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Special Projects Cataloger, Harvard College Library, (Cambridge, MA)


Houghton Library, the primary repository for Harvard’s rare books and manuscripts, seeks an innovative, collaborative, and motivated full-time permanent Special Projects Cataloger.  Reporting to the Head of Rare Book Section, the incumbent will be responsible for providing original and complex copy cataloging for all printed materials, including The Edison Miniature Book & Manuscript Collection which ranges from pre-1700 to modern, following prescribed national standards.  Some of the projects will involve cataloging large collections from the backlog, as well as newly acquired materials.  The incumbent will assist the Head of Rare Book Section to support the Houghton Library’s efforts to catalog, preserve, and provide access to books, serials, ephemera, and other printed holdings in a variety of formats across Houghton’s curatorial areas.  Houghton Library’s collections range across the history of civilization with particular strengths in European and American history and literature and performing arts. 

Houghton Library has recently joined with the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, Fine Arts Library, Harvard Film Archive, and Harvard University Archives to create Archives, Arts, and Special Collections of Harvard Library, a new administrative unit currently planning integrated approaches to technical services for archives and special collections across the portfolio.

Position Description

  • Performs original and complex copy cataloging of books, serials, ephemera, and other printed materials in various languages and subject areas, adhering to RDA, DCRM suite, or other standards as appropriate. 
  • Responsible for planning, organizing, and cataloging multiple projects into actionable steps; maintain project documentation, inventory control, track performance and provide progress reports.  One of the ongoing projects will be the cataloging of The Edison Miniature Book & Manuscript Collection.  
  • Collaborates in the development, evaluation, and documentation of cataloging policies, procedures, and workflows.  
  • Collaborates within the section and across other units and departments to ensure consistent metadata description to provide seamless access to the collections. 
  • Contributes to Houghton Library Public Services service point rotation. 
  • Maintains knowledge of current and emerging national and international standards for cataloging and metadata, including DCRM suite, RDA, LCSH, BIBFRAME, linked data, and other appropriate standards. 
  • Maintains an active presence in local and national professional organizations. 
  • Represents Houghton within the Harvard cataloging and library community, both informally through communication and collaboration, and formally by serving on committees and working groups.  
  • May supervise library assistants.  
  • May travel to the Harvard Depository storage facility in Southborough as needed. 
  • Other duties and projects as assigned.

Basic Qualifications

  • M.L.S. from an ALA-accredited academic program required. 
  • Minimum of two years of extensive experience cataloging early printed books, including miniature books, in a research library setting. 
  • Demonstrated knowledge of cataloging standards and principles, including DCRM suite, RDA, LCSH, RBMS and AAT thesauri, LC-PCC rules and authority control practices.  
  • Demonstrated knowledge of integrated library systems (Ex Libris Alma preferred) and bibliographic utilities (OCLC Connexion).  
  • Experience planning and/or overseeing cataloging projects in an academic research library. 
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain consistent accuracy and attention to detail while maintaining a high level of productivity. 
  • Demonstrated ability to manage time and tasks independently and complete projects in a timely manner. 
  • Reading knowledge of one or more non-English languages (Latin, German, or Russian preferred).

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Demonstrated knowledge of current trends and issues in academic libraries, higher education, and relevant subject disciplines.  
  • Demonstrated knowledge of descriptive bibliography. 
  • Demonstrated high level of productivity and goal achievement. 
  • Demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging and anti-racism. 
  • Demonstrated ability to manage time and tasks independently and complete projects in a timely manner. 
  • Familiarity with linked data models such as BIBFRAME. 
  • Ability to identify basic preservation and conservation issues related to printed materials.  
  • Ability to manage a broad variety of tasks in response to shifting priorities and changing constraints. 
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a team environment and to interact effectively with a broad variety of personnel within and outside of the department.

Physical Requirements

  • This position requires lifting and moving of materials weighing up to 40 pounds and pushing heavily loaded book trucks. 
  • Work is performed in an area with library materials that may contain allergens or irritants such as paper dust and/or mold.

Working Conditions

  • This is an on-site position. 
  • The person in this role will primarily work Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.

How to Apply

For more information and to apply, please go to the following link: .