Director of Special Collections

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Job Description

Tulane University seeks forward-thinking candidates for the position of Director of Special Collections at the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library.  The collections, which include the Hogan Jazz Archive, the Louisiana Research Collection, the Southeastern Architecture Archive, Rare Books, and University Archives, are among some of the most distinctive collections of primary sources in the United States and include the papers of John Kennedy Toole, George W. Cable, Hale and Lindy Boggs, and Huey Long; oral histories and other collections from or about numerous jazz musicians;  correspondence from George Washington and Thomas Jefferson; papers of significant Civil War figures; and extensive collections of graphics, music, maps, realia, architectural plans and records, and other materials.

The Director works to promote, preserve, and expand the collections in all appropriate formats and to ensure efficient service to researchers at Tulane and beyond.  S/he will develop effective, positive working relationships with faculty to integrate primary source materials into teaching and learning and will cooperate with other cultural and institutional memory organizations at Tulane, in the city of New Orleans, and in the region to coordinate and enrich programs and collections.  S/he will assist with expanding the Library’s financial resource base through donor cultivation and through identification of and application for appropriate grants.  The Director of Special Collections will be expected to participate actively in relevant professional groups, training and development activities, and to present or publish in appropriate forums and otherwise enrich his/her professional profile and knowledge.

Tulane University is ranked 40th nationally by U.S. News and World Report (2017), boasts a strong student profile, award-winning faculty, and is a member of the Association of American Universities. The Library is a member of the Association of Research Libraries, HathiTrust, the Center for Research Libraries, and the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries.  Tulane’s main campus is located in the historic Uptown neighborhood of New Orleans, a highly diverse and culturally rich city with a vibrant food, music, and arts scene.

Job ID: 37728972

Job Type: Full-Time

Min Education: Master’s Degree

Min Experience: 7-10 Years


A graduate degree with a minimum of seven years of experience in archives or library special collections positions of increasing responsibility.


  • Demonstrated ability to lead professionals and support staff effectively in teams and individually.

  • Demonstrated ability to serve on a leadership team as a positive, productive contributor.

  • Evidence of effective collaborative work with faculty, students, technology professionals, and library colleagues.

  • A strong commitment to high levels of user service and creative, engaging outreach.

  • Clearly demonstrable understanding of the needs of researchers of primary sources and rare or unique materials.

  • Knowledge of appropriate technologies for managing, processing, and making discoverable primary sources and other rare or unique material.

  • Strong interpersonal, communications, and organizational skills.

  • Evidence of successful cultivation and stewardship of donors, alumni, and friends.

  • A record of successful grant writing and grant management skills.


  • Academic background or work experience in areas of particular strength at Tulane (e.g., early jazz, Louisiana and Gulf Coast history, regional architecture).

  • ALA-accredited MLS and/or ACA (or equivalent) archival certification; Ph.D. desirable.

  • Working knowledge of Spanish or French highly desirable.

  • Experience with stewardship of digital collections, including digital preservation.

How to Apply

To apply, please visit:

Tulane University is an AA/EO Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. Tulane is an EOE/M/F/Vet/Disabled employer.

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