Position Announcement: George L. Ohrstrom, Jr. Head Librarian, National Sporting Library & Museum

By IS Lab August 4, 2021

This post was originally published on this site.

George L. Ohrstrom, Jr. Head Librarian

The National Sporting Library & Museum (NSLM) seeks a dynamic and personable individual with rare book knowledge and/or experience to oversee the F. Ambrose Clark Rare Book Room collections, library, and archives. This position, which reports to the Executive Director, will partner with the Development, Curatorial, Education, and Marketing Departments in promoting the collections to researchers, the public, and the greater sporting community.

The individual hired will be a representative of the Library’s collections and will prioritize engagement with all its audiences in formal and informal ways. Interactions will include conducting topical presentations, and public tours, and individualized research support. The Librarian will play an integral role in development efforts in the form of private tours to current and prospective donors, targeted outreach efforts, and special events. The new hire will design and present engaging exhibitions and programs drawing on all collections with an emphasis on the variety and quality of fine examples in the NLSM’s rare book collections.

This Librarian will develop internal policies and procedures to increase the visibility of collection materials to the public. The position will also lead the Library’s efforts to maintain object security, manage the reference desk, and oversee interlibrary loans. 

The Librarian will reach out to rare books, equestrian, angling, and other field sport communities to encourage visits, promote the use of archival resources, and support scholarship which incorporates materials from the NSLM collections. In addition, a priority will be to attract broader communities. This position requires familiarity with rare books and with methods for providing digital and in-person access to those materials.

The Librarian will be expected to conduct minimal cataloging. Knowledge of cataloging standards and the ability to write bibliographically accurate descriptions of rare books, manuscripts, and related printed collectible materials for social media, membership communication, and other publications is required.

In conjunction with the Board of Directors, the Librarian will work with the Library & Book Acquisitions Committee regarding book acquisitions, public programs like lectures, the duplicate book sale, and exhibitions for the Forrest E. Mars, Sr. Exhibit Hall. The individual will work with rare book dealers and auction houses to achieve collection development goals. The position will oversee the Fellowship Program and will contribute to grant writing efforts with the development, education, and curatorial teams.


• Enjoys formal and informal public speaking and interactions.

• Interprets and shares the significance of the F. Ambrose Clark Rare Book Room collections for sporting history, rare book studies, equine studies, and related disciplines. Share these interpretations with public and private audiences. 

• Applies detailed knowledge of bibliographical references, collations and formats, and provenance research in addition to identifying antiquarian (16th -19th century) book-making techniques including types of paper, watermarks, illuminated manuscripts, leathers and vellums, bookbindings, fore-edge paintings, embroidered bindings, color-plate books, copper-plate engravings, etchings, and woodblocks.

• Prepares and oversees book repairs and restoration to be undertaken by restorers. Creates exhibits, guides, and other publications relating to rare books and archives. Manages stack maintenance and space for the F. Ambrose Clark Rare Book Room, archives, and Library collections.

• Conducts research, especially to establish provenance, publication, and exhibition history of loans or appraised property, maintaining the highest standard of completeness and accuracy.

• Enters and edits catalog text in Soutron, ensuring catalog data is accurate and recorded in a timely manner.

• Able to lift boxes of material, up to 50 pounds.

• Travel possible including auctions, book fairs, and donor relations.

• Other related duties as assigned.


• Experience working for a Rare Book Seller specializing in Antiquarian books; Special Collections department in a University Library, Research Library, or other higher Library setting. 

• Demonstrates experience specifically with early printed books.

• Proficiency in French, German, Italian, or Latin.


$50,000–75,000 annually, dependent upon experience and qualifications

We seek qualified applicants who bring perspectives and experiences that will enrich and strengthen our organization. In your resume and cover letter, please highlight the most relevant qualifications you would bring to this position based on the posting, and tell us how your background, perspective, and experience will help us fulfill our mission and meet our goals. Contact: info@nationalsporting.com.