Careers at UMass Amherst

Associate Dean of Special Collections & University Archives

Apply now Job no: 519140
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Library -Admin Services
Union: Non-Unit Exempt
Categories: Library

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

Reporting to the Dean of University Libraries, the newly created role of Associate Dean of Special Collections & University Archives provides leadership, strategic vision, collection development oversight, program strategy, and budget management for the UMass Amherst Libraries Special Collections & University Archives, which includes the W. E. B. Du Bois Center and the Robert S. Cox Special Collections and University Archives Research Center (SCUA). With diverse collections comprised of manuscripts, rare books, maps, photographs, art, artifacts, audio, video, and digital materials, SCUA provide support for research, learning, and teaching at UMass Amherst and is a destination for researchers focused on the history of social change and innovation. Unique holdings include the papers of W. E. B. Du Bois, Horace Mann Bond, Kenneth R. Feinberg, Judi Chamberlin, Daniel Ellsberg, and Mark H. McCormack, as well as the records of organizations including National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends, and others. The W. E. B. Du Bois Center promotes the legacy of W. E. B. Du Bois to the campus and the wider community, through outreach and programming.

The Associate Dean for Special Collections & University Archives will bring expertise in the acquisition, development, and preservation of archival collections, a collaborative approach to institutional and extended partnerships, including expertise in advocating for heightened visibility and impact of historical collections, and dedication to the continued integration of our distinctive research collections and programming into the university’s teaching and research enterprise as well as collaborations with wider communities and cultures. The Associate Dean collaborates closely with SCUA and the W. E. B. Du Bois Center staff to build strong relationships with faculty, staff, and key stakeholders to maximize the research and learning impact of their collections and programming.

Working in partnership with the Dean of University Libraries and the Executive Director of Development, the Associate Dean will coordinate fundraising goals and priorities efforts on behalf of Special Collections and University Archives and the Du Bois Center. The Associate Dean, in collaboration with the Head of SCUA and the Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Center, will provide strategic oversight of departmental growth and resource needs to build on the successes of SCUA and the W. E. B. Du Bois Center, including collection development that supports the mission of the university; curricular and research needs; the needs of a broad community of external users; and the development of physical spaces needed for long-term preservation and access. The successful candidate will demonstrate awareness and understanding of the evolving nature of today’s research libraries and the mission implications for special collections. The position serves as a member of the Library Leadership Team, and, as such, actively and collaboratively contributes to organizational strategy, planning, resource development, and stewardship in support of the “One Library” philosophy espoused by UMass Amherst Libraries.


Essential Functions

  • Provides strategic vision and guidance in collaboration with the W. E. B. Du Bois Center and Robert S. Cox Special Collections and University Archives Research Center, which includes an overall staff of 12 FTE, 3 of which are direct reports for this position.
  • In collaboration with the Dean of Libraries and senior library leadership, lead long-range strategic planning for Libraries’ W. E. B. Du Bois Center and Robert S. Cox Special Collections and University Archives Research Center to identify opportunities for sustainable growth and engagement with campus and beyond. This includes strategically identifying, applying, and leading grants in collaboration within the libraries and across the campus and community as appropriate.
  • Work with the Dean of Libraries, the Executive Director of Library Development, and campus Advancement to identify current and new donors with potential for gifts and funding for SCUA and the Du Bois Center
  • Liaise with the fundraising team regarding gifts and stewardship, ensuring that Dean of University Libraries and Executive Director of Development are kept apprised of donor communications, agreements, and related activities.
  • Actively promote the use of SCUA and the Du Bois Center to the university community and national and international audiences. Design, develop, and collaborate on a Feasibility study with staff from the W. E. B. Du Bois Center and Robert S. Cox Special Collections and University Archives Research Center. Contribute ideas and support communications programs and initiatives, including exhibitions and related events.
  • Set strategy for creating and directing procedures and policies to govern, safeguard, and enhance the Libraries’ Special Collections, composed of archival documents, publications, maps, rare books, photographs, artwork, film and media, and artifacts dating from the 1200s to the present that serve as primary resources for students, faculty, and researchers.
  • Advise on the design and management of archival inventory, storage, preservation, and processing programs and projects.
  • Provide effective operational and financial management processes.
  • Collaborate with the Dean of University Libraries and Head of Robert S. Cox Special Collections and University Archives Research Center to prioritize collection processing and digitization.
  • Balance operational and strategic considerations and use metrics developed and endorsed by the cultural heritage professions to support decisions in alignment with library and University goals.


Other Functions

  •  Performs other related duties as assigned or required to meet department and University goals and objectives.


Organizational Values

  • Commitment to support justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) within libraries and institution.
  • Ability to build and sustain effective working relationships and work collaboratively in a diverse and fast-paced environment. 
  • Purposefully promote a One Library environment for all that encourages inclusion, personal growth, respect, self-reflection, curiosity, and continuous learning.
  • Understands responsibilities with respect to conflicts of interest and behaves in ways consistent with both law and with university policy.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • A Master’s degree in Library Science from an American Library Association accredited school or an advanced degree in a relevant subject area.
  • 7 years of progressive experience in archives, special collections libraries, museums, or similar settings.
  • 5 years demonstrated leadership and management experience.
  • Demonstrated experience with fundraising, donor stewardship, effective donor and prospective donor communications, and relationship management.
  • Knowledge of archival storage, preservation, and access measures for a variety of material types, including documents, artwork, objects, rare books, photographic and audiovisual formats.
  • Strong leadership, organizational, decision-making, and presentation skills. Ability to serve as an ambassador for special collections, its mission, and priorities.
  • Demonstrated commitment to making collections more accessible and meaningful to broader communities.
  • Ability to work effectively with all levels of management and staff.
  • Ability to foster creativity and collaboration within and across teams; ability to build and sustain positive relationships inside and outside the organization.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Ability to analyze problems and situations and plan, develop, and implement effective solutions.
  • Understanding of copyright issues in archival settings.
  • Grant writing experience.


Work Schedule

  • The regular working schedule for this position is Monday - Friday, day hours.
  • The incumbent of the position is expected to work on a flexible schedule, which includes some evening, weekend, and holiday hours.


Special Instructions to Applicants

Along with the application, please submit a resume, cover letter, and contact information of three (3) professional references.


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:

Back to search results Apply now Refer a friend

on-the-spot-interview details Upcoming On-the-Spot Interviews at UMass Amherst for Custodial, Grounds, and Landscaping On-the-Spot Interviews Details

Returning Applicant?

Login to complete your application and/or apply for more positions.


Job Alerts

We'll send you an email when a position becomes available that matches your search criteria


Human Resources

Visit Human Resources for more information on benefits, payroll, health insurance, retirement and general information about working at UMass Amherst.