University Archivist – Harvard University – Cambridge, MA

University Archivist
Harvard Library

Job Summary
Although the position will remain posted until filled, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by end of day on August 27th, 2021.

Harvard University seeks applications and nominations for the position of Harvard University Archivist. As the senior administrative and financial officer, the University Archivist leads and manages an integrated archives and records management program within the various faculties of the university, with a dual mission to 1) ensure that the university manages, preserves, and maintains access to its institutional records in compliance with federal and state statutes and institutional policies and 2) preserve and make accessible an extraordinary intellectual resource consisting of the records of the university with enduring historical value and related collections including the papers and records of faculty, student organizations, and alumni.

The Archivist provides leadership and oversight for the staff, budget, operations, and programs that support a diverse array of records management, research, teaching and community engagement activities centered in archival records, personal archives, university publications, and other holdings documenting the history of Harvard and the people, institutions, and the social, cultural, and intellectual movements that have flowed into and out of the university over the course of nearly four centuries.

Working in collaboration with the Office of the General Counsel, the Office of the Governing Boards, and the Vice President of the Harvard Library, the University Archivist establishes policies relating to the management of university records, as well as policies governing access, intellectual property, copyright, reformatting, and, when appropriate, republication of archival materials. The Archivist works closely with University faculty and senior administrators and serves on university and library committees, as well as a liaison to advisory groups and external constituencies.

The University Archivist reports to the Associate University Librarian for Archives and Special Collections and actively seeks out and builds cooperative approaches to acquisition, appraisal, arrangement, description, preservation, and access methods for archives and special collections across Harvard Library. The successful incumbent will possess wide-ranging knowledge of the administration of archives and records management programs; demonstrated commitment to diversity, inclusion, belonging, and antiracism; deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities posed by digital records; enthusiasm for partnering with administrators, faculty, and students; proclivity for adopting new technologies and standards that will improve access to and use of University Archives holdings; a user-driven orientation; and a collaborative and collegial outlook and spirit.

Job Code
386061 Library Manager

Job-Specific Responsibilities
• Leads and manages the Harvard University Archives by developing, articulating, and implementing strategic vision and directions, overseeing day-to-day operations and special projects, establishing priorities, and coordinating work with units in the Harvard Library and the university at large.
• Supervises and develops a staff of ca. 20 professional archivists, records managers, and administrative staff, as well as project staff, interns, and students dedicated to Harvard University Archives activities. Partners closely with allied Harvard Library units dedicated to technology systems development and maintenance, access services, preservation, digitization, and technical services.
• Provides oversight for major functional activities of the University Archives including records management, collection development, public services, arrangement and description, teaching, exhibitions, public programs, and other core activities.
• Works closely with administrators across the university to establish, maintain, and implement records management policies and services that ensure that the institution manages, preserves, and maintains access to its records in compliance with federal, state, and institutional policies.
• Manages the Archives annual operating budget (approximately $2.5 million).
• Participates in fundraising and development efforts on behalf of the Harvard University Archives and the Harvard Library.
• Builds and maintains an active professional and scholarly profile through participation in professional organizations on the regional, national, and international level and through research, publication, and/or other activities.
• Works with discretion while interacting with confidential university records and sensitive stakeholder relationships.
• Supports the advancement of diversity, inclusion, belonging and antiracism, including working with the Associate University Librarian for Antiracism and other senior library administrators in developing strategy, organizing implementation, and tracking progress against goals.

Basic Qualifications
• Advanced degree in archival studies, records management, library and information science, or related field.
• Minimum ten years of relevant experience.
• Demonstrated experience with supervising employees and supporting their efforts in order to build and foster a diverse, productive, and engaging workplace and professional community.
• Deep familiarity with archives and records management theory, practice, and standards.
• Strong experience managing digital records throughout the records continuum.
• Demonstrated experience implementing innovative approaches to provide access to collections and to facilitate their use in research and teaching.
• Demonstrated experience working with confidential and sensitive information and or records.

