Head of Collections Management - Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Posted on August 18, 2017


The Columbia University Libraries invites nominations and applications for the Head of Collections Management in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML). The Head coordinates the intake and ongoing maintenance of all collections, regardless of format, for RBML.


Reporting to the Director, the Head will:

  1. Supervise the collection management unit (4 staff) which is responsible for intake, basic preservation, storage, tracking, and accessibility of RBML archival, book and digital collections.
  2. Coordinate collections-related operations and workflows within RBML and with other archives processing, cataloging and digital library and scholarly technologies departments or units.
  3. In collaboration with archives processing and cataloging oversee the ongoing maintenance of descriptive information about RBML’s archival and print holdings.
  4. Oversee stacks management, including storage conditions, physical movement of collections, security and disaster preparedness.
  5. Coordinate physical preparation and initial metadata creation for programmatic digitization/reformatting of existing collections; enhance access to digitized materials.
  6. Arrange for basic conservation treatment in-house; liaise with Preservation and Digital Conversion Division to address treatment or reformatting priorities.
  7. Maintain RBML collection files, on paper and/or electronically; collect and report statistics relating to RBML collections.
  8. Work with curators and potential donors to survey and transfer digital materials and accession digital materials, generating bit-level copies and file inventories.
  9. Coordinate access and evaluate processing needs of born-digital materials.
  10. Participate in CUL planning and committee activities.
  11. Monitor technological and professional advances in the field.
  12. Support and participate in the RBML public service rotation by serving at the front desk and the reading room.


Minimum Requirements: MLS or PhD or equivalent

  1. Five years professional experience in a special collections setting
  2. Demonstrated knowledge of special collections management; Familiarity with current standards, best practices, and automated library information management systems
  3. Managerial and leadership skills
  4. Project management skills and experience
  5. Working knowledge of issues related to e-records management (i.e. life-cycle, migration, emulation, security, authenticity)
  6. Excellent organizational skills and evidence of complex analytical and detailed work and commitment to quality assurance and quality control 7.Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing

Preferred Qualifications:

  1. Reading knowledge of at least one foreign language. 2.Experience writing and/or reviewing grants.




New York City


To Apply

Company Information

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library is Columbia University’s largest repository for primary source collections. The range of collections in the RBML span more than 4,000 years and comprise rare printed works, cylinder seals, cuneiform tablets, papyri, and Coptic ostraca; medieval and renaissance manuscripts; as well as art, photography, and realia. Some 500,000 printed books and 14 miles of manuscripts, personal papers, organizational archives and records form the core of RBML holdings. The history of publishing, comics, graphic arts, human rights, the performing arts, and the Bakhmeteff Archive of Russian émigré materials are strengths of the RBML. The RBML is also home to the University Archives and the archival arm of the Columbia Center for Oral History. In addition, the RBML hosts several faculty and graduate student researchers each year through both the Library Research Awards and Primary Sources Internship programs. For more information about RBML collections and services, see

As one of the world’s leading research universities, Columbia University in the City of New York provides outstanding opportunities to work and grow in a dynamic, multicultural, intellectual community. The Columbia University Libraries are comprised of a diverse and engaged staff committed to furthering the University’s teaching and research mission through innovation, collaboration, and a commitment to excellence.

Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and strongly encourages individuals of all backgrounds and cultures to consider this position.