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Rare Books & Works on Paper Cataloger

Chadds Ford, PA 19317, USA

Job Type

Part Time

The Role

This is a part-time position, with flexible working hours.

Our Books Department is seeking a part-time Cataloger to write bibliographically accurate descriptions of rare books, manuscripts, prints, maps, and related printed collectible materials for the preparation of auction catalogs. Responsibilities include processing incoming book consignments, research and catalog entry,  description writing, and proofing.


Provide specialist expertise in the rare books department:

  • Conducting research and cataloging of all rare books, historical manuscripts, prints, maps, and related materials for upcoming auctions

  • Apply detailed knowledge of bibliographical references, collations and formats, and provenance research in addition to identifying antiquarian (15th-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

  • Prioritize lots based on estimated values and determine the appropriate length of associated description copy

  • Work with prospective bidders to help answer questions about lots as potential purchases

  • Review any authenticity concerns and prepare condition reports in timely manner

  • Prepare property for photography (lotting items, noting any special shots needed, etc)

  • Assist clients in the showroom during previews

  • Participate in Telephone Bidding with clients during the auction

  • Responsible for proactively generating business opportunities and deepening client relationships in the field


  • Bachelors Degree is required, advanced degree is a plus

  • Five years or more Experience cataloging for Rare Book Seller specializing in Antiquarian books; Special Collections department in a University Library, Research Library, or other higher Library setting (Cataloging standard Rare Books)

  • Possess advanced knowledge of bibliographic texts (reference books) and techniques

  • Demonstrate experience specifically with incunables and early printed books

  • Excellent research skills and attention to detail

  • Ability to work well under pressure

  • Excellent communication skills – both spoken and written

  • Commitment to an exemplary level of client service

  • Good time keeping, the ability to use time efficiently and to prioritise

  • A proven ability to meet hard deadlines

  • A strong understanding of Google Sheets / Docs

  • Proficient in a foreign language is a plus

  • Knowledge of the auction industry is a plus

Please respond with your resume and a cover letter including salary history and requirements to

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