Special Projects Cataloger — Harvard Library, Cambridge, MA

Harvard University

Special Projects Cataloger
Harvard College Library

Job Summary

Although the position will remain posted until filled, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by end of day on February 3, 2023.

Houghton Library, the primary repository for Harvard’s rare books and manuscripts, seeks an innovative, collaborative, and motivated full-time permanent Special Projects Cataloger. Reporting to the Head of Rare Book Section, the incumbent will be responsible for providing original and complex copy cataloging for all printed materials, including The Edison Miniature Book & Manuscript Collection which ranges from pre-1700 to modern, following prescribed national standards. Some of the projects will involve cataloging large collections from the backlog, as well as newly acquired materials. The incumbent will assist the Head of Rare Book Section to support the Houghton Library’s efforts to catalog, preserve, and provide access to books, serials, ephemera, and other printed holdings in a variety of formats across Houghton’s curatorial areas. Houghton Library’s collections range across the history of civilization with particular strengths in European and American history and literature and performing arts.

Houghton Library has recently joined with the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, Fine Arts Library, Harvard Film Archive, and Harvard University Archives to create Archives, Arts, and Special Collections of Harvard Library, a new administrative unit currently planning integrated approaches to technical services for archives and special collections across the portfolio.

Position Description

• Performs original and complex copy cataloging of books, serials, ephemera, and other printed materials in various languages and subject areas, adhering to RDA, DCRM suite, or other standards as appropriate.
• Responsible for planning, organizing, and cataloging multiple projects into actionable steps; maintain project documentation, inventory control, track performance and provide progress reports. One of the ongoing projects will be the cataloging of The Edison Miniature Book & Manuscript Collection.
• Collaborates in the development, evaluation, and documentation of cataloging policies, procedures, and workflows.
• Collaborates within the section and across other units and departments to ensure consistent metadata description to provide seamless access to the collections.
• Contributes to Houghton Library Public Services service point rotation.
• Maintains knowledge of current and emerging national and international standards for cataloging and metadata, including DCRM suite, RDA, LCSH, BIBFRAME, linked data, and other appropriate standards.
• Maintains an active presence in local and national professional organizations.
• Represents Houghton within the Harvard cataloging and library community, both informally through communication and collaboration, and formally by serving on committees and working groups.
• May supervise library assistants.
• May travel to the Harvard Depository storage facility in Southborough as needed.
• Other duties and projects as assigned.

Basic Qualifications

• M.L.S. from an ALA-accredited academic program required.
• Minimum of two years of extensive experience cataloging early printed books, including miniature books, in a research library setting.
• Demonstrated knowledge of cataloging standards and principles, including DCRM suite, RDA, LCSH, RBMS and AAT thesauri, LC-PCC rules and authority control practices.
• Demonstrated knowledge of integrated library systems (Ex Libris Alma preferred) and bibliographic utilities (OCLC Connexion).
• Experience planning and/or overseeing cataloging projects in an academic research library.
• Demonstrated ability to maintain consistent accuracy and attention to detail while maintaining a high level of productivity.
• Demonstrated ability to manage time and tasks independently and complete projects in a timely manner.
• Reading knowledge of one or more non-English languages (Latin, German, or Russian preferred).

Additional Qualifications and Skills

• Demonstrated knowledge of current trends and issues in academic libraries, higher education, and relevant subject disciplines.
• Demonstrated knowledge of descriptive bibliography.
• Demonstrated high level of productivity and goal achievement.
• Demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging and anti-racism.
• Demonstrated ability to manage time and tasks independently and complete projects in a timely manner.
• Familiarity with linked data models such as BIBFRAME.
• Ability to identify basic preservation and conservation issues related to printed materials.
• Ability to manage a broad variety of tasks in response to shifting priorities and changing constraints.
• Ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a team environment and to interact effectively with a broad variety of personnel within and outside of the department.

Physical Requirements

• This position requires lifting and moving of materials weighing up to 40 pounds and pushing heavily loaded book trucks.
• Work is performed in an area with library materials that may contain allergens or irritants such as paper dust and/or mold.

Working Conditions

• This is an on-site position.
• The person in this role will primarily work Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Across the Harvard Library, our work is enriched by our diverse campus community. Our unique and wide-ranging abilities, experiences, and perspectives are integral to achieving Harvard University’s mission of excellence in research, teaching, and learning for our patrons, our collections, and our workplace. We believe that an inclusive environment that cultivates and promotes understanding, respect, and collaboration across our diverse workforce enables our success.

We invite individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and abilities to be a part of our community of over 700 staff members. Our work with faculty, students and researchers to explore answers to intellectual questions, enduring and new, and to seek solutions to the world’s most consequential problems, requires that we not only reflect, but also champion our diverse society.

Harvard Library inspires collaboration, reflection, experimentation, and discovery connecting users to related disciplines and to University-wide teaching resources. The Library engages users through curated discovery, digital collections, reimagined physical space, and specialized research support. Today, Harvard Library’s holdings range from traditional print collections to rapidly expanding access to digital resources. Harvard Library provides the University’s faculty, students, and researchers-now and in the future-with exceptional experiences and comprehensive access to these materials.

Learn more about our contributions to the academic enterprise by visiting this web-site  and about the Harvard University community at this web-site.

The Harvard Library is a proud member of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Diversity Alliance.

Job Function

Sub Unit

USA – MA – Cambridge

Houghton Library

Time Status

00 – Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Pre-Employment Screening
Criminal, Education, Identity


• Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.

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.

Apply via this link