5200 Archivist


TITLE Archivist




IMMEDIATE SUPERVISOR Head of Special Collections

MAJOR ADMINISTRATOR Dean, Library Services


The Archivist is involved with all aspects of collection development and collection care for Special Collections and Archives. The Archivist is actively involved with collection development decisions based on knowledge of regional history and culture, awareness of archival standards and trends, and understanding user needs. The Archivist recognizes the expanding role of Special Collections as a repository for a broad range of cultural resources. The Archivist is responsible for processing collections to archival standards, including the creation of modes of intellectual access to collections, such as finding aids. The Archivist is also responsible for initiating and participating in outreach, reference, and collection development activities for Special Collections and Archives. The Archivist leads and coordinates the University Archives.


Education: A Masters in Library Science (MLS) from an American Library Association (ALA) accredited program (or equivalent) or a graduate degree in history (or related discipline) is required. 

Experience: Experience in processing archival collections, including experience in arrangement, description, and online access is required. Experience with other aspects of archival work, including research assistance, outreach, and collection care, is required.

Skills: Effective interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills are required. Familiarity with various computer applications, as well as archival and metadata standards, is required. Knowledge of the wide range of collection formats found in Special Collections and Archives, including manuscript collections, organizational records, digital holdings, rare books, and artifacts is required. Supervisory experience is required. The ability to develop knowledge of, respect for, and skills to engage with those of other cultures or backgrounds is required.


1. Initiates and perpetuates collection development by maintaining and cultivating donor relations, conducting field surveys, appraising potential collections, and acquiring/accessioning collections that meet the unit’s collection development policies.

2. Conducts oral history sessions as needed.

3. Serves as a key coordinator of archival processing at the appropriate professional level, works with other staff, students, and interns on processing and helps determine processing priorities, and collaborates with the Digital Archivist on digital material, including working with born-digital records an archival processing as it relates to digitization.

4. Using an understanding of environmental standards, appropriate housing of archival material an artifacts, an preservation techniques, helps to preserve the intellectual and artifactual value of archival material by determining the need for performing conservation procedures, such as document cleaning, repair, an humidification an assesses the performance and value of external conservation resources and vendors.

5. Provides access to archival collections by creating finding aids, collection-level records, and metadata descriptions and maintains a database on collections and storage space allocations.

6. Provides reference services for all collections in the Special Collections and Archives unit, conducts bibliographic instruction sessions including general introductions to archives and topic-specific sessions, and proactively promotes the use of special collections and archives by students, faculty, scholars, staff, and the general public.

7. Leads or participates in Special Collections cooperative arrangements with other cultural memory institutions and actively collaborates with other institutions on archival matters.

8. Assists in fundraising activities, developing endowment programs, and obtaining internal and external grant funding.

9. Promotes knowledge and use of the collections by making presentations, talks, and/or interviews to the media, University organizations or departments, library groups, historical societies, elementary through college classes, and other groups.

10. Coordinates and promotes exhibits in Special Collections and Archives and other established display locations on campus and develops displays focusing on Special Collections for special events outside the University.

11. Contributes to a work environment that encourages knowledge of, respect for, and development of skills to engage with those of other cultures or backgrounds.

12. Remains competent and current through self-directed professional reading, developing professional contacts with colleagues, attending professional development courses, and attending training and/or courses required by the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

13. Contributes to the success of Special Collections and Library Services by performing all other duties as assigned.


The Archivist is supervised by the Head of Special Collections and assists in supervising the work of staff and student assistants.