Assistant Head of the Manuscript Unit for Processing

New Haven County
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Created: April 25, 2016


Yale University offers exciting opportunities for achievement and growth in New Haven, Connecticut.  Conveniently located between Boston and New York, New Haven is the creative capital of Connecticut with cultural resources that include two major art museums, a critically-acclaimed repertory theater, state-of-the-art concert hall, and world-renowned schools of Architecture, Art, Drama, and Music.

Position Focus: Reporting to the Head of the Manuscript Unit, the Assistant Head for Processing leads and manages archival processing of manuscript collections held by the Beinecke Library in the fields of American and modern European literature, history, and the humanities, from the eighteenth through the twenty-first centuries and across all formats. Ensures that manuscript collections are arranged and described in accordance with established standards and best practices, at an appropriate level of detail and effort, and in a timely manner. Leads development of the library’s processing policies and procedures for archival, manuscript, and other non-print media, across a spectrum from basic initial control through full, detailed description. Works closely with unit head and curators to set processing priorities, and tracks and reports progress. Collaborates with Beinecke Library and other University Library staff on the development and use of tools and workflows to support description and access.

Directly supervises 5 professional archivists and 2 support staff members devoted chiefly to archival processing; provides leadership and guidance for processing projects carried out by other unit staff. Plans and directs processing projects carried out by support staff. May supervise project staff and/or interns. May process collections as time permits. Maintains relevant documentation. With the Assistant Head for Accessioning, forms part of a management team assisting in leading ongoing strategic planning and policy development within the Manuscript Unit. As part of the Technical Services Management Group, participates in development and implementation of department-wide goals and initiatives, and in identifying and implementing productive collaborations across library departments and units.  Contributes to Yale University Library and University-wide initiatives and is expected to be active professionally.

The Manuscript Unit is a division of the Technical Services Department. The Manuscript Unit supports the Beinecke Library's robust acquisition program and is responsible for the accessioning, processing, and cataloging of the library’s manuscript collections. The manuscript collections range from ancient papyri and medieval manuscripts to twenty-first century literary archives. In addition to literary and historical manuscripts, formats include photography and artwork, audio and moving image recordings, born-digital files, and music.

The Beinecke Library is Yale's principal repository for literary archives, early manuscripts, and rare books. One of the great collections in North America, the Beinecke collections are internationally known and heavily used by scholars from around the world. For further information about the Beinecke Library, consult the library's web site at: 

Required Education, Skills and Experience: 
• Master’s degree from an ALA-accredited library school or equivalent accredited degree, with formal training in archival theory and practice. A post-graduate degree in a related discipline in the humanities or social sciences may be substituted for a master’s degree in library science. Demonstrated knowledge of archival theory and practice may be substituted for formal training. 
• A minimum of two years of professional experience.
• Proven skill in arranging and describing archival and manuscript collections both large and small to varying levels of detail, and in assessing and determining appropriate levels of processing based on research value, condition, and other factors.
• Proven ability to manage, lead, and direct staff in accomplishing both individual and collective goals. Ability to train staff at all levels in processing methodologies and tasks. Ability to prioritize effectively among competing demands. Ability to solve problems collaboratively and creatively. Experience working collaboratively and independently with varied groups within a complex organization and rapidly changing, team environment.
• Ability to apply extensive knowledge of current and emerging archival descriptive standards and systems (including DACS and authority control standards) to the development of processing practice. Ability to apply knowledge of approaches to arrangement and description of born digital records.
• Strong knowledge of American or modern European literature or history, and broad knowledge in the humanities, as demonstrated through academic degrees or an equivalent combination of training and experience.
• Demonstrated knowledge of current national data content and structure standards related to the archival control of collection materials.
• Demonstrated knowledge of archival and library management systems.
• Demonstrated job or school experience with basic preservation and conservation standards for archival and manuscript collections.
• Demonstrated excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communications and analytical ability.
• Demonstrated record of designing projects and bringing them to a conclusion in a timely fashion.

Yale University assigns ranks to librarian positions based on a combination of professional experience and accomplishments. Librarian ranking information can be found at:

Preferred Education, Skills and Experience:  Four years of professional experience. Experience supervising archival processing in an academic or research library context. Experience processing literary manuscripts. Experience using ArchivesSpace. Experience cataloging manuscript materials in MARC format. Experience with born-digital materials. Knowledge of EAD and EAC-CPF. Good reading knowledge of at least one modern European language.

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, the Center for Science and Social Science Information, 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

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.

How to Apply
Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.  Applications, consisting of a cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information of three professional references should be submitted by applying online at  The STARS req. ID for this position is 36914BR.

Yale University considers applicants for employment without regard to, and does not discriminate on the basis of an individual’s sex, race, color, religion, age, disability, status as a veteran, or national or ethnic origin; nor does Yale discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.


Published: Monday, April 25, 2016 19:07 UTC

Last updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 23:40 UTC