Assistant Head of Arrangement and Description

New Haven
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Created: August 30, 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 Arrangement and Description, the Assistant Head of Arrangement and Description leads and manages accessioning and archival processing of manuscript and archival collections primarily from the nineteenth through the twenty-first centuries and across all formats. Ensures that manuscript and archival 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. Assists with the development of the department’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 acquiring archivists, including the heads of collection development and university archives, to set processing priorities, and tracks and reports progress. Collaborates with Manuscripts and Archives and other University Library staff on the development and use of tools and workflows to support description and access.

Trains and supervises 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 additional project staff and/or interns. May process collections as time permits. Maintains relevant documentation.

Makes recommendations on personnel selection, staffing requirements, and equipment and supply needs. Participate in departmental planning; represent the department on a variety of collaborative projects and programs inside and outside the department; seek opportunities for cooperation with other departments or institutions; plan and manage specific library projects.

Participate in departmental reference and outreach program through weekly rotations on the reference desk and involvement in primary source instruction. May participate in donor relations, including initiating and maintaining contacts, negotiating deeds of gift. Undertake special projects as assigned. Participate in departmental and library-wide planning and committee activities. Actively contribute to the archival profession.

The Arrangement and Description Unit is a division of Manuscripts and Archives. The Unit supports the Manuscripts and Archives acquisition program and is responsible for the accessioning, processing, and cataloging of the unit’s manuscript and archival collections.

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. In selected instances, a post-graduate degree in museum studies or a related discipline in the humanities or social sciences may be substituted for a master’s degree in library science.
• 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.
• Experience working collaboratively and independently with varied groups within a complex organization and rapidly changing, team environment.
• Proven ability to supervise, 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.
• Demonstrated knowledge of current national data content and structure standards related to the archival control of collection materials. 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.
• Demonstrated knowledge of archival and library management systems. Demonstrated knowledge of archival theory and practice may be substituted for formal training.
• 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: Experience supervising archival processing in an academic or research library; using ArchivesSpace; cataloging manuscript materials in MARC format; accessioning or processing born-digital materials; in the use of computational methods and resources to support archival processing and collections management. Strong knowledge of American history, and broad knowledge in the humanities.

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

Manuscripts and Archives, Sterling Memorial Library
Manuscripts and Archives is a major center for historical inquiry and also serves as the documentary memory of Yale University.  For more information about the department, please consult the website:

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 39186BR.

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: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 20:16 UTC

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