Philadelphia, PA: Reference Archivist, Presbyterian Historical Society

Job Opening Title: Reference Archivist

Employer Name: Presbyterian Historical Society

Job Location: Philadelphia, PA

Application Deadline: October 17, 2022

Salary Range: $49,436 minimum

Link to job posting:

Years of experience required: 1-4

Job Description (if URL to posting not available). Please include instructions for how to apply.: Overview

The Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, seeks applications for a full-time, permanent Reference Archivist. As part of the Public Services department, this position responds to a high volume of inquiries about our collections and services, which involves searching catalogs and databases and responding to patrons verbally and in writing. The Reference Archivist assists onsite researchers in the reading room and contributes to outreach, communications, and other program-related activities. The position reports to the Senior Reference Archivist.

This position calls for a basic commitment to the mission of the Presbyterian Historical Society, the Office of the General Assembly, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as well as a commitment to continue to dismantle white supremacy, sexism, and racism in the Office of the General Assembly and the PC(USA). The position fosters collaboration, innovation, and openness with colleagues, constituents, and the wider church.

Responsibilities (in order of importance)

Provides accurate and timely reference services to constituencies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), scholars, and the general public.

Assists with general reference operations.

Contributes to outreach activities by preparing and delivering presentations and workshops and staffing events, leading tours, and assisting in exhibition and curriculum development.

Supports the communications activities of the society by writing blogs, newsletter articles, and other communications pieces.

Participates in the work of standing and ad hoc working groups.

Other duties as assigned by the supervisor or the Office of the General Assembly.

Required Education, Experience, and Skills

Master’s degree in History, Library Science/Information Studies or related discipline with one to three years of experience in an archives or special collections library, with a focus on public services, reference, or outreach; or Bachelor’s degree with at least 4 years’ work experience in one of these fields. Experience providing written and oral reference responses. Knowledge of bibliographic utilities, databases, and archival and library standards, policies, and procedures. Ability to work in a consultative and collaborative style. Demonstrated commitment to value differences and the benefits to be derived from working with a broad range of people. Ability to effectively manage interpersonal relationships. Fluency in English. Ability to communicate clearly, positively, and effectively, both verbally and in writing, with patrons and other staff. Able to use current technology and equipment.

Sensory or Physical Requirements

Sight and hearing required. Ability to lift and shift 35-pound boxes and stoop, reach, and climb stools to retrieve collection material. Ability to use the computer for extended periods of time. Ability to communicate via telephone and via Zoom and other computer technologies. Ability to travel as scheduled.

Desired Qualifications

Experience in research and writing on historical topics. Experience in developing educational resources or presentations and teaching with primary sources. Knowledge of descriptive standards and applications common to archival settings. Fluency in Spanish, Korean, or another language.

About the Presbyterian Historical Society

The Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS), organized in 1852 and located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the oldest denominational archives in the United States and serves as the national archives for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and its predecessor denominations. PHS exists to collect, preserve, and share the story of the American Presbyterian and Reformed experience with Presbyterians, the scholarly community, and the general public. PHS is part of the Office of the General Assembly, headquartered at the Presbyterian Center in Louisville, Kentucky. Together with Presbyterian Investment and Loan, Presbyterian Mission Agency, Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, Presbyterian Women, and the Administrative Services Group, the national agencies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) serve and work with mid-councils, congregations, and partner organizations to carry forth the mission of Jesus Christ in the World.


The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) offers a competitive benefits package for eligible employees including Medical, Dental, Pension Plan, Short-Term and Long-Term Disability, Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Flexible Spending accounts, 403(b) Retirement Savings Plan, Vacation Days, Sick Days, and Paid Holidays.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is committed to being not only an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer as defined by the U.S. government, but with the inclusion of gender identity and sexual orientation as well.


$49,436 minimum

To Apply

Submit a cover letter and resume at the following link:

Click “Apply Now” to register for an account.

Applications received before October 17, 2022, will be given priority consideration.

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