Processing Archivist

Providence, RI
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Salary: $68000
Created: January 26, 2022


Position Purpose:

The Brown University Library is a dynamic center of scholarship and community at the heart of a world-class research university. Supporting and collaborating with a broad and diverse academic constituency, the Library is essential for Brown’s mission “to serve the community, the nation, and the world by discovering, communicating, and preserving knowledge and understanding in a spirit of free inquiry.” Integrating with Brown’s ambitious strategic plans, the Library is a site of innovation that fuels intellectual creativity. Signature Library initiatives include the establishment of the Center for Library Exploration and Research to increase campus and community impact; the Racial Justice Project to assess
and counteract the legacies of historical racism in library practice; the Digital Publications Initiative pioneering new approaches to born-digital scholarship; and a revisioned special collections program that is positioning the John Hay Library as a research destination and leader in reparative and community-based collecting. We are seeking outstanding library professionals at all levels of the organization who are excited about advancing academic excellence at the highest level, and who will bring a wide array of backgrounds, experiences, and abilities to a scholarly community that is actively committed to being more diverse and inclusive.
The Processing Archivist arranges, describes, and catalogs the archival and manuscript collections acquired by the John Hay Library to fulfill the integrative scholarship and educational mission of the University. This position is a crucial part of the strategic plan for cataloging and collection access as outlined in the Library’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan. The work is done in a user-centered, access-driven, and reparative-focused approach to processing archival collections. The position will contribute to correcting and dismantling the systems, vocabulary, and policies that perpetuate institutionalized legacies of historic racism and discrimination in the archival record.

Reporting to the Head, Collection Services and Metadata, the Processing Archivist evaluates archival and manuscript collections based on records management policies, relevant laws, long-term preservation, and efficient use of space resources. The priority will be cataloging materials created by and/or documenting marginalized groups and revising legacy cataloging that perpetuate anti-black racism and contain oppressive terminology of all types. The work will also move the Brown University Library into closer alignment with the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials by identifying items created by or about indigenous people, correcting descriptions, and restricting culturally sensitive information. To support this work, the Processing Archivist will train and mentor student assistants to perform entry-level tasks. Their cataloging work will also be informed by direct user interaction through regular service at library service points.


Job Qualifications

Education and Experience 

● Experience providing public access to original cultural heritage resources through cataloging, reference, research or teaching.
● Demonstrated ability to research historical subjects, remain abreast of research and academic trends, and learn and apply evolving professional descriptive standards.
● Familiarity with library or museum cataloging standards such as DACS, CCO, MARC, AACR2, or RDA, desirable but not required.
● Demonstrated planning, decision making, and problem-solving skills with superior verbal and written communication skills.
● Excellent organizational, time, and project management skills.
● Demonstrated ability to work cooperatively in a diverse, dynamic, team setting and to balance multiple competing priorities.
● Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion at every level of the University.


Please apply on the Brown University website at


Published: Thursday, January 27, 2022 02:39 UTC

Last updated: Thursday, January 27, 2022 02:39 UTC