New York, NY
30+ days ago



With a collection that exceeds 46 million items, and a mission to advance knowledge and inspire lifelong learning, the New York Public Library stands as one of the world’s great public research libraries. The Library seeks an experienced, dynamic and enthusiastic professional to serve as Associate Director, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books in the Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, which welcomes thousands of special collection researchers each year. The Associate Director will provide leadership for the public services, collection development, and promotion of the Library’s largest collection of rare and unique materials, and will also coordinate these activities among the divisions comprising the Katharine J. Rayner Special Collections Wing, including the Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, and the Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle. The Associate Director will identify priorities and strategies to build a more diverse collection aligning with the Library’s overarching collecting strategies; develop innovative approaches to outreach and public service; and oversee the institutional archives.


The Library’s Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division holds over 29,000 linear feet of manuscripts and archives in over 5,500 collections, as well as more than 110,000 rare books and 20,000 broadsides. The collections contain some of the Library’s greatest treasures, ranging from cuneiform tablets to illuminated manuscripts to founding documents of the United States in addition to more than 800 pieces of incunabula. The collection is particularly strong in books printed in the Americas prior to 1801, the history of the New York region, from the colonial period to the late 20th century. Major areas of focus in the collection include the American Revolution, U.S. Civil War, 19th century U.S. literature, colonial Latin America, New York City social history, and LGBTQ history. The collection has a major focus on the history of the publishing industry, represented in the holdings of company records, including  the records of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.; Farrar, Straus & Giroux; The New Yorker; New York Review of Books; and The New York Times. The Division also oversees the Library’s institutional archives and records.

Key Responsibilities

Under the direction of the Director of Special Collections and Exhibitions, the Associate Director of Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books will: 


  • Develop collections of manuscripts and archives through gift and purchase, building on areas of strength and shaping the collection to reflect greater diversity and to support new research
  • Provide leadership and direction to ensure the highest quality of public service in the reading rooms and through online services;
  • Establish new models of collaboration for services, outreach, and collection development between divisions within the Rayner Special Collections Wing
  • Engage with users of the collection and promote strategies to increase its use, including fellowships and other initiatives
  • Raise awareness of the collection and cultivate new communities of users, including a supportive donor base to address collection needs and new initiatives
  • Support teaching, outreach, and scholarly initiatives by contextualizing the collections through exhibitions, presentations, publications, seminars, class instruction and public programs
  • Develop strong working relationships with Special Collections Processing units on priorities for processing to increase access and collection use
  • Collaborate with Conservation and Collection Management staff to ensure the care and maintenance of the collection to the highest professional standards
  • Work collaboratively and build supportive relationships with colleagues across NYPL to increase discovery, access, and collection use
  • Represent the collection in public settings and work with communications and media relations to promote the collection via internal and external media 
  • Provide oversight for review of internal and external loan requests to eligible institutions, in collaboration with the Registrar’s Office and Conservation
  • Support NYPL-wide initiatives through participation on committees, task forces, research library meetings, and other relevant groups
  • Manage the Division’s overall budget; oversee eight staff, including managing librarian for public services
  • Maintain a personal program of continuous education and professional development and provide encouragement and direction to others
  • Keep abreast of changing needs of researchers, historiographical trends, digital publishing and scholarly communication

Skills Knowledge & Expertise

  • Demonstrated commitment to providing outstanding public service and a track record of promoting archives or special collections
  • Experience interpreting archival collections for the public in exhibitions, programming, and/or publication
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communications skills, including the ability to work effectively with all levels of staff and users
  • Substantial experience and comfort with public speaking and instruction that promotes the value and significance of humanities research and special collections
  • Grant writing experience and/or proven ability to develop and foster relationships with donors, collectors, and other institutions 
  • Demonstrated knowledge of best practices in research methods and emerging trends in humanities and social sciences
  • Record of professional engagement and involvement in pertinent professional and scholarly organizations
  • Demonstrated managerial and supervisory experience
  • Demonstrated experience managing a budget
  • Experience working collaboratively with and in teams to produce high quality outcomes
  • Demonstrated analytical and problem-solving skills
  • ALA-accredited master’s degree in library and information science or archival science, an additional MA in relevant subject area, and relevant experience with special collections or PhD in a humanities field and substantial relevant experience with special collections
  • Minimum of five years of progressively responsible leadership experience in special collections setting in a research library, or similar institution
  • Demonstrated evidence of scholarly activity and teaching in an area related to the Division’s collection strengths


Absent a qualifying exception for medical or religious reasons, newly hired employees of the New York Public Library must present proof of receipt of a COVID-19 vaccination and may not begin employment at the Library until 14 days after their receipt of their second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or 14 days after their first dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.  Newly hired employees who need additional time to receive their vaccination prior to their start date may request an adjournment of their start date with their hiring manager.  The Library will consider such requests on a case by case basis, depending upon the Library’s operational needs, among other factors.  The Library will further consider exemptions for prospective employees who cannot become vaccinated due to a qualifying medical condition or a sincerely held religious belief or practice.  Candidates who receive a conditional offer of employment and who seek a medical or religious exemption to the Library’s vaccination policy should contact for instructions on how to submit the required information for the evaluation of their exemption request. 

Core Values
  • Be Helpful to patrons and colleagues
  • Be Resourceful in solving problems 
  • Be Curious in all aspects of your work
Physical Duties