Librarian and Director of Collections - Warburg Institute

  • Job Reference: 001989
  • Date Posted: 28 April 2022
  • Recruiter: University of London
  • Website:
  • Location: London (Warburg Institute)
  • Salary: £55,489 to £67,358
  • Sector: Higher Education
  • Job Type: Permanent

Job Description

The Warburg Institute is one of the world’s leading centres for studying the interaction of ideas, images and society. Research at the Institute is cross-disciplinary and global: it is concerned with the survival and transmission of cultural forms across national borders and from the earliest times to the present. At the heart of the Institute is an open-stack library of some 360,000 volumes, structured according to Aby Warburg’s own unique scheme: it has been called ‘One of the 20 Libraries that Changed the World’ by the Open Education Database and ‘The World’s Weirdest Library’ by The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik. The holdings constitute the world’s largest collection of its kind and include a large proportion of continental books and journals unavailable elsewhere in the UK. Alongside the Library, the Photo Collection and Archive serve as an engine for interdisciplinary research, postgraduate teaching and a prestigious events and publication programme.

The Warburg Institute is seeking a new Librarian and Director of Collections at an important moment in its history. Work is just about to begin on the ‘Warburg Renaissance’ project that will transform the Institute’s historic home in Bloomsbury, improving spaces for people and collections and opening the Warburg to new publics and partners. Construction begins in July 2022 and when the project is finished in December 2023 there will not only be 30% more room for collections and a new centre for the storage, care and study of our special collections but also a public-facing ground-floor hub with the Institute’s first gallery for physical and digital exhibitions.

The successful candidate will take his/her place in a long line of scholar-librarians, stretching back to Fritz Saxl—who helped to organise Warburg’s Library and became the Institute’s first Director. But there will be new opportunities and responsibilities in leading a unified collection with an emphasis on both increased access and innovative digital technology. At the same time, the new Librarian will work with colleagues across the School of Advanced Study on the Senate House Library Transformation Project to ensure that our collections become more than the sum of their parts and help make Bloomsbury more visible and viable as one of the Western world’s greatest concentrations of libraries. Finally, the School is working closely with the AHRC and other funders to collaborate with colleagues across the so-called GLAM sector (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) to host professional practice fellowships, deliver teaching and training and co-develop cutting-edge research projects.

In this role, you will lead all aspects of operations and strategy for the Warburg Institute’s Library, Photographic Collection and Archive; you will use the ‘Warburg Renaissance’ project to enhance public engagement with the collections; you will play an active role in the academic life of Institute and School (including research projects and teaching/supervision); and you will work with other librarians to deliver the Senate House Library Transformation Project.

For a full role profile, please refer to the job description on the website.


Further information

To be considered for this opportunity, please submit your application and CV online before the closing date at midnight on 23rd May 2022.


The University reserves the right to close the vacancy earlier than the published end date should it receive sufficient applications to warrant earlier shortlisting.

Preferential consideration will be given to the University redeployment pool.

The University of London is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive working environment where we can all be ourselves and succeed. We particularly encourage applications from members of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities as this group is currently under-represented in senior levels within the University. All appointments will be are made on merit, based on the criteria identified in the job description. 

Pursuing excellence in education and equal opportunities.