Archivist (Collections Officer)

Washington, D.C.
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Created: August 1, 2016


This position is located in the Preparation Section of the Manuscript Division of the Collections and Services Directorate of Library Services. As part of one of the largest manuscript repositories in the United States and in the world, the Preparation Section is key to the Manuscript Division's mission of preparing for reader use material that encompasses the breadth and chronology of American history, including the papers of presidents, cabinet members, Supreme Court justices, writers, scientists, inventors, business leaders, reformers, and prominent non-governmental organizations. The incumbent is responsible for the organization, description, and control of manuscript collections, including the use of computer technology in relation to those duties. The position requires occasional late-night work serving as security escort to staff of the Architect of the Capitol or other authorized personnel on construction or maintenance duty in the division's storage facilities. The incumbent works under the general supervision of a supervisory archivist in the Preparation Section who prioritizes work and provides advice on policy and technical problems.

The position description number for this position is 348914.

The salary range indicated reflects the locality pay adjustments for the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan area.

The incumbent of this position will work a flextime work schedule.

Occasional Saturday service in the Manuscript Division Reading Room is required.

This is a non-supervisory, bargaining unit position. Relocation expenses will not be authorized for the person(s) selected under this vacancy announcement.

With guidance from supervisors, performs a variety of tasks on Capitol Hill and at off-site storage facilities that support the receipt, control, accessibility, safe condition, and security of the Manuscript Division's processed and unprocessed archival collections. Helps coordinate with supervisors, curatorial specialists, representatives of other divisions, and donors the delivery and receipt of new collection material to the Library. In support of cataloging, collects information about the size, content, condition, and format of newly acquired accessions received off-site. Maintains and upgrades inventories and databases of all received material by name of collection.

Under the direction of supervisors, plans for the receipt of special conservation supplies necessary for processing archival materials. Recommends the acquisition of these supplies and of related equipment in the Preparation Section. Keeps records of their delivery and availability. Coordinates and accounts for the physical transfer to other divisions of Library materials inappropriate for the Manuscript Division. Individually and as a project leader organizes and undertakes shelving and storage assignments, including the physical handling and movement of collection material.

Analyzes and arranges bodies of personal papers and organizational records that are somewhat disorganized, demonstrating knowledge of archival theory and practice in planning and carrying out their organization and description. Evaluates the significance of archival material in its historical context and applies evaluation in helping create a plan of its arrangement and description. Assembles information to help resolve administrative and legal matters affecting the arrangement and availability of collections. Produces detailed descriptive guides for research use online. Helps direct the work of technicians and interns in processing collections. Maintains technical expertise in emerging technologies and implements tools to facilitate the creation and publication of finding aid and other descriptive information online.

Works to maintain personal contacts and cooperative work relationships in order to provide or exchange information. Coordinates as necessary with collection curators and staff in other divisions relating to the transmission, handling, description, and storage of division material housed off-site or transferred elsewhere.

Surveys collections to identify and inventory groups of materials for preservation and physical security. Follows prescribed specifications and procedures in preserving original material and reproducing originals for preservation. Monitors and coordinates procedures for routing materials for preservation treatment and for preparation of new materials to be added to the collections.

Provides information in response to reference service requests that require research among several record groups to locate the information. Substitutes on a temporary basis as necessary assisting readers in the division’s public reading room.

Applicants must have had progressively responsible experience and training sufficient in scope and quality to furnish them with an acceptable level of the following knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the duties of the position without more than normal supervision.

Knowledge of a variety of automated tools and technologies such as integrated library systems and web applications used to carry out archival functions.**

Knowledge of the principles, concepts, and techniques of archival work, including analysis, organization, and description of archival material.**

Ability to perform preservation duties.

Ability to provide consultation and/or liaison duties.

Ability to analyze and implement collection control.**

Knowledge of reference and research.

Ability to communicate effectively other than in writing.

Physical Demands: The work requires some physical exertion, such as long periods of standing; walking over rough, uneven, or rocky surfaces; recurring bending, crouching, stooping, stretching, reaching, or similar activities; or recurring lifting of moderately heavy items, such as typewriters and record boxes. The work may require specific, but common, physical characteristics and abilities, such as above average agility and dexterity. This position is required to lift material up to thirty-five pounds (35 lbs.) on a regular and recurring basis.

Security Clearance
Not Applicable


Published: Monday, August 1, 2016 16:05 UTC

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