Digital Preservation Analyst

Cambridge, MA
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Created: September 24, 2015


The Harvard Library is seeking a creative and motivated Digital Preservation Analyst to lead the development of a high-profile and strategic project to make it easier for Harvard curators, archivists and reformatting specialists to deposit material to the DRS. This project is expected to result in simpler and more efficient deposit workflows, with less manual and more automated tasks; with the overall effect of encouraging more digital material to be deposited in the DRS. The Digital Preservation Analyst will report to the Manager of Digital Preservation and Repository Services.

The core teaching and research missions of the University are increasingly dependent upon digital materials which are inherently fragile and dependent for their long-range viability on technologies that change continuously. One of the key challenges of the twenty-first century is how to preserve the usefulness of this digital content for future generations of scholars. In response to these challenges, Harvard Library's Digital Preservation Services provides services and infrastructure to keep Harvard's digital collections safe and usable. The centerpiece of the preservation program is Harvard Library's digital preservation repository, the Digital Repository Service (DRS), which provides secure, monitored storage and preservation services for more than 56 million files in many different digital formats. It is a robust and mature repository that has been in production since 2000 and is used by over fifty Harvard libraries, archives and museums. The DRS technology is centrally maintained by Harvard's Library Technology Services (LTS) department.

The duties include:
  • Shadowing and interviewing curators, archivists, developers and reformatting experts across the University to understand their workflows and the challenges they have using the current DRS deposit tools
  • Interviewing managers and developers of other Harvard systems that would be more likely to deposit material to the DRS if there were easy ways to copy the content and metadata from that system to the DRS - for example DASH ( and Harvard Dataverse (
  • Developing and documenting the functional requirements for new DRS deposit tools and services and enhancements to existing ones
  • Identifying existing deposit tools used by other repositories or institutions that Harvard might adapt
  • Learning about the current DRS deposit tools through a combination of attending training sessions, reading on-line documentation and independent experimentation with the tools
  • Communicating the requirements to technical staff at LTS so that the work can be implemented
  • Managing both the analysis and development aspects of the project, including developing plans and schedules, overseeing the completion of milestones, and communicating the project status through the appropriate channels
  • Scheduling and running a variety of meetings to elicit feedback, communicate project status, demo prototypes and results
  • Working with the user community and developers to prioritize the importance of functional requirements
  • Analyzing prototypes against the functional requirements
  • This is a benefited, full-time position that has been funded through November 30, 2016.
Basic Qualifications:
  • Master's degree in library and information science, computer science or a related field or an equivalent combination of education and experience, required.
  • Experience with technology developed for or adopted by the digital preservation community
  • Experience with workflows to describe and package digital content for ingest into a digital preservation repository
  • Experience managing projects including developing project plans, identifying milestones and working towards deadlines
  • Experience working on projects with both technical and non-technical contributors
  • Additional Qualifications:
  • Experience developing and documenting functional requirements
  • Experience researching and evaluating technical tools or systems
  • Experience scheduling and running meetings
  • Familiarity with MODS, METS, PREMIS and other metadata standards relevant to digital preservation and libraries
  • Familiarity with technologies for transferring digital content including sftp, APIs, and Dropbox
  • Familiarity with Agile Development (which is used by LTS)
  • Strong problem-solving and analytical skills
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively
  • Ability to read and comprehend technical documentation
  • Attention to details
  • Ability to work in a complex organization and across multiple departments
  • While not required, knowledge or experience with many different file formats is preferred

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