Director of Cataloging, Metadata, and Archival Processing, New York Historical Society, New York, NY

Details or description
JOB TITLE: Project Archivist
REPORTS TO: Director of Cataloging, Metadata, and Archival Processing


Visitors experience 400 years of history through groundbreaking exhibitions, immersive films, and thought-provoking conversations among renowned historians and public figures at the New-York Historical Society, New York’s first museum. A great destination for history since 1804, the Museum and the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library convey the stories of the city and nation’s diverse populations, expanding our understanding of who we are as Americans and how we came to be.

The collections of the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library are particularly strong in local history of New York City and State; colonial history; the Revolutionary War; American military and naval history; religion and religious movements; the Anglo-American slave trade and slavery in the United States; the Civil War; records of benevolent and charitable organizations; American biography and genealogy; American art and art patronage; American architecture from the late 18th century to the present; and 19th- and 20th-century portraiture and documentary photographs of New York City. The collections include 20,000 linear feet of manuscripts, 500,000 photographs, 400,000 prints, 350,000 books and pamphlets, 150,000 architectural drawings, 20,000 broadsides, 15,000 printed maps, 10,000 newspapers, 10,000 dining menus, and vast collections of other ephemera. The library is actively expanding its holdings in all areas into the 20th and 21st centuries, including a growing number of born-digital collections.

The Project Archivist is responsible for the processing of manuscript and archival materials, specifically the Robert Caro Papers. Processing includes physical and intellectual arrangement consistent with professional principles and practices; basic conservation tasks and recognizing potential at-risk conditions for referral to the Library’s Conservator; description using methodologies as defined in professional standards; and storing or arranging for the storing of processed materials. Archival materials processed may include manuscripts and typescripts, graphics, photographs, audio recordings, moving images, and artifacts. The position may also participate in occasional outreach activities such as blogging, presentations, providing links to descriptive material through Wikipedia, etc. This is a full-time position, working 35 hours per week, with a comprehensive benefits package. This is a temporary position expected to last four months.

Process collections physically to facilitate user access and satisfy routine conservation needs;
Arrange collections intellectually, consistent with professional archival principles and practices;
Using ArchivesSpace, describe collections to an appropriate level for user discovery in DACS-compliant online finding aids;
Assign name and subject headings in finding aids and catalog entries using authorities/controlled vocabularies, including NACO, LCSH, and AAT;
Consult as warranted with other library professionals, especially conservators, curators, catalogers, reference librarians, and digital specialists, in the performance of job responsibilities;
Move collections in and out of storage as needed during processing, and record locations of newly stored materials;
Provide occasional support to the curators and public service staff in answering reference inquiries or identifying material relevant to planned exhibitions;
Perform occasional outreach activities about the collections, such as by blogging or through other social media, making presentations to groups, etc.;
Assist with other requested activities related to the Library’s and Archival Processing Unit’s objectives.

M.L.S. with a concentration in Archives from an A.L.A.-accredited program, M.A. in Archives, M.A. in History with Archival Certificate, or comparable educational background;
Ability to handle artifacts with care, especially rare and fragile library, museum, and archival material;
Attention to detail and an ability to follow a task through to completion;
Possess a strong work ethic, be able to work well independently or with a team, take directions and perform accordingly.

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee with or without accommodation, to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

This is largely a sedentary role using a computer; however, some retrieving and placement of collections is required. This would require the ability to remove archival boxes, weighing up to 30 lbs., from shelves, push fully-loaded book carts and wire racks, re-shelve boxes, and bend or stoop as necessary.

Salary: $35/hour

New-York Historical Society provides a generous benefits package for eligible employees to support their health and wellbeing, which includes:
Paid time off, including vacation, sick and personal days, and holidays observed by the Museum;
Medical, dental, vision and life insurance;
Short and long-term disability coverage options;
403(b) retirement plan with eligibility for employer contributions following one year of full-time service;
Flexible spending accounts for health-related expenses, dependent care, and parking and transit expenses;
Employee Assistance Program for all employees and their families;
20% discount at the NYHistory Store located within the Museum;
Free admission to various museums and cultural institutions across the city.
To ensure the overall health and safety of the New-York Historical Society community, all newly hired employees of the New-York Historical Society are required to be fully-vaccinated with an FDA or WHO approved vaccine against COVID-19 as a condition of employment, absent qualifying exemptions for medical, religious, or other reasons in accordance with all applicable laws.

Research shows that women and people from underrepresented groups often apply to jobs only if they meet 100% of the qualifications. We recognize that it is highly unlikely that someone meets 100% of the qualifications for a role. If much of this job description describes you, then please apply for this role.

The New-York Historical Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer.