Project Archivist, Women’s Sports Collections

JOB TITLE: Project Archivist, Women’s Sports Collections
DEPARTMENT: Library
REPORTS TO: Head of Archival Processing

2-year, full-time, grant-funded position. Preferred start date is October 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 world’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.

New-York Historical recently acquired two major collections concerning women’s history generally and women’s sports in particular: the papers of tennis champion and social justice activist Billie Jean King and the records of the Women’s Sports Foundation. Billie Jean King’s papers include about 60 linear feet of photographs, ephemera, and other materials documenting her tennis career and her varied activities to advance gender equality, gay rights, and other social justice causes. Totaling about 600 linear feet of documents, posters, photographs, videotapes and other materials, the records of the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF), co-founded by King in 1974, chronicle the organization’s mission to address the inequities regarding women’s access to sports while promoting participation generally.

JOB SUMMARY:
The New-York Historical Society Library is seeking an experienced Project Archivist to work on a 2-year project to process the Billie Jean King and Women’s Sports Foundation collections in order to make them accessible to researchers and the general public. Beginning with the King Papers, all processing will take place at the Project Archivist’s worksite, New-York Historical’s Central Park West building. Most of the material is stored at an offsite location, so a key responsibility of the archivist will be working with N-YHS’s collections managers to coordinate the shipment of material to and from that location in support of the processing project.

ESSENTIAL JOB DUTIES:

  • Develop a comprehensive processing plan and timeline for project implementation
  • Coordinate the flow of unprocessed material from the offsite location and the return of processed material to it in relation to the project’s needs
  • Physically process the collections, including refoldering and rehousing portions of it
  • Describe the collections in a sufficiently thorough manner to identify for potential users the many strengths and specific content of the material
  • Document the collection in the collection management system, ArchivesSpace
  • Generate a DACS-compliant, on-line finding aid for the collections
  • Establish name and subject access terms with controlled vocabularies
  • Support, and coordinate with, the technical services unit, museum department, and others in their initiatives to use the collections for exhibitions, digitization, and other purposes
  • Write occasional blogs about documents found in the collections
  • Maintain a pace of work that accomplishes the project’s processing and descriptive goals within the set timeframe.

EDUCATION:

  • ALA-accredited MLIS or equivalent degree, with concentration in archival studies

SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS:

  • A minimum of three years’ experience as a professional archivist arranging and describing archival materials, especially institutional records and photographic/graphic materials
  • A track record of success in the timely completion of large projects
  • Experience in developing processing plans, benchmarks, and timelines for complex archival projects
  • Demonstrated ability to manage the logistics of processing a large collection, preferably including the challenge of coordinating shipments to and from an offsite location as needed during processing
  • Demonstrated ability to scale the level of processing up or down based on the attributes of the record series at hand
  • Demonstrated ability to perceive important subject matter at a granular level within a large collection and describe it effectively within set time constraints
  • Knowledge of and experience with archival standards and best practices, such as DACS and Library of Congress headings
  • Strong written, oral and interpersonal communication skills
  • Experience working with a collection management system, preferably ArchivesSpace
  • Ability to work independently within a collaborative workplace team structure.

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 40 pounds.

COMPENSATION:  $50,000/annual. Attractive benefits package.

TO APPLY:
Send cover letter, resume, the names and contact information of three references, and a finding aid writing sample (or a link to an on-line sample) to resumes@nyhistory.org. In the subject line please reference the specific job title to ensure your resume is forwarded properly.

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

Creative: Tronvig Group