Boston, MA
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Salary: $65,758.19 - 85,913.20
Created: September 30, 2021


The Boston Public Library is seeking an Archivist to join the Archives team, part of the library’s recently reorganized and reimagined Special Collections Department. This newly created team is responsible for managing, describing, preserving, and providing access to archival collections held across BPL’s Special Collections curatorial areas. The Archivist will have a unique opportunity to help shape local practices and workflows as the department develops and as our newly renovated Special Collections reading room reopens in 2022.

We are seeking an archivist with broad experience in archival arrangement and description who has an interest in conscious and inclusive description, user-centered equitable access, and sustainable workflows. We are a small but collaborative team that is committed to continuous learning. We are exploring different approaches to extensible processing and iterative workflows, and the incumbent should have experience finding different technical solutions for information management. We value incremental improvement over perfection, and we are looking for someone who is not afraid to make mistakes and will explore creative and innovative solutions through experimentation. Since we are building a new department to manage legacy collections, the incumbent should be proactive, flexible, and passionate about stewarding archival collections to broad audiences.

The position overview, scope of responsibility, job requirements and competencies can be found in the City of Boston Career Center posting:

In addition to the competencies listing in the posting, the following qualifications are desirable but are not required for consideration:

  • Familiarity and experience cataloging in MARC
  • Records management experience or working knowledge
  • Experience processing audiovisual collections
  • Working knowledge of digital preservation
  • Familiarly with processing and managing born digital collections
  • Familiarity with anti-racist approaches to archival work.
  • Working knowledge of a scripting language, preferably Python or Ruby, the use of APIs, and/or SQL

About the BPL Archives Department and BPL Special Collections:
The Boston Public Library Archives Department facilitates open and equitable public access to archival collections held by the library. In partnership with Special Collections department staff, the department arranges, describes, and preserves our archival holdings using iterative and sustainable practices. Through reference support, user-centered discovery, and adherence to national standards for archival description, the department works to meet the needs of BPL users and adapt as research practices change over time. The Archives Department aims to describe BPL’s archival collections in ways that are inclusive and respectful to those who create and use them and the people and communities these collections represent.

Situated in the BPL’s Central Library in Copley Square, the Special Collections Department facilitates discovery and supports public engagement with rare, distinctive, and culturally significant materials held by Boston Public Library.

Boston Public Library is committed to racial equity and to becoming an anti-racist organization and formed an action plan in 2020 in response to systemic racism, inequity, and injustice prevalent in our society. You can read more about the action plan and the steps BPL is taking to address diversity, equity, and inclusion here:

Salary and other benefits:

  • The salary range is $65,758.19 – 85,913.20. This is governed by the City’s payscale. This position is a P3 – the step increase info can be found here:
  • The position is part of the Professional Staffing Association, one of two unions in the library.
    • PSA members are entitled to up to one full year of parental leave (unpaid). Within this potential full year, the City offers paid leave for 6 weeks. In July 2021, the City is expanding paid leave to 3 months.
    • PSA members receive 20 days of vacation per year, 3 personal days, and 2 swing days.
  • All staff pay in to a pension program. More info can be found here:
  • Additional benefits info can be found here.
  • Special Collections has a particular commitment to growing the skills of our unit, and has funds both through the library and affiliate donors to draw on for training and conferences. Participation in the archival field at national and regional conferences is desired, and associated costs are covered.
  • The person hired must be a resident of the City proper on the first day of work.

How to apply:
To apply to this position, please visit the City of Boston employment website:

Please combine your cover letter and resume in a single PDF file and attach them together in the resume upload section.

The City of Boston is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment. Therefore, qualified applicants will be considered regardless of their sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, military and veteran status, or other protected category.

Last updated: Friday, October 1, 2021 15:48 UTC