job: Syriac Cataloguing at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library

The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) at Saint John’s University (SJU) invites applications for the full-time, benefit-eligible position of Cataloger of Syriac and Christian Arabic Manuscripts. This is a three-year, grant-funded position.

The Cataloger will participate in HMML’s effort to catalog recently digitized Syriac and Christian Arabic manuscripts and to support the creation of authority files by HMML’s metadata librarian. The Cataloger will do both original cataloging of digital surrogates as well as the correction of existing catalog records. This position is supervised by the Curator of Eastern Christian Manuscripts and reports to the Coordinator of Cataloging Projects.

The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library holds the world’s largest archive of manuscript photographs in both microfilm and digital format. HMML identifies manuscript collections around the world that need photographic preservation and its archives now contain more than 200,000 complete manuscripts, ranging in size from large codices of hundreds of folios to brief documents consisting of just a few leaves.

HMML preserves and shares the world’s handwritten past to inspire a deeper understanding of our present and future. Visit to learn more about the places of fieldwork sites, the people and communities that have been part of HMML’s global team, and the manuscripts in HMML’s digital and microfilm collections.

Saint John’s University, a liberal arts college for men and a graduate School of Theology for both men and women, is located in the central lakes area of Minnesota. The campus is minutes away from St. Cloud, an increasingly diverse regional center with a population of over 100,000, and 70 miles from Minneapolis and St. Paul. Some SJU staff choose to reside locally, while others commute from the Twin Cities. Both St. Cloud and the Twin Cities offer a wide range of fine arts,cultural, dining, recreational, and sporting opportunities.

SJU is a Catholic university in the Benedictine tradition enlivened by values of community, hospitality, stewardship, and justice. The university is dedicated to cultivating an equitable, inclusive community founded on respect for all persons. Students, staff, and faculty from many diverse belief systems and backgrounds collectively bring a rich dimension to the academic, cultural, and religious experience at SJU. Learn more in our Statement on Diversity. Saint John’s is also home to the Collegeville Institute, a residential research center promoting ecumenical and interreligious dialogue.

With a total enrollment of approximately 1,770 students, SJU has a unique coordinate partnership with the College of Saint Benedict (CSB), a liberal arts college for women. SJU and CSB are committed to the holistic transformational development of men and women within the context of a unified, coeducational experience. All students, faculty, and staff have the opportunity to experience and engage with the two institutions. For further information, see

SJU offers competitive salaries and a comprehensive benefits program.


1.    Catalog manuscripts in Syriac and Arabic according to HMML metadata standards.
2.    Support the creation of authority files and controlled vocabulary during cataloging.
3.    Provide expertise when necessary on the Syriac and Arabic language, naming practices, and manuscript tradition.
4.    Work closely with HMML staff on relevant aspects of project workflow.
5.    Submit monthly reports on cataloging.
6.    Answer patron questions concerning the Syriac and Christian Arabic digital manuscript collections.



1.    Earned doctorate in History, Middle Eastern Studies, Religious Studies, Mediterranean Studies, or MLIS equivalent.
2.    Excellent knowledge of Syriac and Arabic language and paleography.
3.    Native or near native English language proficiency and good communications skills.
4.    Experience in working with manuscripts and cataloging manuscripts.
5.    Knowledge of Microsoft Office (particularly spreadsheet methodologies), Google Sheets, Google Drive, and other commonly used menu-based software.
6.    Experience with using digital tools for research in the humanities and ability to understand and work with HMML’s digital platforms and tools.
7.    Attention to detail; accuracy and thoroughness in work habits; ability to manage multiple, complex tasks; ability to work in a collaborative team environment; and willingness to utilize communications tools to facilitate working remotely with speedy response times.


1.    Knowledge of DCRM(MSS) and AMREMM cataloging standards.
2.    Knowledge of Coptic or Greek.
3.    Experience working with databases and database management.
Source: HMML