Job Listings

Special Collections Librarian and Archivist

Harvard University
Job Location:
Cambridge, 02138
Harvard Graduate School of Education


Job Summary

Although this position will remain posted until filled, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by end of day on July 15, 2024

HGSE is a diverse community of learners, teachers, and employees who are passionate about changing the world through education and striving for maximum impact in the field of education.

Gutman Library seeks a collaborative and user-centered Special Collections Librarian and Archivist to develop, manage, and promote use of the Library's Special Collections. 

Reporting to the Senior Associate Director for Scholarly Communication & Collections Librarian, the incumbent administers a unique collection on the history of education in the United States and supports the research and teaching activities of faculty, students, and researchers using the collection. 

The Librarian and Archivist coordinates closely with teams in Gutman Library and collaborates frequently with Harvard Library service units and other special collections and archives repositories on campus.

Position Description

Collection Development and Administration (30%)

* Appraises potential collection additions and makes recommendations for acquisition of new collections, deaccession of existing collections, and prioritization of collection projects. Includes communication with donors.

* Develops the collection to build on strengths and fill gaps, consulting with other Gutman liaisons and HGSE faculty as needed.

* Implements policies and procedures for appraisal, acquisition, processing, disposition, preservation, digitization, and access of materials, including born-digital formats, building on existing standards used in Harvard Library. Includes regular creation and maintenance of documentation.

* Supervises at least one student employee year-round. May hire and manage other staff. 

* Coordinates transfer of materials from research collections to Special Collections and from HGSE to the Harvard University Archives, such as for faculty retirements, administrator vacancies, etc.

* Works collaboratively with Harvard Library Preservation Services and the Harvard Depository to maintain suitable physical conditions for the Special Collections.

* Manages loan and physical exhibition requests from other Harvard repositories and external institutions.

* Collaborates with other education libraries, archives, and special collection repositories or colleagues to provide support to the wider community of education researchers and to develop cross-repository or cross-institution projects. 

Discovery and Access (30%)

* Develops, arranges, describes, and processes archival collections in accordance with accepted standards and practices and considering assessed user needs and library priorities.

* Creates finding aids using contemporary tools in accordance with national standards and ensures the quality of finding aids created by other staff.

* Undertakes copy cataloging and performs basic inventory management. Includes coordinating closely with the Education Metadata Librarian on local practices.

* Coordinates closely with the Special Collections Team on identifying digitization and digital collections projects that meet Gutman Library priorities, including any that can support computational access to collections and linked data initiatives. Includes consulting with other Gutman Library functional and cross-functional teams, such as the Open Scholarship and Research Services Teams.

* Works collaboratively with central Harvard Library units, including Imaging Services, Preservation Services, Media Preservation Services, and Digital Collections Discovery, to manage digitization and digital collections projects. Includes determining the best collection discovery tools, repositories, and platforms to meet project goals and leading the creation of curated digital collections sites on CURIOSity and platforms.

Public Services (30%)

* Manages operations of the reading room and on-site storage facilities of Gutman Library Special Collections, including scheduling and supervising appointments and coordinating use of materials in classes.

* Promotes the use of Special Collections through a variety of outreach and advocacy methods at HGSE, Harvard, and beyond leveraging communication platforms and tools such as LibGuides and the Gutman Library website.

* Organizes physical and digital exhibitions of Special Collection materials. 

* Provides research support to faculty, students and researchers studying the history of education.

* Serves as a liaison to academic programs, concentrations, or foundations as assigned.

Other Duties (10%)

* Leads the Gutman Library Special Collections Team.

* Participates in other Gutman Library functional or cross-functional teams as needed.

* Serves as an active member of the Gutman Library Council. 

* Participates in HGSE staff committees or activities.

* Participates in Harvard Library governance structure activities, such as committees, working groups, and discussion groups.

Basic Qualifications

An M.L.S. from an ALA-accredited program.

