Seattle, WA: PT Oral Historian (contract role), Gates Archive

Job Opening Title: Oral Historian (contract role)

Employer Name: Gates Archive

Job Location: Seattle, WA

Application Deadline: 8/1/2022

Salary Range: Interviewing rates starting at approximately $700/hour. Research, planning, and programmatic work rates starting at approximately $150/hour

Years of experience required:

Job Description (if URL to posting not available). Please include instructions for how to apply.: Summary: Gates Archive is the private archive of the personal and philanthropic collections of the Gates family. Committed to creating a culture of learning and belonging, we are a team working to build a next generation archive with a focus towards digital-forward processes.

Gates Archive is seeking an Oral Historian to join its oral history program with narrators across multiple organizations and expertise areas, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This includes conducting oral history interviews (virtually or in-person), researching narrators and content areas, communicating with narrators to prepare for interviews, and creating supporting documentation. Additionally, this position engages in program evaluation, feedback, and process improvement cycles to ensure quality outcomes. The position strategically collaborates across Gates Archive teams with other Oral Historians, the Oral History Program Lead, and other archive staff under the direction of the Sr. Manager, Archive Services.

This is a part-time contract position scheduled to begin in Fall 2022 (16-24 hours/week) with potential for extension into 2023 (5-10 hours/week). Additional schedule information is included below.

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each responsibility satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the core responsibilities.

• Conduct oral history sessions involving audio and/or video.

Research and Planning
• Prepare for oral history sessions by conducting focused research on narrators and content areas related to the Gates Archive Oral History Program.
• Create thematic outlines for sessions in alignment with the program’s strategic plans, and related goals. Share outlines with Program Lead and other Oral Historians for feedback and input in advance of sessions.
• Communicate with narrators to prepare for sessions. Establish themes, develop, and share thematic outlines, and respond to questions about the oral history process.

Programmatic Work
• Complete required documentation following interview sessions (including summarizing oral history content, providing a thematic analysis of sessions, and capturing metadata).
• Engage in strategic work including interview/transcript review and analysis, collection assessment, and program evaluation against Strategic and Content plans
• Prepare for, attend, and actively participate in recurring and ad hoc meetings with other team members, Archive staff, and stakeholders.
• Contribute to project work in alignment with established program and organizational priorities
• Contribute to the creation of reports about operational and project work; report on program activities and create other deliverables as requested.

Skills and Abilities
• Must be able to work collegially and collaboratively and be committed to professional respect in the workplace.
• Demonstrated understanding of the nature and art of interviewing.
• Ability to conduct research efficiently and in multiple thematic areas.
• Ability to get up to speed quickly on new areas of research and inquiry.
• Proven ability to prioritize work, set goals and milestones, and meet multiple deadlines.
• Strong organizational and interpersonal skills.
• Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing.
• Discretion and respect for the confidential nature of interviews and the unique setting of a private archive.
• Actively manage privacy preferences and confidentiality in alignment with established organizational policies and procedures.

Education and Experience:
• Degree or demonstrated experience in any of the following fields: Humanities/History, Social Science, Journalism and Media, Library and Information Science, or Production.

• Relevant professional work experience planning and conducting oral history interviews or similar types of interviews.
• Conducting complex research using primary and secondary source documentation.
• Experience working in or knowledge of fields of philanthropy, education, global health, and global development preferred.

Other Requirements:
• Domestic travel as needed to conduct oral history sessions and to engage with team members in business meetings; ability to travel internationally preferred.
• Effectively use hardware and software for session capture.

• In 2022, the successful candidate will work approximately 16-24 hours/week for organizational onboarding, orientation to the Oral History program, and attendance of recurring team meetings. As availability permits, a few oral history interviews may also be conducted. Onsite presence in the Seattle office will be required for selected onboarding and business meetings. The estimated hours per week reflect the intensive training and onboarding that will take place in the remainder of the year.
• In 2023, the candidate will ramp up interviewing duties, along with other collaborative work (including research, planning, and programmatic analysis), and will be working approximately 5-10 hours/week.

Review of applications will begin on August 1, 2022. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, but preference will be given to applications received by the date the review begins.

This is contract position through a staffing agency. To apply, submit a resume and cover letter to and the application will be routed to our recruiting partner agencies.

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