Head of Archives & Special Collections

Head of Archives & Special Collections

Department:                 Collections– Archives & Special Collections

Title:                                Head of Archives & Special Collections

Status:                             Full Time; Overtime exempt

Work Schedule:

Generally comprises ten eight hour days in a two week period.  Due to the nature of the position, the standard work hours are 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and it is not eligible for non-standard work arrangements.  In addition, some evening hours or weekend days may be required.  

Travel:                             10%

Job Summary:

Reporting to the Director of Collections and Chief Curator, the Head of Archives & Special Collections creates, implements, and guides the department’s institutional strategic initiatives. Performs collection development and selects special collections materials. Manages the budgets, database and content management systems, digitization programs, preservation of analog and digital assets, and operations for the Museum’s Archives, Art Research Library, Digital Assets, Image Rights, and Special Collections.

Key Job Elements:

  • 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.
  • Oversee collection development and special collections selection.
  • Cultivate and maintain relationship with the library community in Washington, DC, art and Slavic libraries nationwide, and potential library 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 two full-time and one part-time staff
  •  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.
  • Knowledge of 18th- and 19th-century French and Russian arts, an emphasis on decorative arts preferred.
  • Working knowledge of Russian and French languages.
  • Demonstrated management experience in an art or museum library.


Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of and ability to utilize integrated library systems (Koha preferred) and digital asset management systems (Piction preferred).
  • Must have the ability to work with flexibility and versatility, quickly yet accurately, but also independently with little supervision.
  • Experience with departmental budget preparation.
  • Experience with electronic resources in the field of art, art history, and bibliography.
  • Must be highly organized with a strong attention to detail.
  • Reading and writing proficiency consistent with noted educational requirement.
  • Strong research and reference skills.
  • Knowledge of international publishing and book trades: American, European, and Slavic imprint and out-of-print.
  • 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.


Work Environment:

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of the job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The term “qualified individual with a disability” means an individual who with or without reasonable accommodation can perform the essential functions of the position.   

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to communicate professionally in person, over the telephone, through email and other electronic means, move about their work area, between buildings and the campus grounds, handle various types of media and equipment, and visually or otherwise identify, observe and assess. Parts of the position require some physical labor (i.e. moving of boxes or books during digitization).



The preceding job description indicates the general nature and essential duties and responsibilities of work performed by employees within this classification. It may not contain a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of employees to do this job.


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.