Processing Archivist

Philadelphia, PA
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Salary: $44,663-$50,890
Created: August 18, 2021



The Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS) in Philadelphia, PA, is hiring a full-time, permanent Processing Archivist to plan and execute archival processing of personal paper and records collections, with a particular focus on advancing current and future collecting initiatives, such as the LGBTQIA+ History Collecting Initiative and the African American Leaders & Congregations Collecting Initiative. The Processing Archivist reports to the Director of Programs and Services and will arrange and describe archival materials; assist with collection development; conduct oral histories; oversee archival preservation activities, including environmental monitoring and maintenance of archival supplies; contribute writing to PHS communications; and contribute to remote reference services.

This position calls for a basic commitment to the mission of the Presbyterian Historical Society, the Office of the General Assembly, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as well as a commitment to continue to dismantle white supremacy, sexism and racism in the Office of the General Assembly and the PC(U.S.A.).  The position fosters collaboration, innovation and openness with colleagues, constituents and the wider church.

Responsibilities (in order of importance)

  1. Plans and executes processing of personal paper and records collections in analog and born-digital formats and creates finding aids.
  2. Works with donors and potential donors to bring in archival materials that meet collecting criteria; plans and conducts oral and video histories with living subjects to enhance specific collecting initiatives.
  3. Creates, enhances, and manages descriptive data for archival collections, including contributing to efforts to implement a reparative and inclusive approach to archival description.
  4. Oversees archival preservation activities including environmental monitoring and ordering and maintaining archival-quality supplies for storage of collection materials. Serves on Disaster Response Team and contributes to disaster planning.
  5. Occasionally supervises interns and/or volunteers on processing-related projects.
  6. Writes for PHS communications (blog posts, newsletter articles, etc.) on topics associated with processing projects.
  7. Assists with remote reference as assigned.
  8. Other duties as assigned by the supervisor or the Office of the General Assembly.

Education and Experience

ALA-accredited Masters in Library Science/Information Studies with an emphasis in archival administration; Masters in History with archival administration component; or Masters in Archival Management. At least one year of full-time processing experience or part-time equivalent in an archives or special collections library. Knowledge of descriptive standards common to archives and libraries (DACS, LCSH/LCNAF, etc.) and comfort with using archival management systems or databases. Ability to communicate clearly, positively, and effectively both verbally and in writing. Ability to work in a consultative and collaborative style. Demonstrated commitment to value differences and the benefits to be derived from working with a broad range of people.  Ability to effectively manage interpersonal relationships. Fluency in English. Able to use current technology and equipment.

Sensory or Physical Requirements 

Sight and hearing required. Ability to lift and shift thirty-pound boxes and ability to reach overhead, stoop, and climb stools and ladders to retrieve collection material. Ability to travel as scheduled. Ability to use the computer for extended periods of time. Ability to communicate via telephone and via Zoom and other computer technologies.

Desired Qualifications

Familiarity with born-digital processing procedures and standards. Knowledge of basic preservation and conservation issues as they relate to archival collections. Collection development, oral history, and/or reference experience in an archives or special collections library. Fluency in Spanish, Korean, or another language.


The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) offers a competitive benefits package for eligible employees including Medical, Dental, Pension Plan, Short-Term and Long-Term Disability, Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Flexible Spending accounts, 403(b) Retirement Savings Plan, Vacation Days, Sick Days, and Paid Holidays.

Presbyterian Church (USA) is committed to being not only an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer as defined by the U.S. government, but with the inclusion of gender identity and sexual orientation as well.

About PHS

The Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS), organized in 1852 and located in Philadelphia, PA, is the oldest denominational archives in the United States and serves as the national archives for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and its predecessor denominations. PHS exists to collect, preserve, and share the story of the American Presbyterian and Reformed experience with Presbyterians, the scholarly community, and the general public. PHS is part of the Office of the General Assembly, headquartered at the Presbyterian Center in Louisville, KY. Together with Presbyterian Investment and Loan, Presbyterian Mission Agency, Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, Presbyterian Women, and the Administrative Services Group, the national agencies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) serve and work with mid-councils, congregations, and partner organizations to carry forth the mission of Jesus Christ in the World.

To Apply

Submit a cover letter and resume at the following link:

Last updated: Wednesday, August 18, 2021 15:53 UTC