Archivist and Special Collections Librarian

Houston, TX
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Salary: 52,000
Created: April 1, 2021


The TMC Library, McGovern Historical Center seeks a service-oriented, well-organized, technically savvy, and self-motivated Archivist and Special Collections Librarian. The Librarian will be responsible for managing the preservation and access to the library's special collections, including rare books, audiovisual materials, photographs, artwork, institutional records, personal papers, and digital collection. The Librarian will also provide reference services, acquire and assess new collections, provide outreach through physical and digital displays and exhibits, and provide comprehensive, innovative library services that foster teaching, learning and research. The Librarian will also work closely with patrons, donors, library staff, and participate in collaborative institutional groups. The Librarian will also supervise archives assistants and student interns.


  • Use best archival practices based on the recommendations of the Society of American Archivists. Understand and have experience with the seven domains of archiving:  selection, appraisal, and acquisition;
    • arrangement and description;
    • reference services and access;
    • preservation and protection;
    • outreach, advocacy, and promotion;
    • managing archival programs;
    • professional, ethical, and legal responsibilities.
  • Organize, arrange and describe collections according to generally accepted professional standards.
  • Manage all aspects of archival collections, digital collections, and born-digital services, prioritizing projects to facilitate access.
  • Initiate contacts with members of the Houston community to obtain collections or individual items of historical significance.
  • Actively seek collection acquisitions, identifying subject areas that expand collection strengths and address weaknesses.
  • Maintain the collection descriptions, authority records, and physical storage within the Archive Management System (AtoM), enforcing strong metadata standards.
  • Maintain and train staff on digitization procedures and equipment.
  • Provide guidance to archives staff, including regular training sessions for the department.
  • Perform educational outreach activities, such as tours, lectures, events, and classes.
  • Curate exhibits utilizing physical spaces in the library and archives as well as online platforms.
  • Seek funding for special events, historical collections, and the support of the McGovern Historical Center.
  • Answer reference questions and assist clients with their research via in-person, phone, email, and virtual modalities, collaborating with members of other departments to ensure client needs are met.
  • Assist in facilities management oversight, assuring the physical environment is secure, stable, and well-maintained.
  • Design projects, both physical processing and digital, that utilize the skills of all archives staff.
  • Maintain department procedures and documentation, updating department manuals regularly.
  • Maintain archive management system, website, and social media.
  • Establish and maintain an environment that encourages teamwork, interdependence, and customer service.
  • Complete all activities towards the fulfillment of the Library mission and strategic objectives.
  • Participate in regional and professional archival organizations, such as Archivists of the Houston Area, Society of Southwest Archivists, Society of American Archivists, and Texas Archival Resources Online, or other archival-related organizations.


Education and experience – Minimum education requirement is a Master’s Degree in Library Science from an ALA-Accredited program with some classes in archival science or an archival track; or an equivalent master’s degree in archival studies or related field. Some experience in an archival setting required. Favorable consideration will be given to candidates with an Archivist Certification through Academy of Certified Archivists. The applicant should have the ability to work with minimal supervision, supervise staff and volunteers, work closely with patrons and donors, and achieve mutually agreed upon goals. Demonstrated written and verbal communication skills.


  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite, especially Excel spreadsheets.
  • Proficiency with the standards, Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS) and Encoded Archival Description (EAD).
  • Proficiency in digitization procedures and standards for all material types, especially photograph, text, audio, video.
  • Familiarity with specialized software, such as Oxygen, Photoshop and other creative applications.
  • Familiarity with archive management systems, especially Access to Memory (AtoM).
  • Awareness of best archival practices is essential, including knowledge of digital archival practices, such as preservation, metadata, and digitization.
  • Participation in and pursuit of the Society of American Archivists Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) certification.


  • 3 years archival experience, especially in digital projects and digitization services
  • Aptitude for web development, scripting, and mark-up languages (Command-line, HTML, XML, MySQL, PHP, Python, XSLT).
  • Working knowledge of website content management systems, like WordPress.
  • Working knowledge of  Springshare applications, like LibApps, LibAnswers, LibGuides, and LibWizard.
  • Working knowledge of institutional repositories, such as DigitalCommons and DSpace.
  • Working knowledge of digital preservation practices, including knowledge of BitCurator and other digital preservation tools, like File Analyzer, DROID, Exiftool, DataAccessioner.
  • Working knowledge of best preservation practices for rare books, ephemera, and audiovisual materials.

Working Conditions

Usual Environment – Typical office environment with telephones and background noises.  Some work in a warehouse environment. Occasional local travel may be required.  May need to work irregular hours to meet deadlines or special assignments.

Physical Requirements – This position is about two-thirds sedentary and one-third physical labor. The labor involves bending, stooping, climbing stairs while holding boxes and lifting boxes of paper and odd shaped objects. This position requires the ability to carry 40 pounds up a staircase and lift that weight chest high.

If interested in applying, please send an updated resume and cover letter to

How to apply


Published: Thursday, April 1, 2021 19:36 UTC

Last updated: Thursday, April 1, 2021 19:36 UTC