Special Collections Librarian and Curator

  • University of Missouri-St. Louis, Mercantile Library
  • St. Louis, MO, USA
  • Aug 12, 2019
Full time   Library Administration, Librarian

Job Description



Special Collections Librarian and Curator
University of Missouri-St. Louis

Specific Responsibilities: coordinating processing, digitization and ongoing maintenance of Pott Waterways Collection and Mercantile archival and manuscript special collections; coordinating collection development and acquisition of waterways materials in all formats; facilitating scholarly access to and ensuring long-term preservation of the special collections; providing in-depth research assistance for both in-person and distance researchers; participating in maintaining and improving donor relations; participating in Mercantile and Pott Waterways special events and programs which include evenings and weekends.

  1. Develops and implements an integrated and coordinated approach for accessioning and processing new acquisitions and backlog holdings; supervising, prioritizing, and participating in archival assessments; accessioning, arrangement and description of archival materials.
  2. Oversees the preparation of online and printed finding aids, catalogs, or other resources to provide access to the collections in accordance with the standards and best practices of the profession.
  3. Collaborates with colleagues to enhance discovery of Library holdings through online access and digitization projects; participates in setting digitization priorities; oversees handling of special collections materials while being digitized.
  4. Participates in developing and implementing metadata standards for digitized and born-digital special collections materials in consultation with other librarians.
  5. Participates in providing special collections reference service and staffing Rare Book Reading Room.
  6. Coordinates the work of staff assistants, volunteers, and interns pertaining to assigned collections.
  7. Participates in events, exhibitions, instruction and outreach, donor relations, and collection development for the Mercantile Library and the Pott Waterways Library.
  8. Serves on Library and University-wide committees as appropriate.
  9. Contributes to the profession through writing for publication, presentation, and active involvement in local, regional and national professional library, archive and river history associations.
  10. Other duties as needed.

Reports to Executive Director.

Supervises Graduate Assistants and volunteers


Preferred and Required Qualifications


  • ALA-accredited Master’s degree in Library Information Science.
  • Minimum two to three years of experience in a special collections library or archival repository, preferably in a university environment with large archival and special collections holdings.
  • A history of archival processing projects and collection management projects, both physical and digital.
  • Thorough knowledge of Microsoft Office and Adobe Suite software.
  • Knowledge of preservation and metadata standards for media and electronic records.
  • Familiarity with the use of digital asset management systems and metadata for creating finding aids and providing access to digitized materials.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills including exceptional public speaking skills.
  • The ability to work collaboratively in a fast-paced and diverse environment.
  • Ability to safely move carts and book/flatbed trucks loaded up to 50 pounds; lift and bend with boxes or volumes weighing up to 40 pounds; carry large/awkward map carriers; climb and reach on step stools and rolling ladders; handle dollies and book/flatbed trucks.


  • Second subject advanced degree in relevant field.
  • Knowledge of and enthusiasm for U. S. History and/or American Studies relating to the inland waterways of the United States.
  • Experience with various types of archival management software such as PastPerfect or Archivists’ Toolkit.
  • Familiarity with the descriptive standards for archival and manuscript materials such as DACS or EAD.
  • Experience in digital collections processing, data migration, and/or digital curation, and with XML editing tools.
  • Knowledge of or familiarity with other relevant industry standards, such as DCRM, RDA, MARC, DublinCore, AMREMM, EAC, MODS, METS, OCLC, Triple I, LCNAF, and LCSH.
  • Demonstrated ability to coordinate, schedule, and handle heavy and complex workloads.
  • Desirable knowledge includes the practice of archival research and thorough knowledge of rare books, photographs, fine prints and other artwork.
  • Knowledge of intellectual property rights and issues related to born digital content and digitized special collections.
  • Reading knowledge of at least one foreign language.
  • A record of engagement with the archives and/or library professions.
  • A record of professional presentation, publication, and/or participation in relevant organizations such as SAA or RBMS.


Application Details

Responses must be submitted via the UM ERecruit system at: CLICK HERE For questions or additional information contact Nicholas Fry, Robert McKnight Curator of the John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library at fryn@umsl.edu. No phone calls please.

The University of Missouri-St. Louis is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity employer committed to excellence through diversity.

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Applicants with dual-career considerations can find university jobs such as professor jobs, dean jobs, chair / department head jobs, and other faculty jobs and employment opportunities at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and at other institutions of higher education in the region on www.AcademicCareers.com