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Assistant Librarian, Rare Books and Manuscripts (Maternity Cover)

Please Note: The application deadline for this job has now passed.

Role Introduction

We are seeking an enthusiastic and committed individual with experience of working with special collections, strong communication skills and a flexible approach to join our small, busy team.

Eton College Library, established in the 1440s, houses over 150,000 rare books and manuscripts, which range in date from the 9th to the 21st century.  The collection is used by researchers and for teaching Etonians and groups from other schools. Regularly changing library exhibitions are open to visitors.

The Assistant Librarian’s responsibilities include cataloguing, collection management and user services, and contributing to the library’s engagement and education programmes.

A relevant postgraduate qualification (or equivalent experience) and experience of cataloguing rare books are required. Experience of customer service and of interpreting collection materials through engagement projects would be an advantage.

Interviews are expected to be held week commencing 27th July 2021 and/or 2nd August 2021.

Main Duties

Cataloguing and collection management

  • Cataloguing 16th-21st-century materials to MARC21, AACR2, DCRM(B) and LCSH standards, including editing and enhancing existing records;  cataloguing other library materials as appropriate
  • Contributing to rationalisation and review of storage arrangements and rehousing of library materials in storage areas
  • Identifying and prioritising conservation/preservation needs, in consultation with other library staff and the Collections Care Conservator

  Public services 

  • Shared responsibility for reader services and enquiry service
  • Shared responsibility for covering the main library office regularly as part of a rota (acting as first point of contact for visitors and telephone enquiries)
  • Supporting teaching and visits including special events such as the College’s St Andrew’s Day and Fourth of June open days
  • Contributing to displays and exhibitions
  • Supporting digitisation projects
  • Contributing content to Collections social media and publications (web and print)
  • To undertake any other duties as may reasonably be required of you in the post
  • Commitment to equality, diversity & inclusion
  • Commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children

The Ideal Candidate


  • A librarianship qualification or relevant practical experience
  • Knowledge of MARC21, AACR2, DCRM(B) and LCSH cataloguing standards
  • Experience of library cataloguing of special collections materials
  • Good IT skills, including basic to intermediate ability in Microsoft Office suite
  • Ability to work efficiently and accurately and to complete tasks by set deadlines
  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to skim and understand an extensive and varied range of material
  • Demonstrable interest in at least one of the collections’ areas of strength


  • Understanding of preservation and conservation management in libraries
  • Experience of using rare books and/or manuscripts in exhibitions and/or engagement or outreach projects
  • Familiarity with CollectionsIndex+ (training will be given)
  • Customer service experience

Personal Qualities

  • Ability to work successfully both independently and within a team
  • Commitment to continued professional development
  • Imaginative, enthusiastic, flexible, adaptable and efficient
  • Commitment to promoting the collection in a variety of contexts


Eton College offers a wide range of benefits, including an 11% employer contribution to your pension (with 4.9% employee contribution), Employee Assistance Programme, enhanced Maternity / Paternity scheme, free eyecare vouchers, a cycle to work scheme, subsidised lunches during term time, free access to the College’s sport and leisure facilities and discounts at local retailers and businesses.

About the College

Eton College is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, and applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening appropriate to the post, including checks with past employers and an Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service.

We are committed to creating and sustaining an environment that values and celebrates the diversity of both staff and pupils. We believe in equal opportunity for everyone, irrespective of age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or socio-economic background.

**Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the recruitment process for these roles may take longer than usual. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.**

Eton College

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