Archivist (Specialist II)

New York, NY
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Salary: $55,027
Created: April 7, 2022


Special Collections Processing (SCP) is the department within NYPL’s Preservation and Collections Processing that promotes access to the Library’s most distinctive collections by describing rare and unique materials and preparing them for preservation and use. We support collections in all of the Research Libraries, including the curatorial divisions at the Library for the Performing Arts, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.


Within SCP, the Archival Processing unit supports access to distinctive collections by arranging and describing archives and manuscripts and creating finding aids for research use. Staff process digital and analog collections in all formats, including personal papers, institutional records, visual materials, and sound and moving image recordings. They also support the assessment and transport of acquisitions and manage archival metadata and its movement across systems. 


The Archivist’s primary responsibilities are to arrange and describe archival collections of personal papers and organizational records.


This position is grant funded for 3 years.


Key Responsibilities
Reporting to the Senior Manager, Archival Processing, the Archivist will:

  • Arrange and describe archival collections of personal papers and organizational records, perform rehousing and other basic preservation needs, and prepare finding aids in accordance with local and national standards.
  • Perform original cataloging for special collections in a variety of formats in accordance with local and national standards.
  • Help develop and maintain cataloging routines which provide access to the library's newly acquired collections as well as any archival backlogs.
  • Supervise interns, volunteers, and non-professional staff assisting in processing activities.
  • Participate in the planning and execution of division-wide projects, especially those related to cataloging and collection management.
  • Represent the Division through active participation in professional organizations.
  • Perform related duties as required.

Required Education, Experience & Skills

Required Education & Experience

  • ALA-accredited Master’s degree in library, archival or information studies or Master’s degree in liberal arts or humanities and successful completion of archival training.
  • One to two years experience in an archives or manuscripts repository creating descriptive records for archival collections.

Required Skills

  • A strong background in archival theory and practice, especially regarding arrangement and description, as well as a familiarity with current approaches to born-digital materials.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of current standards for archival description (APPM, DACS, LC subject headings, authority control, and MARC 21).
  • Demonstrated experience in original and copy cataloging.
  • Working knowledge of historical research methodology and experience with standard bibliographic tools.
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills.
  • Successfully demonstrated initiative, accuracy, attention to detail, judgment, analytic and organizations.
  • Ability to work well independently and collaboratively in a production-oriented, team environment.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in EAD markup.
  • Experience using ArchivesSpace or Archivists' Toolkit.
  • Reading knowledge of at least one foreign language.
  • Experience supervising and training non-professional staff.

Please Note: Effective August 2, 2021, absent a qualifying exception for medical or religious reasons, newly hired employees of the New York Public Library must present proof of receipt of a COVID-19 vaccination and may not begin employment at the Library until 14 days after their receipt of their second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or 14 days after their first dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.  Newly hired employees who need additional time to receive their vaccination prior to their start date may request an adjournment of their start date with their hiring manager.  The Library will consider such requests on a case by case basis, depending upon the Library’s operational needs, among other factors.  The Library will further consider exemptions for prospective employees who cannot become vaccinated due to a qualifying medical condition or a sincerely held religious belief or practice.  Candidates who receive a conditional offer of employment and who seek a medical or religious exemption to the Library’s vaccination policy will be provided with additional instructions at the time of the conditional offer.

Core Values
All team members are expected and encouraged to embody the NYPL Core Values:

  • Be Helpful to patrons and colleagues
  • Be Resourceful in solving problems 
  • Be Curious in all aspects of your work
  • Be Welcoming and Inclusive

Physical Duties

  • Limited physical effort is required
  • Light lifting required
  • Lifting up to 40 lbs. required
  • May require travel within NYC

Physical Required?

Union/Non Union
Local 1930

FLSA Status


  • 35 hours per week


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Published: Thursday, April 7, 2022 23:08 UTC

Last updated: Thursday, April 7, 2022 23:08 UTC