Director of Special Collections



Hope College is seeking the next Mary Riepma Ross Director of Special Collections, an endowed, 11 month non-tenure track faculty position within the library.  Reporting to the Dean of Libraries, this position is responsible for the management of physical and financial resources, planning and implementation of programming and policies, teaching, community outreach and security of archival and rare book collections. The Archivist ensures that the collections represent the broadest possible spectrum of viewpoints and human experience in accordance with Hope’s commitment to equity and inclusion. 

Special Collections at Hope College include the Joint Archives of Holland, and the Van Wylen Library Rare Books Collection. The Archives is housed in the Theil Research Center on Hope College’s campus. It serves as a regional center for local history research, specializing in Hope College, the history of the Dutch in America and the Holland, Michigan, area.  The Archives has a strong record of mentoring undergraduate research and writing. The collections include works and writings from Hope College students and faculty, records from administrative offices, photographs, recordings, and videos documenting the history of the College from 1866 to present, the community of Holland, and Reformed Church in America missionaries. It currently shares the building with the Van Raalte Institute. ArchiveSpace was implemented in 2021 and many of the digitized materials are held in Digital Commons and in Artstor Public Collections, two online repositories. As a member of the library staff, this position works closely with nine faculty librarians and serves on the Library Leadership Team. 

The Rare Books Collection at Van Wylen LIbrary, contains many rare Bibles, and volumes related to art, religion, Dutch history, Asian history and the history of science and aspires to be illustrative of the history of books and print culture.


  • Responsible for all aspects of the Archives’ development, including implementing the program, mission statement and collections policy, and representing the Joint Archives in the community. 

  • Provide reference and research assistance to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and outside researchers using archives and rare book materials.

  • Provide course-integrated instruction to college classes and collaborate with faculty on the integration of special collections into the college curriculum.

  • Develop processing priorities for the archival collections of Hope College and Western Theological Seminary and oversee their principle processing and management.

  • Work with potential and past donors to collect archival materials and evaluate potential gifts of rare books. 

  • Provide access to archival collections through archival management software.

  • Work closely with other librarians to preserve original materials, digitize and provide access to digitized content.

  • Hire, train, and supervise staff, student assistants and volunteers.

  • Write or identify writers for Joint Archives publications, design and implement archival material displays, civic and educational presentations.

  • Work with Hope College academic departments to collect and preserve college records.  

  • Maintain an active program of professional development and scholarship through participation in seminars, workshops and conferences.




  • ALA-accredited MILS/MLS with a specialized archival training component. 

  • Three years of experience in an academic library and a combination of experience or course work with archival processing, cataloging, electronic records, digitization, teaching or reference services. 

  • Excellent oral and written communications skills, demonstrated ability to work as a part of a team

  • Ability to understand diverse perspectives and acknowledge the significance of differences and complexities in background, cultures, values and viewpoints as the foundation for an inclusive environment

  • An understanding of and commitment to the undergraduate liberal arts college, the Mission of Hope College, and the historic Christian faith.


  • Demonstrated knowledge of computer applications including digital audio and visual software tools and current archival software systems. 

  • Demonstrated history of supervisory experience and strong interest in supervising or mentoring others.

Hope College
Holland, MI
Application Deadline: 
November 1, 2021
More Information: 
Application Instructions

As part of the online application candidates will upload a cover letter, curriculum vitae, transcripts (unofficial transcripts accepted for the initial application). Applicants will also submit a statement describing their fit to the mission of Hope College ( As it may not be addressed elsewhere in the application, applicants should devote particular attention to the ecumenical Christian aspect of the mission statement and their personal engagement with faith and/or a faith community.

Also included in the application will be a section to add the names and email addresses for three references. References will be contacted for a top subset of candidates at a later date. The references will be provided a link to upload a letter of recommendation.

Applications received by Nov 1, 2021, will be assured of receiving full consideration.

Submit application to: