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Library Curator, Rare Books and Manuscripts (Maternity Cover)

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

Role Introduction

Eton College is seeking an enthusiastic and committed librarian 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 pupils at Eton and groups from other schools. Regularly changing library exhibitions are open to visitors.

The Curator’s position will involve the management, cataloguing, promotion and interpretation of College Library’s collections, with special responsibility for early (pre-1800) collections. The Curator will also contribute to the library’s exhibition and education programmes.

This role is maternity cover.  We are hoping the successful candidate can start in March 2022 (depending on satisfactory pre-employment checks). 

We are looking to hold interviews w/c 21st February 2022.

Main Duties

  • Catalogue pre-1800 printed and manuscript material to MARC21, AACR2, DCRM and LCSH standards; catalogue other library materials as appropriate;
  • As directed by the Deputy Librarian, maintain cataloguing guidelines and documentation, and provide induction training on the cataloguing system to cataloguing staff or volunteers.  Contribute to the development of the catalogue and related software, acting as the library’s liaison with relevant union catalogues; 
  • Assist in the arrangement, rationalisation and rehousing of the library’s holdings as appropriate;
  • Contribute to the implementation and development of the library’s programme of preservation and conservation, with particular responsibility for early collections;
  • Contribute to the library’s acquisitions programme as directed (e.g. review booksellers’ and auction catalogues, correspond with potential donors, contribute to fundraising applications and make recommendations regarding materials offered);
  • Develop expertise in and contribute to interpretation and promotion of the library’s collections, with special responsibility for the early (pre-1800) collections;
  • Joint management of reading room and research services by assisting visiting scholars as directed, answering enquiries concerning library materials and contributing to developing the profile of the library within the UK and international research communities; 
  • Contribute content and generate ideas for College Library’s online presence and other communications (blog, Twitter, Collections Journal, etc.). Maintain the library’s Twitter account; 
  • Contribute to the College Collections special exhibitions programme; as and when required, act as lead curator for library exhibitions; occasionally act as a courier for Collections items lent to external exhibitions;
  • Contribute to outreach and engagement efforts relating to College Library and its holdings. Coordinate displays for and deliver talks to visiting groups; deliver informal tours to visitors, as well as to Eton students and staff; 
  • Contribute to formal and informal educational work of the library and occasionally conduct teaching sessions.  Coordinate development of digital teaching resources based on regular teaching displays;
  • Assist with special events, such as the college’s ‘Fourth of June’ and ‘St Andrew’s Day’ open days and other occasions such as ‘Masters’ Guest Night’. As directed, contribute to or coordinate displays; 
  • Liaise with external librarians and other specialists to promote the library and to relationships between Eton and other institutions; 
  • Contribute to the efficient running of the office;
  • Commitment and promotion of equality, diversity & inclusion;
  • Commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, including by not limited to, completing safeguarding training as required, and ensuring any safeguarding updates issued by the College are read and understood. All positions at Eton are classed as ‘regulated activity’ as per the Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021 guidance, therefore a good understanding of safeguarding procedures is essential;
  • Understand and comply with procedures and legislation relating to confidentiality;
  • Any other duties as may be reasonably expected and which are commensurate with the level of the post.

The Ideal Candidate

To be successful in this role, the incumbent should have:

  • Masters qualification in librarianship or information studies, or good undergraduate degree with demonstrably equivalent experience;
  • Previous experience of cataloguing rare books and manuscripts, and of electronic cataloguing;
  • Knowledge of MARC21, AACR2, DCRM(B) and LCSH cataloguing standards;
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills;
  • Excellent organisational skills;
  • Dedication to accuracy and attention to detail;
  • Initiative, adaptability and flexibility;
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, with a collaborative working style;
  • An understanding of academic and research needs.

Desirable skills and experience:

  • Working knowledge of Latin;
  • Experience in using rare books and manuscripts in exhibitions and/or outreach/engagement   projects;
  • Experience in teaching and/or public speaking;
  • Experience in promoting collections via social media.


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

We are an equal opportunities employer and are seeking applications from suitable candidates from all backgrounds. We are dedicated to creating and sustaining an environment that values individuality and difference and celebrates the diversity of both staff and pupils by fostering perseverance, tolerance and integrity. 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.



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. If you are successful in your application, you will be required to complete a DBS Disclosure Application Form.  Any information disclosed will be handled in accordance with any guidance and/or Code of Practice published by the DBS. The College is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and therefore all convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings (including those which would normally be considered as “spent” under the Act) must be declared, subject to the DBS filtering rules. It is a criminal offence for any person who is barred from working with children to attempt to apply for a position at the College.

Eton College

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