Chair – Archives and Special Collections – University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries

at University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries (view profile)
Published February 22, 2023
Location Lincoln, Nebraska
Category Academic  
Job Type Full-time  
Cover Letter Requirements Required
Education Requirements MLIS or equivalent
Minimum Compensation in Local Currency 84000
Maximum Compensation in Local Currency 109000
Hourly or Salary? Salary


The University of Nebraska has expressly engaged Jack Farrell & Associates ( to find the winning candidate for this position. Interested candidates should provide a CV and cover letter by email to Jack Farrell (jack Thank you.




The University Libraries at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) seeks a Chair of Archives & Special Collections to provide visionary leadership and organizational direction for the Libraries programs and initiatives around university archives and special collections. The chair manages people and resources across a diverse set of activities, collaborating inside and outside of the Libraries on activities such as teaching and conducting research with primary source materials; building, preserving, and making accessible a strong collection representing the history of the University and in key areas such as Great Plains literary and cultural history; partnering in the continued development of a robust digital collections and archives program; leading growth in community-engaged, non-extractive archiving and post-custodial approaches to stewardship; and pursuing broad equity and information justice goals consistent with Libraries strategic plans.

The Chair of Archives & Special Collections joins the UNL Libraries at a time of change and renewal and will be engaged in the implementation of the Libraries’ strategic plan across its objectives. Department heads in the UNL Libraries are expected to practice a range of leadership and management approaches and to pursue departmental planning and development through inclusive, multi-directional approaches and processes. The Libraries is committed to providing financial and other support for faculty professional development and travel.


  • Facilitates the development of an inclusive and collaborative culture within the department.
  • Manages the department, including strategy, planning, policy, personnel, and assessment matters.
  • Ensures departmental efforts to advance antiracism and inclusive excellence.
  • Supervises directly the work of 6-8 full-time staff and faculty. Mentors pre-tenure faculty and faculty not yet fully promoted to help them through promotion and tenure.
  • Collaborates with the Chair of Acquisitions, Cataloging, Metadata, e-Resources on strategies for preservation and description, and cataloging of rare and unique collections.
  • Actively partners with the Digital Strategies department, including the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, on digital scholarship activities.
  • Collaborates with the Dean, the University of Nebraska Foundation, and others on fundraising and donor relations activities.
  • Engages in university-wide conversations, committees, and other forums relevant to areas of leadership and responsibility and as a representative of the Libraries’ distinctive role.
  • Participates actively in the profession relevant to areas of leadership and responsibility.


The chair reports to the Dean of Libraries and serves as part of the senior administrative team of the University Libraries by participating collaboratively in planning and management and as a member of the Dean’s Cabinet and Leadership Council. Librarians in the University Libraries have faculty status; the successful candidate will be hired at the rank of Associate Professor or Professor (tenured). The administrative responsibilities of the chair are expected to be no more than 60% FTE. The individual’s remaining FTE will be in other assigned areas of responsibility, research, and/or service, as determined by the needs of the organization and in consultation with the successful candidate.

Required Qualifications

  • ALA-accredited master’s degree in library science or equivalent terminal degree in an appropriate area.
  • Demonstrated expertise in archival theory and practice achieved through formal training and/or experience in the field.
  • At least seven (7) years of experience in an academic library, archives, or related institution and scholarly contributions consistent with anticipated rank at the time of appointment.
  • Supervisory experience at any level.
  • Demonstrated commitment to and support for a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Familiarity with approaches to digital preservation and processing and long-term curation of digitized and born-digital materials.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience leading or participating in community-engaged activities, such as community archiving initiatives, public history projects, or truth and reckoning initiatives.
  • Experience in successfully applying for external grants.
  • Experience in donor relations.


Salary is competitive. Faculty are eligible for annual merit raises, with raises also at times of promotion in rank. All faculty in the UNL Libraries currently receive professional development funding of $1,500 per fiscal year, with the opportunity to request additional financial support.


The University of Nebraska-Lincoln provides generous relocation support, including options that do not require new employees to pay expenses out of pocket.


The University of Nebraska offers an extensive benefits package that includes health, life, disability, and long-term care insurance; retirement accounts; tuition remission for employees, their spouses, and dependent children; and reimbursement accounts for health care and dependent daycare. Leave policies are designed to help employees deal with personal or family events or crises. Please refer to the University of Nebraska Benefits site for information.


To Apply
To apply for this position, submit your cover letter and C.V. to Jack Farrell (
In your cover letter, please be sure to directly address all minimum required qualifications. We are open to a broad range of ways and contexts in which candidates might demonstrate how they meet these qualifications. For example, while candidates might document their demonstrated commitment, experience, and knowledge through work activities—including in positions outside of libraries—they might also speak to coursework, community service, participation in cultural or other organizations, and involvement with student groups, among other possibilities. Cover letters must also include a description from the applicant that speaks to how their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion could be integrated into this position. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, with a preference for applications received by March 20, 2023.


About Lincoln and the University of Nebraska.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln seeks to attract and retain a high-performing and diverse workforce in which employees’ differences are respected and valued to better meet the varying needs of the diverse populations we serve. The university fosters a diverse and inclusive work environment that promotes collaboration so that all individuals are able to participate and contribute to their full potential.


Lincoln, Nebraska, is a city of nearly 300,000 people and the state capital, where residents enjoy a low cost of living, high-quality public schools, and more parkland per capita than most U.S. cities. See


As an EO/AA employer, the University of Nebraska considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation. See




NOTE: The University of Nebraska has expressly engaged Jack Farrell & Associates ( to find the winning candidate for this position. Interested candidates should provide a CV and cover letter by email to Jack Farrell (jack Thank you.   JO 202209151