Head of Archives and Special Collections

Head of Archives and Special Collections

Reporting to the Director of Collections, the Head of Archives & Special Collections is responsible for administering, planning, organizing, and managing the Hillwood Archives and Special Collections Library. This includes implementing and guiding the department’s institutional strategic initiatives; performing collection development duties; managing budgets, databases and content management systems; and overseeing the digitization and preservation programs.

This position will also be a key member of the project team for the new Collections & Research Center slated for completion at the end of 2020.  The head will work closely with other project staff including architects and subcontractors as well as plan and implement the collections move.

Key Job Elements:

  • Oversee the daily operations of the Archives, Special Collections Library and Digital Assets Program.
  • Plan, develop, and implement archives and library services and programming according to museum goals, user feedback, and statistical data.
  • Collaborate with relevant staff to implement and guide the department’s ongoing institutional strategic initiatives while also strategizing to create and seek out new initiatives. 
  • Manage, coach, and train staff to implement their work at the highest levels of best practices.
  • Design, plan and manage digitization projects of library and archives materials.
  • Oversee collection development and special collections selection.
  • Plan for preservation and conservation of archival and library materials in analog and digital formats utilizing accepted preservation methods while ensuring the proper care, handling, storage and treatment of materials.
  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with the library and archives community in Washington, DC, art libraries and archives nationwide, and potential donors.
  • Promote Hillwood by participating in local and national professional societies through membership, active participation in professional associations creating panels, researching and delivering papers.
  • Create and participate in exhibitions based upon library, archival materials and/or works on paper.
  • Coordinate lending of library and/or archival materials for exhibition to outside institutions.
  • Support on-site patrons and fellows through reference and research services, as well as perform various research projects as needed.
  • Coordinate with conservation and facilities departments to maintain the highest standards of collections care.
  • Promote library to staff and volunteers.
  • Perform other duties as required.


Organizational Relationships:

  • Reports to the Director of Collections
  • Manages and supervises one full-time staff, 1 part-time staff, volunteers and interns
  • Cultivates and interacts with a diverse range of staff including senior managers, curators, horticulturists, the exhibitions department, registrar, photographers, research staff, technologists, librarians, archivist, and external partners.


  • MLS from an ALA-accredited library school or the equivalent combination of education.  Specialization in archives and records management preferred
  • Five (5) or more years’ experience of progressively responsible experience in a library, archives or museum
  • Foreign language skills (French, Russian or German) are desirable but not required
  • Knowledge of and ability to utilize integrated library, archives and digital asset management systems (Koha, ArchivesSpace, Preservica, and NetX preferred).
  • Knowledge of computer standards and applications in archives and libraries including MARC, RDA, EAD, Dublin Core, DACS and digital imaging
  • Supervisory experience, including professional staff, volunteers and interns.
  • Experience with departmental budget preparation.
  • Must be highly organized with strong attention to detail; attention to accuracy and detail is essential.
  • Ability to work as both independently and as part of a team.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong research and reference skills.
  • Knowledge of international publishing and book trades: American, European, and Slavic imprint and out-of-print.
  • Strong understanding of copyright and fair use.
  • Ability to cultivate relationships with established and new vendors and dealers.
  • Excellent technical and interpersonal skills, including the ability to foster a collegial work environment that encourages change and innovation.
  • Lift up to 40 pounds unassisted.


To apply:

  • We are a progressive, equal opportunity employer and all candidates are encouraged to apply.  Generous benefits, paid vacation and holiday programs. So, come work “Where Fabulous Lives!”  

    For prompt consideration, send a cover letter explaining your interest in working at Hillwood and noting an expected salary range, plus your resume to:  Staffing-Col@hillwoodmuseum.org. Head of Archives and Special Collections should be placed in the subject line.