Preservation Librarian

Wilmington, DE
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Salary: $49,000.00
Created: June 28, 2024


Wage/Salary: $49,000

Reports To: Chief Curator

FLSA Status: Full time/Exempt

Posting Period: May 10 until filled


About the Organization:


 The Delaware Historical Society (DHS), founded in 1864, preserves, promotes, and shares Delaware’s history in a welcoming environment to educate, inspire, and empower people and communities. DHS is an independent, non-profit, non-government historical society founded in 1864. DHS includes 9 historic buildings, 8 of which are in Wilmington and straddle the 500 block of Market Street, and the ninth is the “Gem of Old New Castle,” the George Read House & Garden (designated a National Historic Landmark—the nation’s highest level of historic significance—in 2017).


The Wilmington campus includes the Old Town Hall (1798) adjoining the Delaware History Museum and the Jane and Littleton Mitchell Center for African American Heritage (created in 2016). Across the street from these museum buildings (which include the museum store and staff offices) stands the DHS Research Library, the Library Annex (in the 1816 Robert Porter House), and the four Colonial-era buildings that comprise Willingtown Square. Each of the Wilmington buildings are contributing properties to the Market Street Commercial District on the National Register of Historic Places.


Job Summary:

Reporting directly to the Chief Curator, the Preservation Librarian is responsible for long-term care of and access to library, archival, and digital collections for the Delaware Historical Society (DHS). Based in the DHS Research Library and Archives, the Preservation Librarian performs duties related to preservation planning, archival processing, digitization and digital asset management, environmental stability, and collections care.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities:

·       Manage DHS Digital Collections platform, including vendor and platform evaluation, digitization and metadata creation, staff training and documentation, communications with vendors on software, hardware, storage and other components

·       Establish metadata schema and controlled vocabularies; exercise quality control of metadata records

·       Arrange, describe, and process archival collections and create finding aids to assist researchers

·       Work with Collections and Access staff to ensure safe housing, storage, and handling of collections

·       Provide reference services to DHS Library visitors and researchers 8 hours per week; answer research queries from public and staff, fulfill image and digitization requests

·       Liaise with vendors to evaluate and ensure smooth operation of library and archives online catalog/content management systems, including support tickets, upgrades, periodic migrations, and customizations

·       Manage environmental monitoring program, including ongoing temperature, humidity, and light monitoring, and data collection

·       Work with Director of Buildings and Grounds to oversee integrated pest management program in collections storage areas, including ongoing vendor communication, inspections, monitoring, and data recording

·       Develop/update preservation policies and procedures related to digital preservation, integrated pest management, environmental control, collections handling, etc. to ensure long-term care of collections

·       Work with Chief Curator and Collections and Access staff attain physical and legal control of donations


Periodic/As Needed Functions:

·       Work with Chief Curator and Director of Education to support archival and digital components of education programming, including locating and digitizing primary sources from DHS collections

·       Collaborate with Chief Curator, Collections and Access staff, and Collections Committee to develop and update collections management policies, procedures, and documentation

·       Make appropriate collections-related updates to disaster and emergency preparedness plan

·       Coordinate preservation needs assessments with external vendors

·       Assist with library orientation, tours, and programming, contribute to society-wide initiatives (e.g. DEAI workshops and planning, strategic planning, etc.)  

·       Assist with curation of temporary exhibits

Supervisory Responsibilities:

·       Supervises work of graduate assistants and interns working in the research library where appropriate


Education and Experience Requirements:

·        Master’s degree in Library and Information Science or Archival Studies. Other relevant degrees combined with demonstrated experience may be considered.

·       Minimum 2-3 years hands-on experience with library/archival collections and digital asset management solutions

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities.

·       Demonstrated knowledge of principles of archival collection management and preservation best practices required

·       Extremely detail-oriented and experienced with standard computer word processing and spreadsheet software, including Microsoft Office 365 suite and Google applications

·       Experience with digital asset management systems and archives content management systems (i.e. ArchivEra or ArchivesSpace) required

·       Excellent verbal and written communication skills; ability to articulate complex technical concepts to non-technical staff; patience for training and supporting interns and staff with archival description and digital asset management workflows

·       Ability to arrange and describe archival materials

·       Applied knowledge of archival and digital library descriptive standards such as DACS, Dublin Core, Library of Congress authorities

·       Familiarity with copyright and privacy issues preferred

·       Experience delivering reference services to patrons in a special collections repository

·       Demonstrated ability to work both independently and in a team environment where consultation, flexibility, collaboration, and cooperation are essential

·       Willingness to establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff and vendors

·       Ability to interpret historical themes using primary sources in exhibits, programming, and publications preferred

How to apply


Leigh Rifenburg: 302-295-2386


Published: Monday, July 1, 2024 21:31 UTC

Last updated: Monday, July 1, 2024 21:31 UTC