Courtney Chartier Named as Director of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Courtney-Chartier-Headshot-RBML-Director Photo by Oscar Daniel Photography

Vice Provost and University Librarian Ann Thornton announced today her appointment of Courtney Chartier as the new Director of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library (RBML). 

Chartier, who will take up her post in July 2021, will lead RBML’s research services, collection strategies, and exhibition program. 

“I am thrilled to welcome Courtney Chartier to Columbia as the new Director of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Courtney will bring a record of innovative leadership and energy to RBML’s exceptional team of dedicated and knowledgeable staff,” said Christopher Cronin, Associate University Librarian for Collections. “Courtney's demonstrated commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout all facets of managing special collections will further strengthen RBML’s strategic mission to acquire and care for important distinctive collections and will leverage the expertise of our staff in support of the evolving research and teaching needs of our students and faculty. I am thrilled to begin this next chapter in RBML's distinguished history with Courtney as Director.”

Currently, Chartier is the Head of Research Services at the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, & Rare Book Library at Emory University, where she provides strategic oversight for the reference, instruction, and outreach programs. Chartier is also an Instructor in the History Department at Georgia State University and the Vice-President/President-Elect of the Society of American Archivists; she will take her seat as the 76th President in August 2021. She has previously served as a Board member and President of the Society of Georgia Archivists, and a Regent of the Academy of Certified Archivists.

Before her time at Emory, Chartier was the Assistant Head of the Archives Research Center at the Atlanta University Center Woodruff Library (a consortia library that serves all of Atlanta’s HBCUs). There she managed the processing team, served as the liaison to the digital and systems unit, taught, provided reference services, and led outreach initiatives. 

Chartier is a founding member of the Atlanta Black Archives Alliance (ABAA), a group of professional archivists working in institutions that collect African American materials. The organization hosts public programs, workshops, and are currently developing an online guide to researching black collections in Atlanta.

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library is Columbia University’s principal repository for special collections. The RBML collects, preserves, describes, promotes, and provides access to the material evidence of diverse individuals and activities in alignment with the University’s research and teaching mission. The RBML builds and stewards deep collections in select subject areas and connects them to a global audience through reference, teaching, exhibitions, publications, and public programs.

“I am beyond excited to join the team at RBML,” said Chartier. “I found both the position profile and the interview process to be inspiring, and I can’t wait to jump in and learn about the people, collections, and culture of my new library community.”