conducts theoretical and applied research, and provides public service to the state and the nation. It employs 3,000 faculty members who serve 31,000 undergraduates and 12,000 graduate and professional students; approximately 25% of faculty receives campus-wide recognition each year for excellence in teaching. More information about the campus is available at
The University is located in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana, which have a combined population of 100,000 and are situated about 140 miles south of Chicago, 120 miles west of Indianapolis, and 170 northeast of St. Louis. The University and its surrounding communities offer a cultural and recreational environment ideally suited to the work of a major research institution. For more information about the community, visit: <> or <>.

To Apply: To ensure full consideration, please complete your candidate profile at and upload a letter of interest, resume, and contact information including email addresses for three professional references. Applications not submitted through this website will not be considered. For questions, please call: 217-333-8169.

Deadline: In order to ensure full consideration, applications and nominations must be received by April 18, 2014. The review of applications will continue until the position is filled.

Illinois is an Affirmative Action /Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity.

Donna Hoffman
Administrative Assistant
Library Human Resources
University of Illinois Library
1408 W. Gregory Dr. – Suite 127
Urbana, IL 61801

Office (217) 333-8168
Cell (217) 621-9149

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