Project Archivist, Center for Human Rights Documentation & Research

New York City
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Created: March 11, 2013


The Columbia University Rare Book and Manuscript Library is searching for an experienced archivist to process records of human rights organizations held by the Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research. The collections will include the records of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Southern Africa Project, Physicians for Human Rights, and Human Rights First. The groups featured in this project offer important cases of how professionally-focused groups mobilized to engage the human rights movement. Human Rights First, founded as the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, formed in 1978 and leveraged key connections with the legal community and Columbia Law School to pursue its advocacy. Physicians for Human Rights was founded in 1986 by a small group of doctors who brought their scientific expertise and ethical convictions to bear on promoting human rights. The South Africa Project of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law represented the extension of a well-known civil rights group into the sphere of international human rights, again with a focus on the legal profession. These collections reflect the organizational diversity of the human rights movement and their records will expand and enrich the study of human rights history.
Reporting to the Head, Archival Processing, the Project Archivist will be responsible for the oversight of the arrangement and description of over 1000 linear feet of human rights records; identification and referral of items as necessary for conservation treatment; and the preparation of EAD-encoded finding aids and other descriptive access tools. The project archivist will recruit and coordinate the activities of students that are assigned to assist with arrangement and description the collections; assign tasks and monitor pace and direction of work; maintain schedules and meet deadlines. The project archivist submits regular reports on manuscript and archival processing.
One of the world's leading research universities, Columbia provides outstanding opportunities to work and grow in a unique intellectual community. Set in the Morningside Heights academic village, Columbia also presents the unmatched dynamism, diversity and cultural richness of New York City. The University Libraries, grounded in collections of remarkable depth and breadth, are also building extensive electronic resources and services. The Libraries at Columbia are committed to collegiality, professionalism, innovation, and leadership.

M.L.S. from an ALA-accredited library school or graduate degree in history or related discipline and experience arranging and describing archival collections (or the equivalent combination of education and experience); familiarity with the application of Greene and Meissner processing techniques; familiarity with DACS, EAD, MARC, LCSH, AACR2, and appropriate metadata standards and schema; familiarity with automated library information management systems such as Endeavor/Voyager; knowledge of basic preservation and conservation standards for archival and manuscript collections; a demonstrated ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; excellent organizational skills, accuracy, and attention to detail; ability to work independently and collaboratively in a production-oriented, team environment; ability to work quickly, efficiently, and meet project goals and deadlines. 

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