Curator and Head of the Maps Collection Librarian

General Summary:

The University of Chicago Library empowers users with deep and rich collections, extensive expertise, innovative programs, and diverse spaces. We are committed to cultivating an inclusive community, enhancing access to scholarly resources, advancing digital scholarship, engaging locally and globally, and excelling in a changing environment. 

Reporting to the Director of Science & Social Science, the Maps Curator and Head of the Map Collection develops, interprets, promotes, preserves, and manages the Map Collection located in Regenstein Library, and will work to identify and steward the spatial and cartographic material throughout the library. The Map Curator will facilitate activating the collection for research and pedagogy, connecting with new populations of scholars and new methods for sharing the extensive collection that has been built over time.  One of the largest university map libraries in North America, with 475,000 maps, 10,000 aerial photos, 2000 books, and hundreds of gigabytes of spatial data, the Map Collection is a significant and diverse source of information for faculty, students, staff and visiting researchers. Historically, the systematic and well-funded purchases of topographic, urban, and thematic maps of the Collection’s first decade were complemented by the acquisition of the Levasseur collection from the John Crerar Library. This collection, assembled by French geographer Émile Levasseur (1828-1911), includes numerous 19th-century scholarly maps, and is a great example of the early digitization work of the Map Library, which has continued to this day as seen in the collaborative NEH-funded Mapping Chicagoland project.

The Curator manages the Map Collection and the Map Room, supervising and working closely with a Map Collection Assistant. The Curator is responsible for developing the growing cartographic, geography and geospatial data collection, and acting as liaison to the Committee on Environment, Geography and Urbanization (CEGU). Technical Services provides metadata for cartographic resources and preservation of the physical collection is provided through a partnership with Conservation. The Curator will develop and sustain new ways to access the collection, from scanning maps for interlibrary loan to contributing to local and national digitization efforts.  

A central and exciting focus for the Maps Curator will be to create programs and services that truly activate the collection for scholarship. This includes reference, consultation, and instruction to support the use of cartographic material by faculty, students, and staff across campus in all disciplines, including instruction in digital map collections and developing online resources to aid users. Another focus will be to understand the breadth and depth of our cartographic material in special collections and to activate those materials similarly. 

The Curator works collaboratively with Library colleagues and with other campus experts, engaging in conversation around improving digital access to cartographic resources, creating spatial data infrastructure, and planning for preservation of digital cartographic assets. Related, they will work collaboratively with the GIS Librarian to understand the linkages between that program and the Map Collection, and they will contribute to the Big Ten Academic Alliance Geospatial Information Network.

The Library seeks candidates who demonstrate an ongoing commitment to an inclusive welcoming culture and workplace that ensures and enriches an understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The successful candidate will be committed to creating services and collections that reflect and uphold these critical values. 

The Search Committee will evaluate candidates’ ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing, their ability to perform complex problem solving and decision making, ability to plan, prioritize, coordinate, and implement projects, as well as their commitment to DEI and professional development. The committee will evaluate their knowledge of and experience with cartographic materials, experience in public service, and teaching environments.  


  • Manages daily operations of the Map Collection, including the supervision of one-full time employee 
  • Creates programs and services that are responsive to curricular and community needs, and actively seeks to expand programming
  • Curates the Map Collection, including collecting books and other materials in geography
  • The Curator may assume an additional subject area(s) depending on their area of expertise, such as anthropology, earth sciences or environmental sciences
  • Engages with colleagues in the Library, across the University and beyond campus, i.e. Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) and Ivy Plus in dialogue, initiatives and outreach
  • Provides instruction sessions at faculty request and upon identified point of need
  • Works with the Library’s subject specialists to increase knowledge across campus of the services offered by the Map Collection and works collaboratively to support curricular requests holistically
  • Creates and participates in the creation of exhibits that make use of the Map Collection
  • Collaborates with the GIS Librarian to promote use of Map Collection materials 
  • Serves on library and university committees and task forces
  • Participates in professional and scholarly organizations  



  • ALA-accredited Master’s degree or an equivalent combination of relevant experience and advanced degree
  • Undergraduate or demonstrated equivalent subject experience in geography or a related field; demonstrated interest in and knowledge of cartographic history, methods, and scholarship
  • Minimum of 3 years library (or equivalent) experience with geospatial research and teaching
  • Demonstrated experience creating and assessing programs and services for an academic audience


  • Experience with best practices and technologies for creating digital maps and facilitating digital scholarship
  • Experience supervising staff/student employees
  • Knowledge of one or more GIS platforms (QGIS, ArcGIS)

Application Instructions

To Apply: Submit cover letter, curriculum vitae, and reference contact information online through the University of Chicago's Academic Recruiting website: Review of applications will begin after December 16, 2023. Screening of applications will continue until the position is filled or the search is closed. 

Salary and Benefits: Appointment salary based on qualifications and experience. Benefits include retirement plan, insurance, and paid time off. 

Questions: Contact Library Human Resources,

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All University departments and institutes are charged with building a faculty from a diversity of backgrounds and with diverse viewpoints; with cultivating an inclusive community that values freedom of expression; and with welcoming and supporting all their members.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages diverse perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange. The University’s Statements on Diversity are at

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, military or veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-834-3988 or email with their request.