Additional Qualifications and Skills
• Commitment to supporting efforts to foster diversity, inclusion, belonging, and antiracism in library, university, and professional contexts.
• Currency on laws, policies, and stewardship practices affecting the management of university records and research data.
• Experience collaborating with senior university administrators.
• Experience with strategic and annual planning.
• Strong competency in advocacy and demonstrated ability to work across a complex and highly decentralized organization.
• Evidence of a strong service orientation and understanding of and commitment to the users of archives.
• Fundraising experience.
• Leadership at the national and international level on archives and records management.
• Demonstrated knowledge of and engagement with American history.
• Excellent oral and written communication skills and interpersonal skills to work effectively with culturally diverse archives users and colleagues.
About the Harvard University Archives

The Harvard University Archives is the oldest and one of the largest institutional academic archives in the United States. The University Archives supports Harvard’s mission of education and research by striving to gather, preserve, and provide access to an accurate, authentic, diverse, and inclusive record documenting the Harvard community, and to promote the highest standards of stewardship and management for Harvard’s current institutional records. Records Management Services, which is integrated into the mission and organization of the University Archives, provides guidance, instruction, and tools to university staff, faculty, and administrators for managing and stewarding the records they create as part of the Harvard community. From 17th century letters and scientific observations to 21st century web sites and research data, the University Archives’ collections cover nearly every discipline taught and studied at Harvard, as well as comprising a compilation of historical information about New England, the United States, and many other areas of the world. Collections are used by scholars of American social, intellectual, and academic history; by historians of Harvard; by artists and filmmakers; by university departments studying their own histories; by students learning the methodology of historical research; and by the general public for a wide variety of personal research and study.

For more information, please visit our website at

Additional Information
Harvard University aims to be the world’s recognized leader in sustainable inclusive excellence by fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. Working in close collaboration with offices across the university, the Harvard Library is becoming one of the campus leaders in advancing equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging and antiracism. We believe that an inclusive environment that cultivates and promotes understanding, respect, and collaboration across our diverse workforce enables our success. As well, we believe that 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 advance our diverse society.

Harvard Library’s core values are the foundation upon which our antiracism agenda is being developed. Our values emphasize that we lead with curiosity, seek collaboration, champion access, aim for the extraordinary, and cultivate and celebrate diversity in our collections and our community to construct a more inclusive and just world. Our focus on antiracism is a commitment to live our values. It is about building not only a better organization, but a better research library – an exemplary antiracist research library. We aspire to be global leaders in expanding world knowledge and intellectual exploration, and that starts on our campus, where we are a center for knowledge supporting our faculty and students in pursuing antiracism through their research, teaching and learning.

Our commitment to antiracism is a commitment to addressing other forms of discrimination as well, such as those based on gender, sexuality, religion or ability. Our antiracism work will continue a strong record of diversity initiatives, ranging from targeted collection development and the design of inclusive spaces to a learning journey for staff and a focus on employee recruitment and retention. We are deeply committed to increasing diversity in the profession, through activities such as our longstanding membership in the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Diversity Alliance and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL).

Harvard Library is the world’s largest academic library. Established in 1638, we are the oldest library system in the United States. We invite individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and abilities to be a part of our community of over 700 staff members across28 libraries. Our collections number over six million digitized items, 20 million volumes, 400 million manuscripts, one million maps, and tens of millions of digital images, and our rare and special collections are amongst the most remarkable in the world. We collect collaboratively with peer institutions and facilitate international open access, multiplying our users’ access to materials and advancing equitable models of scholarly communication.

Learn more about our contributions to the academic enterprise by visiting us at and about the Harvard University community at

Job Function
Sub Unit
USA – MA – Cambridge
Harvard University Archives
Time Status
00 – Non Union, Exempt or Temporary
Salary Grade
Pre-Employment Screening
Criminal, Education, Identity

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.

About Melody Rood

Student Success & Open Education Librarian / Assistant Professor at UNC-Greensboro