Director, Visual Resources Collection, Princeton University

Princeton University, Department of Art and Archaeology, February 01, 2020
Application deadline: Dec 16, 2019

Director, Visual Resources (Position Number 00002780)
Reports to: Department Chair and Department Manager, Department of Art and Archaeology

The Princeton University Department of Art and Archaeology is searching for a Director of its Visual Resources Collection. The position is posted on the university’s HR Jobs site:

Applicants should submit their materials (resume and cover letter) here:


The Department of Art and Archaeology of Princeton University seeks innovative, forward-thinking candidates for the position of Director of Visual Resources. The Visual Resources Collection (hereafter, VRC), is undergoing a transformation both in the services it provides and in the space it occupies (building renovation is due to begin in mid 2021). The expected evolution of the VRC unit presents an opportunity for a highly motivated individual to work with its staff, the faculty, and our students to shape the future of classroom and research support services in the department over the long term.

The new Director will provide leadership, management, policy, and strategic direction in support of the curriculum and research of the department. This individual will also oversee the management, preservation, and access of the unique departmental archival collections. Candidates should be knowledgeable of key trends in academic technology and digital collection development, management, and access, with a particular focus on visual media. A solid understanding of archival theory, practice, procedures, and professional standards is also necessary.


The Director of the VRC is responsible for managing a range of professional services, including the provision of visual materials, in support of department curriculum and research, as well as the maintenance of the department’s archives. The Director oversees, currently, a staff of four. The Director reports to the Department Chair, and with respect to financial and personnel matters, to the Department Manager, and works in consultation with the faculty’s Visual Resources Committee.

The Director is responsible for the assessment of the faculty’s image needs for teaching as well as for research, and their fulfillment, which involves researching and acquiring new images, cataloging images, enhancing the cataloging system, building and maintaining databases, and overseeing access and discovery. The Director will have an in-depth knowledge of the digital media landscape including, but not limited to, repository systems, database structure, copyright, open access, and digital preservation.

The Director works on all aspects of making images and archival material available including uploading to and supporting users of multiple software applications (the primary currently being Artstor and Omeka). The Director provides instruction in image use at all levels from faculty to undergraduate students and promotes competence in visual literacy and digital image creation, not only for the department, but potentially campus-wide. The Director serves on the University Copyright Committee and as a resource to the department on copyright, fair use, publication of images and their proper citation. The Director advocates for the use of the collection on campus and beyond, working with faculty and students to develop new projects that integrate technological approaches with disciplinary practices.

The Director partners with IT specialists, librarians, museum registrars, and other colleagues in university programs in order to enhance research and teaching within the department.


45% of time. Service

To supervise the use of the collections, both analog and digital; inform and instruct on new developments in digital collections, repositories, and imaging software with a focus on visual media; advocate for the VR and its collections to campus entities and develop and participate in outreach and engagement programs.

To maintain and preserve the collections; curate the departmental archival holdings; plan and conduct presentations, demonstrations, or workshops as well as in-depth consultations for graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, or campus stakeholders on any topic related to use of digital images in teaching and research. The Director is responsible for the public- facing aspects of the collection including the websites of the department archival collection, image collection, and the VR. Provide reference service including general orientation, finding specific materials, information on copyright for classroom use and for publication, and ways of obtaining visual material.

25% of time. Technology and Database

Consult with and support faculty, staff, and students on a variety of metadata and information organization and access needs. Maintain knowledge of trends in digital libraries and tools for research and teaching including software for citation management and personal image management. Follow developments in new platforms and strategies in the digital humanities with a particular focus on digital art history. Devise, implement, and oversee digitization and access of archival material and supervise its dissemination to scholars, on campus and beyond. Develop and maintain the current database and successor software used for cataloging, record keeping, authority maintenance, reference assistance, and the training of staff, faculty, students (and, when appropriate, all members of the university community) in the use of these database systems. Participate in the adoption and implementation of new digital systems and services; assist in development of strategic long- range plans for producing, managing, storing, preserving, and delivering digital image resources. Assist with image database administration, and the migration of data between systems and software. Monitor quality and correctness of digital collections.

