Digital Archivist

New Haven
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Created: August 10, 2012


The University and the Library
The Yale University Library, as one of the world's leading research libraries, collects, organizes, preserves, and provides access to and services for a rich and unique record of human thought and creativity. It fosters intellectual growth and supports the teaching and research missions of Yale University and scholarly communities worldwide. A distinctive strength is its rich spectrum of resources, including around 12.8 million volumes and information in all media, ranging from ancient papyri to early printed books to electronic databases. The Library is engaging in numerous projects to expand access to its physical and digital collections. Housed in eighteen buildings including the Sterling Memorial Library, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and the Bass Library, it employs a dynamic and diverse staff of approximately five hundred who offer innovative and flexible services to library readers.  For additional information on the Yale University Library, please visit the Library's web site at

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
The Beinecke Library, one of the world's largest libraries devoted entirely to rare books and manuscripts, is Yale's principal repository for literary archives, early manuscripts, and rare books. The Beinecke collections are internationally known and heavily used by scholars from around the world. In addition to distinguished general collections, the Beinecke Library houses the Osborn Collection, noted for its British and literary and historical manuscripts, and outstanding special collections devoted to American literature, German literature, and Western Americana.  The Beinecke’s collections include materials ranging from papyrus and medieval manuscripts to born-digital files.  For further information about the Beinecke Library, consult the library's web site at:

The Beinecke Library has been acquiring born-digital manuscript material for more than a decade, and the Beinecke’s Manuscript Unit has been increasingly active over the past several years in developing local infrastructure, services, standards, and best practices, most recently (2009-2011) as part of the multi-institutional AIMS project (Born Digital Collections: An Inter-Institutional Model for Stewardship).  The Beinecke Library is poised to expand its capacity to collect born-digital materials, make them available for research, and responsibly preserve them for future scholarship.

Departmental Focus
The Digital Archivist ensures effective appraisal, acquisition, arrangement, description, preservation, and service of born-digital collections held by the Beinecke Library.  Reporting to the Head of the Manuscript Unit, with a dotted line to the Head of Technology and Digital Assets, this position closely supports staff throughout the Beinecke in their work to collect, manage, and make available digital materials.  The Digital Archivist engages with emerging research and professional developments relevant to digital curation, and collaborates with other departments in the Yale University Library to develop and sustain a program for stewardship of born-digital material.

Representative Job Summary
Yale University librarians work in libraries across the Central, West, Medical, and Science campuses, to build, manage, and provide access to a rich and unique record of human thought and creativity. They demonstrate flexibility, creativity, and imagination in their work and adapt to and help shape a continuously evolving work environment. Yale librarians provide consistently high quality service to the University, and help meet the needs of the local, national, and international teaching and research communities.

Representative Responsibilities
  • The Librarian 1 is the beginning rank and is expected to demonstrate excellence in meeting the position responsibilities, as defined by the job description and annual goals.
  • Begin to fulfill the criteria for service to the library, university, and/or community.
  • Begin to fulfill the criteria for professional contributions.
Departmental Responsibilities
Leads the Beinecke Library’s ongoing development and implementation of standards, best practices, and procedures for the stewardship of born-digital manuscript material.

Responsible for technical appraisal, capture/transfer, accessioning, storage/preservation, and service of born-digital manuscript material. Collaborates with other Beinecke staff on policies and workflows: supports curators in their appraisal of collections, communications with donors and vendors, and transfer of material to Beinecke’s custody; collaborates with other archivists in the Manuscript Unit to determine workflows and best practices for arrangement and description of hybrid and born-digital collections; and coordinates with the Access Services Department to establish procedures for requesting material and provision of access.

Works closely with Beinecke’s Technology and Digital Assets Department, Yale University Library’s Manuscripts and Archives Department (with which Beinecke shares infrastructure for managing born-digital collection material), and others as needed to research, test, and implement technology to meet ongoing stewardship needs for born-digital manuscript material.  Collaborates with Yale University Library’s Digital Preservation Librarian and contributes to Yale University Library’s initiative to establish digital repository systems for preservation and access. Serves as a resource to staff throughout the Yale University Library regarding born-digital material.

Processes manuscript collections with born-digital content, as time allows.  Develops and maintains documentation to support Manuscript Unit and other Beinecke Library staff in their work to provide access to digital collection material.

Undertakes special projects as assigned. Plans, directs, and reviews the work of support staff and student assistants. Participates in Yale University Library planning committees and task forces and engage in campus, regional, and national professional organizations and collaborative activities. Expected to be active professionally and represent the Library and the University in the academic, scholarly, and professional community.  May be required to assist in disaster recovery efforts.  May be assigned to work at West Campus location in West Haven, CT.

Required Education and Experience
Master’s degree in Library Science from an American Library Association accredited Library school. In selected instances, a post-graduate degree in a related discipline may be required or substituted for an MLS. Appointment to this rank is limited to two years at which time it is expected that the individual will develop necessary requirements to meet expectations of performance at the Librarian 2 level.

Required Skills and Abilities
Formal training in archival theory and practice. Appointment at the Librarian 2 rank requires a minimum of three years, and Librarian 3 five years, of relevant professional library experience and professional accomplishments appropriate to the rank.

Experience with strategies, such as computer forensics, and technology developed or adopted by the archival community for curating born-digital manuscript material.  Familiarity with EAD, MODS, METS, XML, PREMIS & other data structure standards relevant to archival control of digital collections.

Experience processing/cataloging manuscript and archival collections. Knowledge of or experience with current practices for processing/cataloging digital only and/or hybrid manuscript and archival collections. Familiarity with DACS, MARC, AACR2, and LC cataloging standards.

Strong knowledge of American or European literature or history, and broad knowledge in the humanities, as demonstrated through academic degrees or an equivalent combination of training or experience.

Excellent communication and organizational skills, accuracy, and attention to detail. Ability to think creatively, and work both independently and collaboratively in a production-oriented, collegial environment.

Preferred Education, Experience and Skills:
Experience implementing policies, standards, and procedures for stewardship of digital material in a special collections setting. Experience with FTK, floppy drive controllers (e.g. Catweasel, Kryoflux), writeblockers, Sleuth Kit, fiwalk, emulators, XSLT, and scripting languages (e.g. Ruby, Python). Awareness of developments in the Digital Humanities. Reading ability in modern European languages.

Salary and Benefits
We invite you to discover the excitement, diversity, rewards and excellence of a career at Yale University. One of the country's great workplaces, Yale University offers exciting opportunities for meaningful accomplishment and true growth. Our benefits package is among the best anywhere, with a wide variety of insurance choices, liberal paid time off, fantastic family and educational benefits, a variety of retirement benefits, extensive recreational facilities, and much more.

Applications consisting of a cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information of three professional references should be sent by creating an account and applying online at for immediate consideration - the STARS req ID for this position is 18058BR.  Please be sure to reference #18058BR in your cover letter.

Background Check Requirements
All external candidates for employment will be subject to pre-employment background screening for this position, which may include motor vehicle and credit checks based on the position description and job requirements. All offers are contingent on successful completion of the required background check. Please visit  for additional information on the background check requirements and process.

Last updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 23:46 UTC