Dillon Papers Project Archivist

Boston, MA
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Salary: $50,000
Created: January 17, 2020


Dillon Papers Project Archivist


Since 2006, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library (“Library”) and John F. Kennedy Library Foundation (“Foundation”) have partnered to scan, store, preserve, describe, and publish to the Web the Library’s extensive archival holdings. The goal of the digitization program is to provide online access to the Archives’ core, unique, and unrestricted holdings in all formats through the use of state-of-the-art digital asset/content management software. Since the partnership’s inception, the Library has provided online access to approx. 600,000 pages of documents; 23,000 photographic images; 3,700 audio recordings; 1,400 oral history transcripts; and 125 films and videos. Currently, the program is funded through generous support from the Foundation (via grants, private donations, and other sources) and includes a robust digitization on demand service for researchers and staff.


Reporting to the Supervisory Archivist for Photographic and Textual Digitization (“Supervisory Archivist”), the Dillon Papers Project Archivist (“Project Archivist”) will be responsible for scanning, ingesting into DAMS storage, preserving, describing, and publishing online the personal papers of C. Douglas Dillon, the Secretary of the Treasury under President John F. Kennedy. During the process of digitizing and describing the collection’s textual and photographic contents over the course of approximately 16 months, the Project Archivist will also: resolve problems with the current arrangement and description of the collection; perform basic preservation measures on the materials; digitize and describe (at the item level) the collection’s specially protected holdings; and reintegrate and digitize materials that have been recently declassified. Additional responsibilities include:

  • developing project timelines, ensuring that project benchmarks are met, and completing project reporting requirements;
  • working in close collaboration with the photographic and textual digitization team and other archival units (Processing, Reference, and Declassification), the IT Specialist, and other Library and Foundation stakeholders to ensure smooth coordination of work;
  • identifying materials (oversize, fragile, etc.) that may require outsourced digitization;
  • performing basic preservation measures on materials to be digitized;
  • addressing legacy collection-related issues and updating finding aids;
  • assessing materials for intellectual property and other restrictions;
  • utilizing the Archives’ new digital asset/content management system (Cortex) throughout the course of their work (scanning, ingest, description, and online publication);
  • participating in a short-term pilot that will make use of selected materials from the collection to test onsite, high-volume digitization of 2-D holdings by an external vendor;
  • maintaining and reporting accurate statistics on the imaging, description, and online publication of digital assets;
  • recommending improved workflows and procedures related to textual digitization and description;
  • updating relevant policy, procedural, and training documentation;
  • contributing materials for the Library’s social media platforms;
  • authoring at least one post for the blog, JFK Library Archives: An Inside Look;
  • participating in donor relations; and
  • giving a project presentation to relevant Library and Foundation staff.


This position requires experience performing original cataloging of digitized archival documents and manuscripts. Specifically, the candidate must have demonstrated familiarity with the following encoding and descriptive standards: Dublin Core, EAD, EAD-CPF, DACS, RDA, MARC21, and LCSH. The individual must be able to work well in a team environment and have excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills. Additional requirements include a thorough knowledge of archival preservation practices and experience handling rare and fragile materials. Other qualifications are as follows:

  • knowledge of bibliographic and authority control, controlled vocabularies, and thesauri creation and maintenance;
  • knowledge of archives management and intellectual property issues in a library/archives setting;
  • knowledge of historical trends and research methods;
  • experience with project management;
  • experience using a digital asset management system, archives content management system, or digital repository;
  • experience with digital imaging workflows, including hardware and software;
  • knowledge of archival imaging standards and practices;
  • ability to work with multiple stakeholders and to balance varied tasks in a time-sensitive environment;
  • ability to handle analytical and highly detailed work; and
  • knowledge of and demonstrated commitment to values associated with Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI).

Preferred qualifications

  • Knowledge of programming languages including SQL and Python.


Master's degree in library science, history, or public history with a concentration in archives management. Two years of full-time work experience in an archives setting may substitute for the archives concentration.

Salary and Benefits

Starting salary: $50,000. This is a full-time, term-limited position (approx. 16 months) with generous benefits and paid time off (PTO). Continuation beyond the project term may be possible, though is not guaranteed (and contingent upon available funding).

Applications will be accepted until January 31, 2020. To apply, please send a cover letter, résumé, and three references via e-mail to:

Karen Adler Abramson
Director of Archives
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Columbia Point
Boston, MA 02125

E-mail: HR(at)jfklfoundation.org

Applications without a cover letter will not be considered. No phone calls, please.

About the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation

The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation (“Foundation”) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1984 with the purpose of carrying President Kennedy’s legacy forward. The Foundation aims to inspire and engage both Americans and people around the world with his timeless vision of public service, civic responsibility, civil rights, scientific discovery and creative cultural pursuits, and ideals of peace, optimism and service, so s/he may learn how to translate them into action. As a major part of this mission, the Foundation supports the work of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, whose core function is to collect, preserve, and make available for research, the documents, audiovisual material, and memorabilia of President Kennedy, his family, and his contemporaries. Today, the Kennedy Library in Boston is one of the most visited of the 14 presidential libraries in America. Over 225,000 people from around the globe visit the museum and nearly 12 million people visit the Library’s website each year, and the Foundation serves 25,000 students annually through a host of free educational programs.

The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity toward all communities and individuals who may seek our services, for all employees, qualified applicants and volunteers, in every area of employment, without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, pregnancy (and pregnancy related conditions), gender identity or expression, citizenship status, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, genetic disposition or carrier status, marital status, familial status, status as a victim of domestic violence, military or veteran status or any other category protected under applicable federal, state or local law.

Last updated: Tuesday, January 21, 2020 18:59 UTC