10% of time. General Administrative (Personnel, budget, planning, facilities)

Responsible for administration of VRC’s budget, personnel and facilities. Supervises full- time staff as well as casual and student employees. Monitors budgets. In concert with the faculty’s Visual Resources Committee, establishes policy for collection. Supervises facility and plans for renovations and re-arrangements of facilities. Preparation of proposals, statistics, policies, departmental memos, publications, surveys, and reports.

10% of time. Collection development

Research image acquisitions in consultation with the faculty and independently. Negotiate acquisition terms. Research and locate image sources from print materials and commercial image vendors. Monitor quality of digital images and find replacement images when needed to improve quality. Check new requests against holdings to avoid duplication. Negotiate license terms with vendors. Participate in professional activities including participation in digital library and visual resources organizations. Participate in professional development on and off campus.

10% of time. Outreach

Work with department and campus units and initiatives (including Support for Computing in Academic Department, the University’s Education Technology Center and its Office of Information Technology, The Princeton University Art Museum, Firestone Library, the University’s Copyright Advisory Committee, etc.) to promote collaboration and enhance access to those collections and technologies under the care of the VRC. Pursue funding opportunities with grant proposals for continuing and/or future VRC projects where relevant.


MS Office suite MS Access Apple iOS OpenRefine
ARTstor, JStor Forum (formerly Shared Shelf)
Adobe Suite (particularly Photoshop, Bridge, InDesign) and other image editing software (GIMP)
Slide, overhead, and flatbed scanners (best practices) University financial and administrative systems
CMS software in higher education: Blackboard, Drupal, Wordpress, Omeka, Google Drive (Suite), and Dropbox
Citation management systems (Zotero, Endnote)
Photo management software (Photos, Lightroom, Bridge, Tropy)


Manage University money? Yes
Determine means, methods and materials for performing work in department? Yes
Plan work in department? Yes


Work experience
- Supervisory experience in a similar Visual Resources Collection or Library or related facility

- BA in Art History, Architecture, Visual Media or equivalent with significant Art History background
- Masters degree in Library and Information Science or equivalent multi-year experience in management in the library or cultural heritage sector

Specialized training or certification
- Knowledge of cataloging standards and practices (VRA Core, CCO, Dublin Core)
- Knowledge of digital repository and digital asset management products and architecture
- Knowledge of (and experience with) databases, linked open data and semantic web technologies
- Advanced research skills using print and electronic resources
- Knowledge of technologies used in digital imaging and ability to evaluate analog and digital image quality
- Knowledge of archival standards (DACS, EAD)
- Knowledge archival best practices in arrangement, description, storage, access, and preservation
- Knowledge of basic programming languages (PHP, Python) and web development structure (HTML, CSS, etc)
- Reading ability of at least one European language, knowledge of the history of art, and familiarity with literature in the field

Additional requirements
- Familiarity with current library management practices, procedures, and emerging technology
- Excellent communication, organization, interpersonal, supervisory and managerial skills
- Attention to detail and accuracy
- Strong project planning and time management skills
- Commitment to the advancement of exceptional scholarship
- Familiarity with data curation and data cleaning tools and practices
- Ability to take initiative, solve problems and prioritize work effectively
- Demonstrated ability to work flexibly, independently and collaboratively with colleagues, faculty and students in a rapidly changing service-oriented environment
- Ability to foster an inclusive and productive workplace environment
- Interest in professional development activities, including research and participation in professional organizations.

- Masters degree in Art History

JOB: Director, Visual Resources Collection, Princeton University. In:, Dec 3, 2019 (accessed Jul 5, 2020), <>.

Contributor: Maureen Killeen

Contribution published: Dec 3, 2019

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