Curatorial Fellowship in Rare Books
Kansas City, MO Special Collections and Public Services
Job Type

The Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering & Technology, one of the world’s preeminent independent research libraries devoted to science, engineering, technology, and their histories is pleased to announce the establishment of the Curatorial Fellowship in Rare Books, funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

About the fellowship:

The Linda Hall Library places a strong emphasis on equitable access to knowledge and seeks to provide career and learning opportunities for early-career librarians from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented populations. The Library believes that a varied representation of experiences, perspectives, and cultures throughout the organization is critical to our success and to the profession of librarianship.

With funding from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Linda Hall Library has established a new two-year position for early career librarians who embrace the values of Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion (DEAI). The Curatorial Fellow in Rare Books will work alongside the Vice President for Special Collections, assisting in the interpretation, use, and development of the Library’s History of Science Rare Book Collection. The Curatorial Fellow will gain real-world, practical skills in rare books and special collections librarianship by participating in a broad range of activities requiring collaboration between departments and focused on project-based learning with clear outcomes.

In terms of specific duties, the fellow will gain hands-on experience with the following:

  • Descriptive bibliography and rare book cataloging
  • Collection development, including evaluating potential acquisitions
  • Developing and delivering programming using library collections
  • Preservation and conservation considerations
  • Rare book reference sources, including sources for related material features of books like paper and bindings and for provenance research
  • Digitization projects
  • Reference and reader services for special collections
  • Reading room management and security
  • Supporting strategy for both in person and digital exhibitions
  • Other duties as assigned

About the Library

The Library is one of the world’s foremost independent research library devoted to science, engineering, and technology. A not-for-profit, privately funded institution, the Library is open to the public free of charge. A member of the Independent Research Libraries Association, the Library’s collections as a whole include over half a million monograph volumes, more than 43,000 journal titles, conference proceedings, reference works, government publications, and technical reports, as well as over 200,000 industrial standards and conference papers. The Library actively collects approximately 1,500 serial titles, and 82 languages are represented in its collection.

The Collection

The Library holds one of the best and most comprehensive collections of rare printed science, technology, and engineering works in the world. The Library holds 9 of every 10 works listed in Harrison Horblit’s One Hundred Books Famous in Science and Bern Dibner’s Heralds of Science. The collection has particularly strong holdings in astronomy, star atlases, natural history, engineering, mathematics, and the physical sciences. The collection includes many of the landmarks of European intellectual thought, including works by Galileo, Copernicus, Newton, Curie, Einstein, and Merian. Recent notable additions of significant works by Furness, Pauling, Tsiolkovsky, Lobachevsky, and Anna & Susanna Lister build on these historic strengths while collecting the whole histories of science and technology. 

Time Commitment and Compensation

This is a two-year, full-time, paid fellowship located in Kansas City, Missouri. The pay range for this position is $42,345 to $48,000 annually and offers a full slate of health and wellness benefits, including the ability to participate and fully vest in the Library’s retirement plan.

  • Must have an MLS or be enrolled in an ALA-accredited MLS program.
  • Candidates must be eligible to work in the United States.
  • Candidates must have the ability to relocate and reside in Kansas City for the full duration of the Fellowship. (Relocation assistance is available.) This is not a remote position. 

Linda Hall Library values people of all races, colors, national origins, gender identities and expressions, sexual orientations, ages, abilities, and religions. BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.