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Job Description

The Boston University Libraries seek an Associate University Librarian (AUL) for Special Collections to provide administrative oversight to, coordinate operations of, and support deep researcher engagement with BU’s distinctive collections and institutional archives in both physical and digital formats. Reporting to the University Librarian, the AUL for Special Collections is a new leadership role in the BU Libraries organization charged with reimagining the goals of its special collections and digital scholarship programs and with building greater capacity for delivering access and preservation to the university’s rich holdings. A successful candidate will offer both strategic vision and established expertise to all areas of the BU Libraries special collections and digital scholarship programs while fostering relationships and opportunities during this exciting period of growth and expansion. This is a rewarding senior role for a highly motivated and experienced library leader who is excited to shape the future of special collections and digital initiatives in a large research library in the heart of Boston.

Through deep personal engagement, depth of experience, and intellectual leadership, this AUL oversees and sets the agenda for two departments: (1) the library’s principal special collections unit, the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, which manages the manuscript holdings and archives of numerous significant figures, including literary and performing artists, journalists, noted alumni, and public intellectuals of the twentieth century, and (2) the library’s new digitization and digital initiatives program and facility, Digital Ventures.

Opening fall 2023, Digital Ventures is a new library digitization and digital initiatives unit set to transform the way that BU creates, preserves, and supplies online access to special collections and other unique material of cultural and research value. The AUL for Special Collections supports the work and strategic directions of Digital Ventures through its director and advocates for campus researcher engagement and the preparation of new systems for online engagement with BU’s holdings. The successful AUL candidate thus will have a passion for research engagement and digital initiatives and will actively foster nascent initiatives in the creation of and engagement with digital collections.

The AUL for Special Collections has a wide remit for the promotion, management, creation of, and researcher engagement with distinctive collections in both print and digital formats. In addition to directing all acquisitions and research support activities of the Gotlieb Center, this AUL will also develop practices that apply to special and distinctive collections held across the BU Libraries system, including to those in its African Studies Library and Music Library branches, and will work across departments to implement a cohesive strategy for access, discovery, and preservation of special collections material. This AUL will:

  • Refine and advance the library’s special collections development policies.
  • Enhance Boston University’s archives’ and special collections’ dual role as a premier research destination and as a teaching collection.
  • Provide access and instructional support through mediated and digital access to unique and rare materials held throughout the BU Libraries system.
  • Take the lead on relationship development and management with prospective and existing contributors with whom the libraries have or seek collecting agreements.
  • Expand strategies for acquisition, exhibition, preservation, and conservation of the rare books, manuscripts, and other archival materials held throughout the collections.
  • Guide and oversee the work of digitization and preparation of digital collections, collaborating with faculty, librarians, technologists, and other specialists supporting research and learning at Boston University to facilitate digital scholarship opportunities.

How to Apply

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