My Dream Bookish Job

So I’ll admit, I’ve already experienced a pretty awesome bookish job. When I was a sophomore in college the Rare Books Room in my undergrad library was transferred to the Archives Department, since nobody had known what to do with the Room and its collection for some time. The archivist, knowing nothing about rare books, advertised to the English department for an intern who would essentially come in and learn everything they could about the collection and about rare books in general. I responded and was one of two interns selected (I was also the good intern, as my fellow intern really didn’t care and was there as a pre-law student researching policies).

My internship became a two year paid position and though I then became involved in all parts of the department, working with various collections, the RBR remained my favorite collection to work with and I was the most knowledgeable member of the team about rare books, and our specific collection. Some of the highlights of this job was doing a reshelving project one summer during which I handled every single book in the room. I had my favorites of course, but I loved everything about that collection!

As a result, I have a lot of random knowledge about rare books, storage of books, handling delicate books, cleaning and caring for manuscripts, and whatnot for someone who is ostensibly meant to be an archaeologist with a focus on boats. Unfortunately for me, books don’t often survive shipwrecks and the few rare instances they have are usually studied in hard-to-join institutions.

If I were to have a bookish job again, that would be my dream. I would want to manage and care for a rare books room, ensuring the collection is properly stored and researched, creating databases of interesting information on the collection, and accessioning new books as they arrive. It’s a job that’s often done by people who already have a position–in our case the archivist was given this job when the library staff no longer wanted to handle it. There are degrees that focus on this sort of work, but for the most part everyone in the field I’ve spoken to was original a librarian or an archivist who found themselves in charge of a collection because nobody else knew what to do.

What would your dream bookish job be? Do you already have one? Let me know in the comments!

Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Ko-Fi

By Catherine

I'm a lover of books, coffee, wine, and bees. Happy to join the ranks of book bloggers everywhere!

3 replies on “My Dream Bookish Job”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s