Stephen E. and Evalyn Edwards Milman Director

at Cornell University (view profile)
Published January 31, 2024
Location Ithaca, NY
Category Academic  
Job Type Full-time  
Apply Here
Cover Letter Requirements Required
Minimum Compensation in Local Currency 105000
Maximum Compensation in Local Currency 140000
Hourly or Salary? Salary
Pay Grade Academic archivist/librarian


The Cornell University Library Rare and Manuscript Collections (RMC) is accepting applications for the Stephen E. and Evalyn Edwards Milman Director.

Reporting to the Associate University Librarian (AUL) for Special Collections, the Director provides leadership for Cornell’s Rare and Manuscript Collections. The Director collaborates with the AUL for Special Collections and Library leaders to establish a vision for RMC’s engagement within the Library, across Cornell, and for the public good. The Director ensures engagement with and through collections and services. Under the Director, RMC is a highly collaborative partner with Library colleagues, faculty and students at Cornell, and researchers, alumni, and others in Ithaca and beyond.

The Director oversees acquisition and stewardship of collections, professional development of personnel, financial resources, and RMC’s contributions to activities of the Library. The Director guides activities that provide access to holdings and the expertise of personnel, optimally balancing priorities. The Director will enhance high-quality services for access and discovery, instruction, outreach, exhibitions and programs, in collaboration with colleagues in RMC and across the Library, with on-going review and assessment. These responsibilities include expanding access to collections for research and teaching, addressing backlogs and the remediation of metadata, and grappling with the challenges and opportunities that artificial intelligence presents in special collections and higher education.

The Director will establish a vision and work culture that enables employees, collections, and services to evolve with automated technologies while emphasizing the humanity central to a productive workplace, cultural heritage activities, and user experiences. The Director fosters a collaborative and nimble work environment in which talented staff of all ranks and job types are mentored and can develop professionally. The Director makes professional contributions to archives and librarianship that enhance the stature of Cornell University Library and models long-term commitment to diversifying the collections, personnel, and services of academic and research libraries.

The Director works with and as directed by the Director of Library Development, Director of Library Communications, and other Library administrators to assist in cultivating external support, steward donors, and promote Library collections and services, such as digital scholarship and the Cornell University Press.

Required Qualifications: 

  • Minimum of 5 years of successful professional experience in special collections, archives, or research center with historical or permanent collections.
  • Minimum of 3 years of successful managerial experience within an academic or research library, with evidence of progressive responsibility for leadership, administration and supervision.
  • Graduate degree in a relevant discipline such as library and information science, archival studies, or a relevant subject discipline and training in special collections or archival practices, with a record of continuous learning.
  • Knowledge of cultural heritage standards, ethical stewardship, and key issues and trends in academic libraries and research universities.
  • Commitment to fostering a diverse educational environment and workplace, and an ability to work effectively with a diverse faculty and student population.

Additionally, we would prefer:

  • Demonstrated experience with instruction, outreach, or engaged collection programs.
  • A strong professional reputation relevant to leadership of special collections, measured by service to the profession, scholarship, or awards received.
  • Track record of successful funds management and/or collaborative success in fundraising.
  • Demonstrated experience collaborating with leadership in strategic planning, setting and achieving organizational priorities, and creatively solving complex problems.

This position is located in Ithaca, New York. The selected candidate will work on the Ithaca campus at least 4 days per week, with potential for entering into a flexible work arrangement to allow remote work 1 day per week. The university reserves the right to modify, suspend, revoke or terminate the hybrid work arrangement at any time.

Diversity and Inclusion:  As a university founded to be a place where “…any person can find instruction in any study,” diversity and inclusion are at the core of our values and mission. We strive to be a welcoming, caring, healthy, and equitable community where students, faculty, and staff with different backgrounds, perspectives, abilities, and experiences can learn, innovate, and work in an environment of respect, and feel empowered to engage in any community conversation. As a member of the Cornell University community, it is important to recognize our shared responsibility to each other to cultivate a culture of inclusion for all.  Cornell Core values

Benefits:  Our comprehensive benefits package includes 22 vacation days, 13 paid holidays, health insurance, life insurance, university retirement contributions, childcare and adoption assistance, and child tuition reimbursement. Funding is available to support professional training and research. More information regarding Cornell’s generous endowed employee benefits can be found here. This appointment will be made either in the archivist or the librarian track, with a minimum rank of associate archivist or associate librarian. The anticipated salary range is $105,000 - $140,000.

Background: Rare and Manuscript Collections (RMC) is Cornell’s principal repository of rare books, manuscripts, and archival materials. RMC holds more than 500,000 printed volumes and 80 million manuscripts, and another million photographs, paintings, prints, and other visual media. Among these are particularly strong collections of early photography, the history of science, human sexuality, witchcraft, the French Revolution, the Civil War and the abolitionist movement, Dante and Petrarch, Icelandic history and literature, musical movements such as Hip Hop and punk, and the University Archives, which works closely with the University Records Manager. RMC’s collections are outstanding and growing. RMC collaborates closely with Library selectors in developing and managing special collections related to African, Asian, environmental, and labor and management history, and with colleagues across the Library to advance management of and access to RMC holdings.

RMC ensures that its collections are accessible and relevant to Cornell’s mission through activities such as expert instruction, a robust digital presence, and outreach to faculty, students, external researchers and communities. The Library is committed to redressing underrepresentation in collections and services, as well as furthering equity and inclusion in its practices. These values are embedded in day-to-day activities from acquisition and description to exhibitions and stakeholder engagement.

The Director shapes RMC’s culture and aligns activities and practices with emerging trends, in support of Cornell’s mission of research, teaching, and community engagement. At Cornell University Library, a One Library approach ensures equity and coordination across diverse academic library functions.

Our Vision: Empowering Cornell’s research and learning community with deep expertise, innovative services, and outstanding collections strengthened by strategic partnerships.

Our Mission: Cornell University Library promotes a culture of broad inquiry and supports the University’s mission to discover, preserve, and disseminate knowledge and creative expression. It engages with the ongoing transformations of society to deliver world-class physical and digital content and services critical to research, education, and outreach, now and in the future. The Library acts globally, supporting Cornell’s land grant mission in New York State and beyond, and builds partnerships within and outside the university. It invests in its staff, collections, and physical and virtual libraries. And, it serves as a neutral and trusted party supporting information access and scholarly communication.

Relocation assistance may be provided.  

Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.

How to Apply:  All candidates must apply online via the Cornell Careers site: See job requisition ID WDR-00042863. For full consideration, please include the following with your application:

  1. A cover letter;
  2. A Curriculum Vitae;
  3. A statement supporting diverse communities which may be incorporated into the cover letter or presented as a separate statement. Candidates are invited to outline their experiences and approaches to working with diverse communities through their research, teaching and service. Guidelines for candidates are here.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until a viable pool of applicants is identified; early submission is strongly encouraged. Although we prefer to receive your application as one, multi-page pdf document, we will accept multiple documents in other formats.