Library Project Cataloger – New-York Historical Society, NY, NY

JOB TITLE: Library Project Cataloger
REPORTS TO: Director of the Library Digital Program

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 New-York Historical Society is seeking a Library Project Cataloger for a period of 2 years (June 1, 2023-May 30, 2025) to work on a grant funded project to create catalog records and metadata for digitized collections of manuscripts, maps, and broadsides related to Long Island (including Brooklyn and Queens) from the 17th through the 20th centuries. The cataloger will work closely with the Director of the Library Digital Program, and in consultation with the Director of Cataloging, Metadata, and Archival Processing, to provide intellectual control of these digitized materials which will be included in a digital collection focused on Long Island and its history. The cataloger will work primarily from digital images, with occasional consultation of original materials, as needed.

The New-York Historical Society Museum & Library collections hold many thousands of items from the 17th through the 20th centuries depicting or otherwise documenting Long Island (including Brooklyn and Queens). These manuscripts, maps, broadsides, prints, historical artifacts, decorative arts objects, drawings and paintings trace the history of the region and the lives of its inhabitants, often in unique ways. Through a grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, New-York Historical will make these Museum and Library collections more accessible to the public via digitization, enhanced cataloging, and improvements to online catalogs that will provide a more comprehensive picture of Long Island’s history. The Library recently completed the first phase of the project, to digitize 100 broadsides, 100 maps, and over 12,500 pages of manuscripts, and now seeks to create or enhance catalog records and finding aids for these materials and create item-level metadata for the digital images for ingest into a future Long Island collection in the Shelby White & Leon Levy Digital Library.

Reporting to the Director of the Library Digital Program, the successful candidate will be an experienced, motivated, productive, and flexible professional able to create catalog and metadata records in a variety of formats. Specific responsibilities include:

Searching the Library’s online catalog to identify relevant MARC21 records;

Creating MARC21 records in the Aleph cataloging system according to the rules for AACR2r, RDA, and the Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials suite of cataloging manuals;

Correcting and enhancing existing MARC21 records to conform to cataloging standards for manuscripts, maps, and broadsides;

Creating or updating holdings records in the cataloging system, verifying call numbers in online and card shelflists, and modifying them as needed;

Creating image-level descriptive and structural metadata in Excel or Google spreadsheets according to the Library’s metadata template, based on MODS;

Searching authority files and controlled vocabularies, including the Library of Congress Name Authority File (NAF) and Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), the Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT), and the Controlled Vocabularies for Use in Rare Book and Special Collections Cataloging;

Performing historical research, authority research and subject analysis and adding scope and content notes, copy-specific notes, and local access points, as needed, especially to highlight Long Island-related content;

Working collaboratively with other Library staff as well as with the Museum Project Cataloger and Museum Database Administrator to ensure consistent access to Long Island collections;

Other project-related duties as assigned.

M.L.S. from an A.L.A.-accredited library school and a minimum of one year of library cataloging experience;

Knowledge of AACR2r, RDA, Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials, LCSH, and AAT;

Knowledge of the MARC21 format and some familiarity with metadata schema such as MODS and Dublin Core;

Experience searching OCLC WorldCat and local library catalogs;

Experience working with cataloging software such as ExLibris Aleph, OCLC Connexion, or other cataloging modules within integrated library systems;

Experience working with spreadsheet programs such as Excel or Google Sheets;

Experience handling rare and fragile library materials;

Flexible approach to bibliographic control working with collections covering a variety of subjects, formats, and time periods;

Attention to detail; excellent oral and written communication skills; and ability to work both independently and collegially in a team environment;

Commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and access in describing library materials;

Experience with cataloging manuscripts, maps, and broadsides preferred;

Knowledge of American and/or New York history preferred.

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.

Sedentary computer work required; the cataloger will be working primarily from digital images at a computer. Some retrieving and placement of collections may be required; this would require the ability to remove bound volumes and archival boxes, weighing up to 20 lbs., from shelves, retrieve oversized maps and broadsides from flat files, push fully-loaded book carts, re-shelve volumes, boxes, and oversized items, and bend or stoop as necessary.

Salary: $55,000/annually

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, Parliament Café and Storico restaurant, 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.

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