Project Archivist

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Created: March 12, 2013


The Brooklyn Historical Society Othmer Library in Brooklyn, NY is seeking an energetic, team-oriented candidate for a full-time, 18 month appointment, grant-funded Project Archivist position. The successful candidate will report to the Director of Library and Archives.

The Organization:
BHS' Othmer Library houses the most comprehensive col­lection of Brooklyn-related materials in the world. In 1993, the U.S. Department of Education designated the Othmer Library as a “major research library” under Title II-C of the Higher Education Act. Today the collection includes more than 100,000 books and pamphlets, 60,000 photographs and prints, 2,000 feet of archival collections, and more than 2,000 maps and atlases. These materials include family histories, rare books, periodicals, serials, journals, personal papers, institutional records, and oral histories that document Brooklyn's many different ethnic groups and neighborhoods.

We draw from these holdings to create interpretive exhibitions that prompt students, scholars and members of the general public to reconsider the fundamental facts of history in light of primary source documents and artifacts. BHS serves more than 45,000 people annually by providing opportunities for civic dialogue and community engagement for children and adults through exhibit tours, public programming, research opportunities, educational programs for New York City students, and professional development workshops and written curricula for teachers.

Job Responsibilities:
The successful candidate will be responsible for processing, arranging, and describing the Brooklyn Corporate Counsel records, a collection of unprocessed legal documents that encompass the period from ca. 1820 to ca. 1920, when Brooklyn formed as in independent city and then consolidated with the other boroughs to form New York City.

Using Archivist's Toolkit to create an EAD finding aid according the standards set forth in BHS's archival processing manual and Describing

Archives: a Content Standard (DACS), the Project Archivist will also be responsible for exporting that descriptive record from the Toolkit and importing in to a variety of other systems for public access; updating and maintaining procedures and policies; and providing information for reports to the granting agency. In addition to survey project responsibilities, the Project Archivist may cover the reference desk during the library's open hours up to 2 times per month, and other responsibilities as assigned.

Required Qualifications:
Masters in Library and Information Science or History, or equivalent degree, with a specialization in archival studies and completion of a library cataloging course; Demonstrated understanding of archival collections and principles of arrangement and description through a completed finding aid or other description tool; Effective oral and written communication skills; Ability to work as both independently and as part of a team; Strong organization and time-management skills; attention to accuracy and detail is essential; Familiarity with MARC and EAD; AACR2 and DACS; and with the use and application of standardized vocabularies; Supervisory experience, either within an archive or another work setting; Ability to lift, bend, and reach boxes or volumes weighing up to 40 lbs repeatedly, including handling these materials while standing on rolling ladders and stepstools; Ability to work in library stacks in cold temperatures (60-65 degrees Fahrenheit for up to an eight-hour workday, five days a week for 18 months; and Demonstrated reliable attendance to ensure successful and timely project completion.

Preferred: 2-3 years post-MLS processing experience; Previous experience working with CMS and ILS systems; familiarity with Wordpress content management systems; experience specifically with Archivists'Toolkit and/or Ex Libris Primo and Aleph is highly desirable; Previous archival processing and description experience, including an understanding of pragmatic and efficient processing procedures; Undergraduate degree in history. A working knowledge of U. S. history is needed, to determine how collections fit into state and national issues for purposes of cataloging; knowledge of legal processes and terminology; and knowledge of Brooklyn or New York history is preferred; Experience handling and providing basic preservation treatments for historic materials.

Salary starts at $40,000 a year, dependent on experience and qualifications.
Benefits include full medical and dental benefits; sick and vacation days; and optional pre-tax public transportation payroll deduction. This is a temporary, grant-funded position which will not extend past the grant period, ending December 31, 2014.

How To Apply:
Applicants should apply with a cover letter that includes a complete statement of qualifications; a full resume of their education and relevant experience; and the names, addresses, and phone numbers of three references who are knowledgeable about their qualifications for this position. EMAIL applications to:

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