Digital Archivist

Baltimore, MD
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Created: August 10, 2017


Requisition Number 17-0162

Post Date 8/9/2017

Title Digital Archivist

City Baltimore

State MD


The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), located on the Johns Hopkins University Campus in Baltimore, MD, is the science operations center for the Hubble Space Telescope and the science and mission operations center for the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch in 2018. Take part in work at the forefront of astronomy in a job that offers a competitive salary and generous benefits.

The STScI Library is seeking a Digital Archivist to lead the institute’s efforts in capturing and curating records of enduring value that highlight the historic milestones and achievements of the institute and its flagship missions through interoffice coordination and archive scheduling.   The Digital Archivist will work independently under the general direction of the Chief Librarian.

Duties and Responsibilities


  • Assists in collecting, providing access to, and maintaining needed information of enduring value on past and ongoing science missions in print and non-print formats for scientific, technical, and support staff;
  • Creates scope statement outlining record types and series for active curation; exercises discretion and independent judgment in description of series and resources;
  • Manages daily and recurring business processes related to budget oversight for the archives branch of the STScI Library; works with Chief Librarian to plan and justify archives budget.Executes and controls archival expenditures.
  • Establishes requirements for institutional archives digital preservation software such as Preservica, Archivematica, Open Archive, or Archon; performs routine and custom database maintenance in the archival catalog as well as system upgrades as needed; documents database functions, and serves as point of contact with archival software vendor;
  • Supervises one or more interns or staff on print and digital preservation efforts;
  • Creates, documents, manages, and assesses workflows for acquiring, describing, processing, preserving, and creating access points for both analog and born-digital materials;
  • Manages digitization contract for conversion of print and non-print [audio-visual] materials; manages Memorandum of Understanding with Johns Hopkins University Archives;
  • Provides guidance to institute offices and departments on identifying and preserving records of value; creates a simplified process for digital and print transfer to the archives for pre-processing to ensure greater compliance; works with institute staff in Information Technology Services Division (ITSD) and other offices to ensure successful transfer and version control of born-digital materials into pre-processing storage and end-point digital preservation system;
  • Works with external agencies such as NASA and aerospace contractors to establish ownership of records, minimize duplication, and ensure copyright and commercial compliance;
  • Works with the Director’s Office and other institute leaders to establish a public-facing instance of the archives; improves, updates, changes, and maintains the Institutional Archives web pages on an on-going basis;
  • Assesses appropriateness of materials for public viewership; identifies personally identifiable information and other confidential or commercially sensitive information and redacts or otherwise restricts access; trains interns or other staff working with the archiving efforts on the same;
  • Establishes internal archive policies and procedures with regards to physical access, and establishes policies for assistance to users;
  • In conjunction with other library staff creates, develops, and implements special projects to enhance library and archival services and cross-integration;
  • Potentially, pursues grants related to the archival preservation;
  • Re-processes existing analog files for digitization and enhanced discovery;
  • Ability to work independently with minimal instruction as well as working cooperatively as part of a team extremely important.


Advanced knowledge of and experience using digital preservation and archival software such as Preservica, Archivematica, Open Archive, or Archon. Experience with web archiving resources such as Archive-It. Experience assessing collections for a small to medium-sized organization for preservation and establishing a records schedule that reflects the archival priorities of that organization, preferably with scientific materials.

Experience managing personally identifiable or commercially-sensitive information in an archival setting and making decisions on access.

Technical facility, and the ability to learn new technical skills through research, training, and self-study; demonstrated ability to adapt to changing tools, methodologies in archiving, and requirements of the institute.

Ability to work with a diverse group of technical, scientific, and non-technical personnel within the institute and to communicate effectively with software vendors, contract services, and peer institutions outside the Institute.

Ability to work independently with minimal instruction; strong time management skills, strong organizational skills and attention to detail.

Experience with oral histories or personal interviews a plus.

Must be able to understand and follow oral and written instruction, to read and comprehend complex and specialized vocabulary, and to organize and perform work independently with minimal instructions.

Demonstrate supervisory responsibilities including interviewing, selecting, and training interns; planning, assigning, and directing archival work; carrying out archives branch goal development.

Proactive compliance with STScI and government safety and security policies and procedures in own work area is expected.

Candidates require an ALA accredited Master’s degree in Library Science/Information Science with a concentration in Archives or equivalent is required. A minimum of 2 years’ experience managing an archival program within an institution, university, or agency is also required. Knowledge of astronomical materials and resources is desirable.

Experience assessing collections for a small to medium-sized organization for preservation and establishing a records schedule that reflects the archival priorities of that organization, preferably with scientific materials. Technical skills applicable to working in a modern office environment, including knowledge of the Internet, word processing, database management, spreadsheet, and specialized archival software knowledge are required, specifically knowledge of standards for archival description and preservation including DACS, EAD, EAC-CPF, etc.

Ability to work well with a diverse group of technical, scientific, and non-technical personnel.  Ability to perform effective liaison with archives, libraries and data sources outside of the Institute.

Note:  Substitution of additional relevant education or experience for stated qualifications will be considered.

Candidates must be a US citizen or Permanent Resident. ITAR clearance is required.

Interested applicants are requested to complete an on-line application through our website at and attach a resume in the Resume Upload section. Please include #17-0162 in the file name. Your resume must include a URL to an online portfolio. Applications received by October 6, 2017 will receive full consideration.

AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, is committed to diversity and inclusion. AURA develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce. Learn more at

STScI sees the diversity of our staff as a strategic priority in our desire to create a first-rate scientific community. We reflect that deep commitment in strongly encouraging women, minorities, veterans and disabled individuals to apply for these opportunities.

Veterans, disabled individuals or wounded warriors needing assistance with the employment process can contact us at EOE/AA/M/F/D/V Voted to the Baltimore Magazine Hall of Fame in 2015 – Top 25 Places to Work in Baltimore.

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Last updated: Thursday, August 10, 2017 17:25 UTC