Metadata Archivist

New York City
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Created: May 16, 2014


The New York Public Library holds nearly 10,000 archival and manuscript collections comprising over 50,000 linear feet. These collections are distributed across several curatorial units in three research centers. They support the work of a world-wide readership of scholars, writers, artists, and other advanced researchers, as well as initiatives and exhibits undertaken by NYPL and other educational and cultural institutions . For more information about our collection see

The purpose of the Archives Unit (AU) is to support archival enterprise at NYPL by insuring that all archival collections are acquired, processed, and prepared for access according to best practices established internally at NYPL and externally in the archives, library, and preservation communities. The AU pursues these goals by informing the acquisition process through collaboration with curators, donors/sellers of archival collections, and Library Administrators, and by managing and performing all the work on archival and manuscript collections from their physical transfer to NYPL until they are ready to be served in the appropriate reading rooms. The unit also supports and contributes to other archival projects, such as collection moves and digitization. The Archives Unit not only responds to the needs of curatorial units and their collections, but actively seeks out and engages in partnerships and collaborations in the fields of archival management, description, preservation, and access.

  • Under the supervision of the Head of the Archives Unit, the Metadata Archivist oversees NYPL’s archival data
  • standards, in particular Encoded Archival Description (EAD), Encoded Archival Context-Corporate Bodies,
  • Persons, and Families (EAC-CPF), and related description and digital content standards and tools.
The Metadata Archivist will:
  • Collaborate with staff throughout NYPL to promote portability of metadata related to its archival collections
  • Lead efforts to enhance descriptive data to optimize its use by internal and external systems and partners
  • Assume an active role in initiatives within the broader archival community related to the development and implementation of archival metadata standards
  • Play a leadership role in NYPL’s implementation of ArchivesSpace and assume the management of the project now in progress to convert approximately 1000 legacy finding aids into EAD through a vendor
  • Work closely with NYPL Labs (digital innovation team) and other technologists on the ongoing development of the Library’s archives portal (
  • Collaborate with the Library’s Metadata Services Manager and other NYPL staff outside of the Archives Unit to facilitate metadata portability and promote best practices across the organization
  • Lead the implementation of Encoded Archival Context – Corporate bodies, Persons, and Families (EAC-CPF) at NYPL; plan, direct, and review the work of other staff in Archives Unit
  • Perform related duties as assigned
  • ALA-accredited Master's degree in library, archival or information studies or Master’s degree in Liberal Arts or Humanities; degree or background in American History preferred
  • Successful completion of archival training
  • Successfully demonstrated relevant experience in an archives or manuscripts repository arranging and describing archives and/or providing reference service to users of archives.
  • Strong working knowledge of EAD, HTML, XML, including the RelaxNG and Schematron schema languages; DACS, MARC, AACR2, RDA, LCSH, LCAF, and LC cataloging standards.
  • Familiarity with EAC-CPF, MODS, METS, other metadata standards, and Linked Data
  • Familiarity and experience with methods and tools for data remediation
  • Experience creating, editing, and executing transformations on XML data; experience transforming XML and JSON data programmatically through scripting languages such as python or ruby preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to access and manipulate data through relational databases and API endpoints preferred.
  • Experience creating and/or maintaining documentation of guidelines, policies, and procedures
  • Working knowledge of historical research methodology and experience with standard bibliographic tools
  • Reading knowledge of at least one foreign language
  • Demonstrated willingness and ability to grow and develop existing programming skill sets
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills
  • Successfully demonstrated initiative, accuracy, attention to detail, judgment, analytic and organizational skills
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively
  • Experience maintaining an implementation of EAD in an archival or special collections context preferred.
  • Familiarity with the Archivists’ Toolkit and ArchivesSpace preferred.
  • Experience supervising and training staff preferred
  • Awareness of web development practices and methodology preferred

Last updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 23:43 UTC