The John Johnson Curator of Printed Ephemera

As the John Johnson Curator of Printed Ephemera at the Bodleian Libraries you will manage one of the largest and most important collection of printed ephemera in the world. This includes both the John Johnson Collection of Printed ephemera and other printed ephemera. You will oversee more than 1.5 million items including advertisements, handbills, playbills and programmes, menus, greeting cards, objects, artworks, albums, games, postcards, bank notes, stamps, toys, and playing cards.

You will participate in all aspects of the administration and curation of the libraries’ printed ephemera. You will build the collections and develop links with donors; catalogue and create metadata to the highest standards; assist users and respond to enquiries, manage staff and volunteers, and contribute to public engagement activities.

This is a permanent full-time post, working 37.5 hours per week, based at the Weston Library, the home of the Bodleian’s special collections. You will be part of the Rare Books & Printed Ephemera Section and work closely with colleagues across the Department of Special Collections. Participation in rotas for evening and weekend reading room supervision duties is required. For full-time staff, this is currently one evening from 5pm to 7pm every three weeks and two Saturdays a year.

This position is subject to a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check result. You will be required to carry out some lone working and regular manual handling. All health and safety training will be provided.

About You

  • You will be passionate and knowledgeable about printed ephemera from all periods, and possess the strong communication skills needed to share these collections with the Libraries’ many audiences.
  • You will have a postgraduate qualification in librarianship, heritage management, archives or similar, and extensive relevant previous experience.
  • You will have excellent communication and organisational skills, including strong time management, planning and monitoring skills.
  • Engagement and/or exhibition skills, including using social media is desirable.

As an employer, the University of Oxford genuinely cares about employees’ wellbeing and this is reflected in the range of benefits that they offer including:

  • An excellent contributory pension scheme
  • 38 days of annual leave
  • A comprehensive range of childcare services
  • Family leave schemes
  • Cycle loan scheme
  • Discounted bus travel and Season Ticket travel loans

More information is available at

The University of Oxford’s staff and students come from all over the world, and they proudly promote a friendly and inclusive culture. Diversity is positively encouraged, through diverse groups and champions, as well as a number of family-friendly policies, such as the right to apply for flexible working and support for staff returning from periods of extended absence, for example, shared parental leave.

How to apply
You will be required to upload your CV and a supporting statement as part of your online application. Your supporting statement should list each of the essential and desirable selection criteria, as listed in the job description, and explain how you meet each one. CVs alone will not be considered.

The Bodleian Libraries aim to provide a supportive working environment and are happy to discuss training and professional development opportunities. The Chair of this recruitment panel will be Sarah Wheale, Head of Rare Books and Printed Ephemera, who can be contacted with enquiries relating to the role ( General queries about the recruitment and application process should be directed to the Recruitment team within the Human Resources department (

Only applications received online by 12.00 midday (BST) on Friday 30th August 2024 can be considered. Interviews are expected to take place during the week commencing Monday 30 September 2024.