Digital Accessions Specialist

Chicago, IL, USA
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Created: March 10, 2023


Job Summary

Reporting to the Director, Digital Library Development Center, and under the direction of the Head of Archives Processing and Digital Access, Special Collections Research Center, the Digital Accessions Specialist will: Establish intellectual control over electronic records, born-digital collections, and retrospectively digitized materials received by the Special Collections Research Center; Impose consistent management over digitized materials from Special Collections in the Library Digital Repository; Perform pre-accessioning and accessioning work for files from Special Collections deposited in the Library Digital Repository; Create, refine, and implement workflows and procedures for acquiring, accessioning, processing, and maintaining electronic records and born-digital materials; Participate in designing and implementing Library Digital Repository services, including development and documentation; quality assurance; analyzing and automating workflows; file migration and generation of technical metadata consistent with best practices in digital preservation.


Analyzing and Automating Workflows; Development and Documentation; Quality Assurance:

  • Evaluates and makes recommendations for developments, refinements and implementations to policies, procedures and workflows for electronic record accessioning and management; recommends and implements policies, standards and practices for electronic records and collections in digital form.
  • Develops and implements software architectures for the Library Digital Repository, including automated deposit and accessioning workflows, and search and reporting mechanisms for materials deposited in the Library Digital Repository.
  • Develops systems specifications utilized by the Library Digital Repository including workflows.
  • Writes, tests and optimizes software, implements new features, remedies bugs; creates appropriate documentation for both developers and users.

Accessioning and Providing Intellectual Access for Electronic Records:

  • Works with depositors to facilitate easy and efficient transfers of assets into the Library Digital Repository.
  • Transfers materials from physical media or received electronically into the Library Digital Repository; identifies and removes personally identifiable and other sensitive information in compliance with the University of Chicago's cyber security policies; identifies other constraints, including rights and permissions and embargo periods; converts files to digital formats suitable for long-term preservation.
  • Creates and generates all required metadata records for new deposits in the Library Digital Repository.
  • Creates, maintains, and ensures accuracy of accessions records, inventories, files, metadata, and databases for electronic accessions.

Technical Advising and Advocacy:

  • Collaborates with Library Digital Repository stakeholders to identify and create specifications for automated deposit and accessioning workflows in support of the operation of the Library Digital Repository; advises on workflow alterations when required in order to facilitate the operation of Library Digital Repository services; designs software architectures for repository functionality as defined by user stories, including search and reporting mechanisms for materials deposited in the Library Digital Repository.
  • Advises on the adoption of new technologies in order to facilitate the operation of the Library Digital Repository; collaborates with others in the Digital Library Development Center to assist in the acquisition, application, and configuration of appropriate infrastructure to deploy and implement software.

Other Responsibilities:

  • Responds to staff questions about status, content and storage location of electronic records.
  • Maintains statistics on holdings, incoming collections, file requests, and other data required for fiscal reporting.
  • Has a moderate/solid understanding on matters relating to a specific library section. Collaborates with senior management to develop guidelines, policies, and procedures. 
  • Participates in large scale library projects. Consults with management to set goals for the section. Makes decisions that have an impact on controlling costs, planning, and procedural changes.
  • Performs other related work as needed.



Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • Bachelor's degree.


  • Relevant library or related experience.
  • At least three years of experience with two or more high-level programming languages, including one scripting language (e.g., Python).
  • Experience working with XML technologies (XSLT, XPath, XQuery).
  • Experience working with web technologies (HTML, CSS, Javascript, and Flask, Django, or other web frameworks).
  • Experience working with relational database technologies (e.g., MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, or MariaDB).
  • Demonstrable Unix/Linux competence (must be able to use sed, awk, grep, etc. effectively from a Unix/Linux command line and in shell scripts to accomplish appropriate tasks).
  • Working knowledge of a revision control system (e.g., GitHub).
  • Previous experience working with electronic records.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

  • Ability to program at an intermediate level in at least one programming language.
  • Strong Python programming skills.
  • Familiarity with object-oriented design principles or functional programming.
  • Familiarity with RESTful API development.
  • Familiarity with word processing, spreadsheet, and database management systems.
  • Strong Unix/Linux command-line scripting skills.
  • An understanding of file systems, file formats, and storage technologies, both modern and obsolete.
  • Ability to utilize source code version control systems, preferably Git.
  • Knowledge of web technologies.

Preferred Competencies

  • Excellent organizational and writing skills.
  • Ability to manage multiple concurrent projects and shifts in priorities.
  • Sound independent judgment and discretion.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to work effectively and collegially with University administrators, faculty, staff and donors.
  • Ability to work effectively and collegially with supervisors and peers.
  • Ability to work well independently.
  • Ability to handle confidential matters with discretion.
  • Ability to conceptualize and manage large collections in diverse formats.
  • Ability write documentation.
  • Ability to work quickly and carefully.

Working Conditions

  • Ability to bend, crouch, or stoop.
  • Ability to carry or lifts loads of 25 to 49 lbs.
  • Ability to sit for 4 hours or more.
  • Ability to use computers extensively for 4 hours or more.
  • Ability to stand for 2 hours to 4 hours.

Application Documents

  • Resume (required)
  • Cover Letter (preferred)
  • Reference List (required)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

To Apply

To apply for this position, external candidates must submit their profile and any other required materials through Internal candidates must apply by logging into Workday using their CNet ID and password; for more information, please see How to Apply for a UChicago Job (Current Employee) QRG.

Resumes sent via mail, fax, or email will not be considered. For more information, please see

Employees must comply with the University’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements. More information about the requirements can be found on the University of Chicago Vaccination GoForward.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.


Published: Friday, March 10, 2023 21:18 UTC

Last updated: Friday, March 10, 2023 21:18 UTC