Collection Development Archivist — Harvard Library, Cambridge, MA

Harvard University

Collection Development Archivist
Harvard Library

Job Summary

Although the position will remain posted until filled, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by end of day on June 16, 2023.

The Harvard University Archives (HUA) seeks an innovative, collaborative, and motivated individual to join the Collection Development and Records Management Services (CDRMS) team. Reporting to the Senior Collection Development Curator/Archivist (SCDC/A), the Collection Development Archivist (CDA) will perform a range of activities focused on inclusive collection building, outreach, and University records stewardship in service of documenting and providing evidence of the work and lives of the diverse individuals and organizations that make up the Harvard community. These include the personal and professional archives of Harvard faculty, senior administrators, and select Harvard alumni and students, as well as the records of Harvard affiliated organizations and other historical materials documenting the social, cultural, intellectual, and creative life of the university.

The CDA will ensure that new collections are appraised, inventoried, packed, stable, and well-documented. This work includes arranging for intake of new collections in all formats, liaising with donors, performing site visit surveys, establishing initial physical and intellectual control of incoming materials, and coordinating transport and/or transfer logistics. The CDA liaises with campus organizations to collect, appraise, and acquire materials in all formats to build visual and campus life collections. Working with the CDRMS team and other Archives staff, the CDA will also keep Harvard and Harvard-related publications collections current.

The CDA assists in identifying records of permanent value in all formats and preparing them for transfer to the University Archives. As a member of the CDRMS team, the CDA supports routine records management offsite storage activities such as placing orders for retrievals and refiles and responding to offsite storage client inquiries. The CDA contributes to ongoing efforts to develop and implement effective outreach and training for employees and students on records management and stewardship.

The Harvard University Archives has recently joined with the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, Fine Arts Library, Harvard Film Archive, and Houghton Library to create Archives, Art, and Special Collections of Harvard Library, a new administrative unit currently planning integrated approaches to technical and public services for archives and special collections across the portfolio.

Position Description

• Prepares collections of various origin and in all formats for donation/transfer to the Archives by appraising contents, performing baseline level collection description including creation of preliminary inventories, re-housing or reformatting collections and noting preservation concerns, identifying restricted materials, and preparing collections for accessioning.
• Participates in packing and transport/transfer arrangements for personal archives and other related collections.
• Under the direction of the SCDC/A, acknowledges collection donations and maintains terms of access for donated collections.
• Acts as the primary liaison for acquiring materials documenting Harvard alumni and current Harvard student life and student organizations.
• Has principal responsibility for collecting Harvard publications.
• Collaborates with Archives colleagues on the transfer and physical handling of new collections, including placement of collections for temporary storage, temporary housing and/or condition treatments for the items, addressing immediate preservation needs of and logging in born digital content, and coordinating appropriate space and timeline for collections arrival.
• Contributes to coverage of collection development email inbox.
• As assigned, conducts research on potential acquisitions of manuscript and archival collections offered for gift or purchase.
• Vets and verifies supporting documentation for decisions regarding copyright permission requests, discussing complex situations with the SCDC/A and Associate University Archivist for CDRMS; drafts permission letters for the SCDC/A and Associate University Archivist for CDRMS.
• Maintains bibliography of current published and other works in which the collections of the Archives are cited.
• Assists in the review of Harvard offices and studies used by retiring/departing faculty for identification of University and student records and/or preparation for transferring archival records in all formats to the University Archives. May assist with archival transfers when appropriate.
• As assigned, participates in routine records offsite storage activities, including placing orders for retrievals and refiles and/or answering offsite storage and Archives client inquiries.
• Collaborate with CDRMS colleagues to develop and implement effective training for employees and students on records stewardship and guidance for potential donors.
• Helps to promote HUA collections by participating in outreach activities for and about the Harvard community, including tours, presentations, and exhibitions, and creating pertinent content for the HUA web site and social media.
• Participate in other HUA tasks or projects as assigned.
• May supervise student workers and interns.

Basic Qualifications

• Master’s degree in library science/information science/archives or equivalent education with successful completion of university-level archives coursework.
• Two years of work experience in an archival or manuscript repository.
• Must be able to travel independently to other off-campus locations as needed.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

• Work experience in college/university library or institutional archives setting preferred.
• Strong customer service orientation. Experience working with donors of archival collections and manuscript materials preferred.
• Demonstrated understanding of trends, principles and practices in appraisal and acquisitions.
• Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills, and demonstrated ability to work effectively with culturally diverse users and colleagues.
• Strong and broad historical research and analysis skills; excellent attention to detail.
• Strong analytical skills and demonstrated flexible problem-solving abilities.
• Ability to work independently and with a minimum of supervision; ability to work effectively and collegially in a complex and dynamic environment.
• Ability to plan, manage, and complete multiple, concurrent projects, and communicate issues that affect plans, policies, and procedures in a timely fashion.
• Knowledge of care, handling, and rehousing skills as they pertain to archival and/or fragile collections.
• Knowledge of the principles of archival arrangement and description, and current national content and structure standards (including MARC, DACS, and RDA) related to the archival description of materials.
• Knowledge of serials cataloging principles and creation of name authority headings preferred.
• Experience with archival collection management software and library cataloging software; familiarity with ArchivesSpace strongly preferred.
• Demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging, and anti-racism.
• Capacity to thrive in an environment of change.
• Demonstrated discretion in handling confidential information.
• Understanding of intellectual property, copyright, privacy, and other access issues preferred.
• Experience with digital archives preferred.
• General knowledge of issues in records management preferred.

Physical Requirements

• Must be able to regularly lift 40 lb. records storage boxes.
• This position requires bending, squatting, stretching and climbing small step stools when needed to pack collections.

Working Conditions

• At times may work in basements, attics, warehouses, and other records storage areas that may be dusty or moldy.
• The position will be based on our campus in Cambridge, MA.; however, there may be the opportunity for a flexible or hybrid work model compliant with Harvard University remote work policies.

We invite you to visit Harvard’s Total Rewards website to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

• Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
• Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
• Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
• Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
• Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
• Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
• Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
• Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
• Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Across the Harvard Library, our work is enriched by our diverse campus community. Our unique and wide-ranging abilities, experiences, and perspectives are integral to achieving Harvard University’s mission of excellence in research, teaching, and learning for our patrons, our collections, and our workplace. We believe that an inclusive environment that cultivates and promotes understanding, respect, and collaboration across our diverse workforce enables our success.

We invite individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and abilities to be a part of our community of over 700 staff members. Our work with faculty, students and researchers to explore answers to intellectual questions, enduring and new, and to seek solutions to the world’s most consequential problems, requires that we not only reflect, but also champion our diverse society.

Harvard Library inspires collaboration, reflection, experimentation, and discovery connecting users to related disciplines and to University-wide teaching resources. The Library engages users through curated discovery, digital collections, reimagined physical space, and specialized research support. Today, Harvard Library’s holdings range from traditional print collections to rapidly expanding access to digital resources. Harvard Library provides the University’s faculty, students, and researchers-now and in the future-with exceptional experiences and comprehensive access to these materials.

Learn more about our contributions to the academic enterprise by visiting us at our web-site and about the Harvard University community at this web-site.

The Harvard Library is a proud member of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Diversity Alliance.

Job Function

USA – MA – Cambridge

Harvard University Archives

Time Status

00 – Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Pre-Employment Screening
Credit, Education, Identity

Department Office Location
USA – MA – Cambridge

Work Format

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Apply here.