New Job Posting! Head of Special Collections at the Woodson Research Center at Rice University

Head of Special Collections

The Fondren Library at Rice University seeks a creative, visionary, and collaborative leader for the position of Head of Special Collections. The Head of Special Collections is responsible for leadership and the overall management and administration of the Woodson Research Center, which includes the Rice University archives, manuscript collections, and rare books. The Head of Special Collections works collaboratively with other library units and administration on digital initiatives, preservation, grants, development efforts, and public engagement, and actively participates on the Fondren Library management team.  The position reports to the Vice Provost and University Librarian.  The department includes four professional archivists plus temporary staff, volunteers, and student workers.


Provides leadership in a team environment to achieve the goals and vision of the Woodson Research Center.  Develops policy and is responsible for long term planning and strategic development of special collections through strengthening of existing collections and growth in new service areas in support of the fundamental goals of the Fondren Library and Rice University.  Works collaboratively within the library, across campus and within the academic community to acquire official records and other materials of historical significance and to promote relevance and significance of special collections.  Works collaboratively with other library units and administration on digital initiatives, preservation, grants, development efforts, and public engagement.  Responsible for projects that combine traditional manuscript, archival and book processing activities with digital initiatives.

Requirements include: 

ALA-accredited Master’s degree in Library Science OR a graduate degree appropriate to working in archives or special collections. 

Society of American Archivists certificate program OR Academy of Certified Archivists certification.

Five years of professional experience leading special collections/archival services/operations and demonstrated evidence of progressively increasing scope of supervisory and management responsibility in an academic or research library or similar institution; Experience supervising a team of professionals; Demonstrated experience working with analog and born-digital archival materials; Experience that demonstrates a strong commitment to user-focused design of collections and services; Demonstrated experience with preservation or conservation standards and their challenges for a variety of content types.

Preferred qualifications: 

Knowledge of current and emerging trends, issues, workflows, and standards and best practices in the worlds of archives and special collections, including digital content acquisition and curation as well as digitization of analog formats.

Demonstrated expertise using archival technology tools (e.g., content management tools, such as ArchivesSpace; web publishing platforms, such as Omeka; and institutional repositories, such as DSpace.

Familiarity with legal, privacy, and ethical issues associated with archiving digital and print content.
Experience in donor relations and growing philanthropic support.

Familiarity with metadata standards that are MARC and non-MARC compatible.

Familiarity with Geospatial mapping software, such as ArcGIS.
Excellent interpersonal skills; Demonstrated commitment to professional development.
Strong service orientation and interest in anticipating and supporting information users’ values and needs.

Salary & benefits:  $90,000 minimum, with hiring salary commensurate with experience and qualifications; no state or local income tax; 21 benefit days; 8 study days; a range of retirement options including TIAA/CREF; health and life insurance; and tuition waiver.

Environment:  Rice University provides a stimulating work environment, with opportunities to participate in the delivery of innovative library services supported by leading edge technologies.  Fondren Library ( is a research library with over 2.9 million volumes and over 170,000 serial subscriptions.  The Library has a state-of-the-art offsite shelving facility and completed a major building renovation project in 2006.  An active program of digital resource development and delivery is underway.   

Houston is a vibrant, multicultural city, with world-class visual and performing arts ranging from the traditional to the avant-garde. The fourth largest city in the country, Houston enjoys a moderate cost of living and easy proximity to the Gulf Coast. 

For more information, see:

Applications received by September 30, 2019 will receive first consideration.  Please apply with cover letter, resume, and the names, titles, addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses of three references at:  Inquiries:  Melinda Reagor Flannery, Assistant University Librarian/Search Coordinator at (713) 348-3773 or e-mail  Rice University is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer.