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The University of Minnesota James Ford Bell Library, a unit of the Archives and Special Collections Department, invites applicants to apply for the Assistant Curator position.


Text courtesy of Kathleen Krueger, University of Minnesota Libraries

The University of Minnesota James Ford Bell Library, a unit of the Archives and Special Collections Department, invites applicants to apply for the Assistant Curator position. The James Ford Bell Library documents the history and impact of trade and cultural change around the world prior to ca. 1800 CE. Its premier collection of rare books, maps, manuscripts, archival collections, government documents, and more are used widely in teaching and learning across the U of M campus, other area colleges and universities, K-12, and globally via several online access points. The collection, its heaviest concentration in the 17th and 18th centuries, boasts more than twenty languages.


  • Collaborates with faculty to facilitate instructional goals and develop curricular resources in an active and robust teaching environment. Applies relevant and effective pedagogical methodologies and best practices to develop course materials and instructional sessions that foster student learning. Creates a repertoire of instructional strategies and assessment techniques to establish a positive, organized learning environment.
  • Develops and offers customized reference and research consultation services and policies and procedures for a diverse population of researchers, students, faculty, and communities.
  • Understands trends in scholarship and research topics in a variety of pre-modern fields/subject areas and uses knowledge of pertinent disciplinary and interdisciplinary research methodologies to collaborate with faculty and students to facilitate research and instructional goals,
  • Actively engages with and supports diverse user populations in working with special collections.
  • Works cooperatively with institutional advancement units in fundraising initiatives, including Friends of the Libraries.  Identifies potential donor groups.
  • Promotes collections to diverse audiences through a variety of outreach and advocacy methods to the institution’s community and beyond. In consultation with curator, initiates and develops relationships with internal and external partners for short, medium, and long term program development.
  • Plans, implements and engages with traditional and virtual programming that interprets and integrates collections into exhibitions, conferences, guest lectures, and public speaking, as well as online exhibitions, blogs, social media. Contributes to library social media and website.
  • Identifies and recommends exhibit themes and programming that support the collections, and library goals and objectives.  Collaborates with faculty, staff or communities to design, develop, prepare and install exhibits. Collaborates with communications staff on exhibit marketing and programming.
  • Supervises student employees, volunteers, and interns.

Required Qualifications

Masters' degree from an American Library Association accredited library school and/or an advanced subject degree with relevant experience, strong verbal and written communication skills, experience related to special collections, rare books, manuscripts, and/or archives, demonstrated creativity, initiative, self-direction, and innovative thinking, facility with technology and demonstrated interest in learning new skills applicable to special collections, ability to work effectively both independently and in cooperation with colleagues in a service-oriented, collaborative environment, strong interpersonal skills including valuing diversity, negotiation, tact, and sensitivity, and project management experience.

Salary and Benefits

This is a full-time, 12-month, annual renewable, academic professional position with probationary appointment of Assistant or Associate Librarian. To apply, visit the University of Minnesota Careers website. Click on External Applicants. Enter 332650 in the “Search Jobs” box. Please identify your cover letter with UL409.

The University of Minnesota is an Equal Opportunity Educator and Employer.

Written by

Jordan Wagaman
Communications Specialist & Graphic Designer