Curator of Digital Collections

Cambridge, MA
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Created: June 30, 2015


The Historical & Special Collections unit houses one of the world's most comprehensive collections of research materials for the study of legal history. In keeping with the mission of the Harvard Law School Library (HLSL) to support the teaching and research programs of the Harvard Law School, HSC collects, catalogs, preserves, and provides access to printed materials, manuscripts, and visual materials that document the history of the law in general and that of the Harvard Law School in particular. All HSC members are expected to participate fully in collaborative efforts toward efficient workflow and problem solving.  The incumbent in this position has autonomy to modify his or her day-to-day activities with the goal of improving the core activities, workflows, outcomes and collegiality of the HSC team. This position leads HSC’s activities pertaining to its digital collections and reports to the HSC Manager.

  • Oversees all born-digital materials collected by HSC, whether acquired though manuscript acquisitions, Red Set collection development, or other means.
  • Leads and collaborates in acquiring, processing, managing, preserving, and making accessible born-digital materials.
  • Develops, updates and upholds policies and procedures for life-cycle management of born-digital materials.
  • Works with BitCurator to create forensic disk images of media acquired through manuscript donations.
  • Investigates technologies for managing, processing, and facilitating access to born-digital materials.
  • Serves as HSC’s liaison for digital archives issues within HLSL, HLS, the Harvard Library, and the broader community.
  • Participates in efforts to implement web and e-mail archiving programs.
  • With Curator of Modern Manuscripts, works with donors to decide how to process manuscript collections with materials in legacy formats.
  • Plans for reformatting of, and access to, legacy audiovisual materials in HSC’s collections.
  • Works with HLSL’s Digital Lab staff to improve the discovery and delivery of HLSL’s digitized collections.
  • Serves as project lead for digitization projects involving HSC materials, and as primary liaison between HSC and HLSL’s Digital Lab. Coordinates and gathers metadata from appropriate HSC staff members; arranges imaging/conservation reviews with Digital Lab, Weissman Preservation Center, Imaging Services, and other staff, helps coordinate transfers of materials.
  • Answers reference questions for modern manuscript materials, visual materials, Red Set materials, and digital collections.
  • Staffs Reading Room up to 4 hours per week (more if needed to cover staff absences).
  • With the HSC Assistant, oversees the Library’s Red Set, which consists of HLS faculty and institutional publications. Creates and publicizes selection policies for faculty and institutional materials we collect in support of the history of HLS (analog and digital). Devises procedures to systematically collect Red Set materials. Liaison with Harvard University Archives and other offices about which records should be collected, and by whom.

More responsibilities listed in "Additional Information"

Basic Qualifications
  • MLS from ALA-Accredited program or equivalent degree, with a concentration in Archives or Records Management.
  • 2-4 years experience working in a research library, with emphasis on experience in special collections, digitization activities, or digital archiving.
  • Significant curatorial experience working with special collections or digital materials.
  • Knowledgeable about the life cycle of digital objects, managing digital archives, and performing digital forensic activities.
  • Experience with technology developed or adopted by the archival community for curating born-digital and mixed-format manuscript material. Familiarity with EAD, MODS, METS, PREMIS, MARC and other data structure standards relevant to archival control of digital collections.
  • Experience processing manuscript and archival collections. Knowledge of or experience with current practices for processing analog, hybrid, and digital-only manuscript and archival collections. Familiarity with DACS and LC cataloging standards.

Additional Qualifications
  • Experience working with legacy audiovisual formats and materials preferred.
  • Ability to identify new technical competencies and learn them quickly.
  • Demonstrated experience successfully planning, leading, implementing, and completing multiple projects within deadlines.
  • Ability to work productively and collegially with supervisors, colleagues, interns and student workers, faculty, scholars and donors.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively.
  • Ability to supervise and guide the work of colleagues, students, interns and others.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Assists Curator of Modern Manuscripts with analog manuscript collections as necessary: accessioning, processing, reviewing faculty gifts, etc.
  • Backs up Curator of Modern Manuscripts in supervising processing staff.
  • Interprets the unit’s programs through exhibitions, publications, tours, and other publicity.
  • May contribute up to 20% time to other functional areas of the Harvard Library.
  • Contributes to the planning and direction of HSC and the Library.
  • Participates on Law Library, Law School, and Harvard Library committees and work groups.
  • Continues learning in keeping with organizational needs.
  • Performs related duties as assigned.

Last updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 23:41 UTC