Digital Archivist

Job Title: Digital Archivist
Department: Library
Reports to: Head of Archival Processing

3- Year, grant-funded. Position begins July 1, 2019.

The New-York Historical Society, a preeminent educational and research institution, is home to both New York City’s oldest museum and to one of the nation’s most distinguished independent research libraries. N-YHS is dedicated to presenting exhibitions and public programs, and fostering research that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today. Founded in 1804, its holdings cover four centuries of American history, and include one of the country’s greatest collections of books, manuscripts, graphic materials, historical artifacts, and American art documenting the history of the United States as seen through the prism of New York.

Job Summary:
The New-York Historical Society seeks to hire a Digital Archivist for a three-year project funded by the Leon Levy Foundation to develop a repository of born-digital archival materials. The position is responsible for developing a sustainable infrastructure for collecting, processing, preserving, and making born-digital materials accessible to staff and researchers; deploying that infrastructure to bring historically important born-digital institutional records into the N-YHS Institutional Archive; and preserving, processing, and making accessible other born-digital materials currently in the library’s archival collections as well as newly acquired born-digital materials. The project starts on July 1, 2019.

Essential Job Duties:

  • Survey the current digital landscape at N-YHS, including digitized collections, born-digital files on current and legacy media, and other born-digital materials
  • Assess, select and test software tools to identify those that best fit N-YHS’s digital preservation objectives
  • Develop and document policies, workflows and procedures for accessioning, processing, describing, preserving, and providing access to born-digital materials
  • Identify opportunities for integration with, and enhancements in the use of, N-YHS’s existing platforms, including ArchivesSpace and Islandora
  • Apply, and refine as needed, the emerging process to born-digital material acquired from N-YHS’s internal records, legacy media in existing hybrid collections, and newly-donated accessions
  • Establish standards for integrating born-digital material into N-YHS’s finding aids and catalog records
  • Collaborate with the IT Department and various Library professionals in the development and implementation of all aspects of the digital infrastructure
  • Provide guidance to curators to incorporate considerations related to born-digital material into collecting policies and acquisition decisions
  • Train existing staff on the born-digital procedures developed during the project and assist in their execution of the new procedures
  • Keep current with trends and developments in the field of digital preservation

Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in library and information science with a concentration in archives, a Master’s degree in Archives Management, or equivalent
  • Minimum of five years of  experience as a professional archivist accessioning, arranging and describing archival materials, including a minimum of three years processing born-digital material
  • Experience developing strategies and procedures for handling digital formats, including text, image, email, and others
  • Knowledge of theory, standards, and best practices in digital preservation, such as the OAIS model and trusted digital repository concepts
  • Knowledge of current trends and technologies for archiving digital materials, especially ingest, forensic and processing tools such as Bitcurator
  • Knowledge of descriptive standards, such as DACS, MARC, and DCRM(MSS)
  • Experience with EAD, MODS, Dublin Core and other XML-based standards
  • Knowledge of metadata standards for describing born-digital materials
  • Experience using command line interfaces and the ability to write and use  simple scripts in Python or other such languages
  • Demonstrated ability to learn new technical skills in the context of digital preservation
  • Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and experience with project management
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently as well as collaboratively
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and ability to communicate clearly and effectively with staff at all levels of the organization

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience working with the ArchivesSpace staff interface and using the system’s API
  • Experience with open source digital asset management systems such as Islandora
  • Familiarity with copyright, access, and privacy issues relating to born-digital content
  • Experience with website preservation tools such as Archive-It
  • Continuing education coursework or certification in digital preservation

Compensation: $70,000/annual. Attractive benefits package.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:  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 position requires fine motor skills for the handling of fragile materials and keyboarding in connection with the regular use of a computer. This position also requires that an employee frequently be able to stand, walk, sit and reach, as well as occasionally lift and carry for short distances boxes typically weighing up to 30 pounds.

To apply:
Send cover letter, resume, the names and contact information of three references, and a sample (or link to an on-line sample) of your work relevant to the Digital Archivist position to resumes@nyhistory.org.

In the subject line please reference the specific job title to ensure your resume is forwarded properly.

Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled.

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

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