Minimum of three years of related experience.

Applicants should submit a cover letter and a resume or CV to be considered for the position. 

Candidates advancing to the final round of interviews will be asked to visit campus for a series of meetings with colleagues and stakeholders and may be asked to prepare a presentation.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

Three years of direct experience in two or more of the job-specific responsibilities areas.

Skilled experience in special collections and archival processing, including arrangement and description. 

Demonstrated knowledge of archival and preservation concepts, methodology, tools, and techniques.

Evidence of strong writing and communication skills, particularly related to technical and workflow documentation and in donor relations.

Ability to organize, prioritize, and schedule work in a team-based environment.

Evidence of a strong service orientation and ability to work effectively with faculty, students, visiting scholars, library colleagues, and members of the public.

Working knowledge of copyright, privacy, and confidentiality in the context of collection development and access in libraries, archives, and special collections.

Commitment to professional development, such as ongoing acquisition of new skills or subject knowledge and active engagement with professional organizations.

Experience teaching, especially with primary source materials and in education, behavioral sciences, or social sciences disciplinary contexts.

Active awareness of current trends in the digitization of archival materials for discovery, access, and preservation.

Experience of organizing digital collections and physical and online exhibitions with a focus on best practices in user experience and accessibility.

Physical Requirements
  • May interact with collections that may contain dust, mold, or other contaminants.
  • May encounter the need to lift 25-pound boxes, maneuver fully loaded book trucks, and perform tasks that involve lifting, reaching, grasping, stepping up and down, and kneeling.
Working Conditions
  • The position is based on-site in Cambridge, MA. 
  • There may be the opportunity for a flexible or hybrid work model compliant with Harvard University remote work policies.

HGSE is currently developing dynamic workplace models which will actively support a combination of on-campus and remote work (within a state in which Harvard is registered to do business) where business and operational needs allow. You and your manager will discuss the best schedule based on your role and operational need. If your role allows for remote work, please note that all remote work must be performed within a state in which Harvard is registered to do business (CA (Only Exempt), CT, GA, IL, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VA, VT, and WA). Please also note that Harvard will withhold each applicable state's required tax and other withholdings from your paycheck for the time you work there.

The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up-to-date on CDC-recommended vaccines.

We regret that the Harvard Graduate School of Education does not provide Visa sponsorship

Additional Information

HGSE Human Resources values diversity in all forms and believes that each employee brings a set of diverse experiences and identities to the workplace that makes us stronger, encourages innovation, and enhances our collective contributions.  We continue to develop and support a workforce that reflects the diversity of those we serve; fosters an environment that allows everyone to belong and to bring their best self to work; and creates the conditions that empower employees to contribute their full potential to advancing the work of the school.

We do this by:

  • Hiring and retaining staff reflecting the diversity of those we serve
  • Providing employees opportunities to learn, grow, and be challenged
  • Reviewing and ensuring fairness and equity in HR practices and policies including but not limited to hiring, promotion, and compensation
  • Developing strong relationships and partnerships internal and external to our community to advance diversity and inclusion
  • Communicating transparently and respectfully; and
  • Fostering an inclusive, respectful, and professional work environment

About the Harvard Graduate School of Education

Many choose to work at the Harvard Graduate School of Education because they believe in our mission and are excited by our vision for the future. We have a reputation as a great place to work, for our excellent leadership, and we are a strong community that values diversity. For more information about HGSE, its programs, research, and faculty, please visit:

Work Format Details
This position is based primarily on-campus, in Massachusetts. This may include in-person during emergency situations (if applicable). Additional details will be discussed during the interview process. Certain visa types may limit work location. Individuals must meet work location sponsorship requirements prior to employment.

We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website ( to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:
  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.
Job Function

Department Office Location
USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code
386057 Library Professional

Work Format


Salary Grade


00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Time Status

Pre-Employment Screening
Education, Identity

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.
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