Archivist, Digital Preservation

Seattle, Washington
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Salary: Starting at approximately $96,000
Created: January 5, 2022


Job Title: Archivist, Digital Preservation

Department: Archive Solutions 

FLSA Status: Exempt


Gates Archive is the private archive of the personal and philanthropic collections of the Gates family. Committed to creating a culture of learning and belonging, we are a team working to build a next generation archive with a focus on digital-forward processes.

Gates Archive is seeking an Archivist focused on Digital Preservation to develop, implement, and refine plans and activities for born-digital and digitally reformatted document, photographic, and audiovisual materials. The Archivist will be part of the Preservation team and will focus on preservation of digital materials across their lifecycle. The Archivist will regularly collaborate with other programs including Donor Relations, Acquisitions, Processing, Production, Asset Management, Access, and Outreach. The Archivist will also contribute to physical preservation initiatives as needed.

Core Responsibilities:

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each responsibility satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the core responsibilities.

  • Oversee preservation workflow development and execution under direction of the Manager, Preservation & Production and in collaboration with other Archive Services and Solutions staff. The Archivist will:
    • Develop and execute digital preservation workflows that meet collection and user needs.
    • Collaboratively establish preservation priorities. Maintain and oversee use of locally established digital preservation policies and protocols across the organization and regularly assess practices.
    • Develop and maintain expertise in the organization’s digital preservation system (Preservica) and other preservation tools. Recommend and implement changes to the digital preservation system (DPS), tools, and workflows. Take on business ownership for the DPS including:
      • soliciting feedback from DPS users and designing, configuring, and coordinating testing of features, workflows, and settings to fit the requirements of the collection and users
      • collaborating with the Archive’s technology team on upgrades, escalations, designing system integrations, and documenting application support workflows
      • developing and managing guidance for Archive staff on use of the DPS and providing advanced support to teams using the system for ingest and access
    • Define preservation and access package structures and file migration pathways for priority format types; collaborating across teams to understand user needs and requirements; proactively monitoring, migrating, and/or emulating at-risk formats.
    • Contribute to physical preservation activities and initiatives, including collection care and emergency planning activities.
    • Provide guidance to other archivists and donors on preservation formats, metadata, transfer, and imaging best practices for a variety of file format and carrier types.
  • In collaboration with the technology team, ensure digital preservation and staging storage locations meet organizational needs and archival best practices.
  • Collaborate with team and track leadership to develop annual priorities, projects, and initiatives for relevant program track areas. Lead and/or participate in strategic projects in support of organizational and programmatic goals.
  • Maintain statistics and prepare regular reports; use data to inform program planning and continued process improvement.
  • Provide leadership based on advances in professional standards and emerging archival technologies; explore and propose new technologies and methods to meet archive needs.
  • Build a culture of belonging across the organization in alignment with the organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

  • May oversee daily work activities of employees, contract staff and/or vendors but does not directly manage employees.

Education and Experience:


  • A Master’s Degree of Library & Information Science or History with a concentration or certification in archival studies, or equivalent combination of education and professional experience


  • 5+ years professional work experience in an archive environment acquiring, processing, preserving, and/or providing access to archival collections
  • Demonstrated familiarity with archival standards, principles, practices (preservation, arrangement, description), digital preservation standards, and emerging trends
  • Experience developing and overseeing workflows, managing priorities, and executing fulfillment of information requests, including interpreting, and applying restrictions for access to and/or use of archival materials
  • Experience using digital preservation systems and archival collection management systems
  • Experience working with born-digital materials, including ingest and management of content
  • Experience working with donor institutions/individuals directly to appraise and acquire content, preferred
  • Experience with service vendor relationships and projects involving vendor selection, implementation, and quality control preferred. 

Skills and Abilities:

  • Must be able to work collegially and collaboratively
  • Demonstrated command and application of modern archival theory, standards, and practices and their implementation. This knowledge includes proven experience with appraisal methods, acquisitions, arrangement, description, preservation, and access (physical/digital) in a professional archive setting
  • Experience transferring content from legacy media such as hard drives, floppy disks, and zip disks, including creating disk images
  • Knowledge of relevant standards for archival description and preservation, e.g., DACS, EAD, METS, PREMIS, and familiarity with other metadata standards
  • Proven ability to develop and maintain end-to-end archival workflows and procedure manuals and guides to support the effective management of physical and born-digital content
  • Demonstrated ability to learn new technical skills through research and self-study and experience applying information technologies to archival and preservation work
  • Familiarity with physical preservation practices and standards
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively in a production-oriented, rapidly changing environment; proven ability to prioritize work, set goals and milestones, and meet deadlines
  • Strong organizational and interpersonal communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing
  • Familiarity with database management, word processing, spreadsheet software, and web-based applications and technologies used in an archives environment 
  • Able to use Microsoft Office, SharePoint, and content management systems
  • Familiarity with software development, issue tracking, and configuration processes (preferred)
  • Familiarity with APIs and command line (preferred)
  • Experience with XSLT, Xpath, Xquery, Python, and/or Bash (preferred)
  • Experience with digital asset management systems (preferred)
  • Experience with emulation platforms (preferred)
  • Experience with Preservica, BitCurator, and/or Forensics Toolkit (preferred)

Working Conditions & Expected Hours of Work: 

  • Work is done in a typical open office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment.
  • This position requires the availability to work evenings, weekends and holidays. 

Physical Demands:

  • This is a largely sedentary role; however, some occasional light lifting may be required. Exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally and/or negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects, including the human body.
  • Medium work. Exerting up to 40 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 20 pounds of force frequently, and/or up to 10 pounds of force constantly to move objects.
  • Frequently required to stand; walk; sit; talk; hear; use hands/manual dexterity, and fingers to handle or touch/sense, and reach and stretch with hands and arms.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, night vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.
  • May be required to climb or balance, crouch, squat, kneel, stoop or crawl.
  • May be required to have a sense of taste and smell.

Travel Requirements:

  • Domestic and International travel may be required. 
  • Must have the ability to obtain and maintain international travel documents such as a US passport or other equivalent documents.

Background Review/Interview:

  • Must be able to satisfy background check and related requirements. 

Annual salary:

Starting at approximately $96,000

How to apply:

To apply, submit a resume and cover letter to

Deadline for applications:

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Preference will be given to applications received by Jan 28th, 2022.


Each employee has the ability to make a significant contribution to the success of our organization. That contribution is not limited by the assigned responsibilities. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice. This position description is designed to outline primary duties, qualifications and job scope, but not limit the incumbent nor the organization to adjust the work identified or assigned. It is expected that each employee will offer his/her services wherever and whenever necessary to ensure overall success.


How to apply


To apply, submit a resume and cover letter to

Digital repository Digital preservation


Published: Friday, January 7, 2022 19:21 UTC

Last updated: Friday, January 7, 2022 19:21 UTC