Boston, MA: PT Archives Assistant (term), Historic New England

Job Opening Title:
Archives Assistant

Name of Employer:
Historic New England

Job Site Location (City, State) :
Boston, MA

Application Deadline:
until filled; preference given to applicants submitting by 5/31/23.

Minimum Degree Requirement:
MLIS, or completed archives coursework working toward the degree.

Years of experience required:

Salary Range:
$22 per hour

Job Opening URL:

Job Description (if URL to posting not available). Include instructions for how to apply.:
Position: Part-Time Archives Assistant
Classification: Part-time, 20 hours per week, Term-limited for 12 months
Location: Boston, Mass.

Description: Historic New England seeks a part-time archives assistant to work in its Library and Archives. The library and archival collections consist of more than 1.5 million items (photographs, architectural drawings, ephemera, art, prints and engravings, manuscripts, books, and institutional archives) documenting New England’s social, cultural, and architectural history. Information is shared with the public through an online collections catalogue, publications, social media, and via onsite appointments. The archives assistant works with the Library and Archives team to assist in collections management work related to a collections move from Otis House to temporary swing space in the West End, assist in answering patron inquiries both in-person and via email, and catalogue/process the Ephemera Collection making it accessible online.

Responsibilities: The archives assistant works with members of the Library and Archives team to assist in collections management work related to a collections move from Otis House to temporary 85 Merrimac Street swing space, to assist in answering patron research inquiries both in-person and via email, and catalogue/process the Ephemera Collection making it accessible online. Responsibilities related collections management include rehousing archival collections, end processing, data clean-up in the collections management database, inventory creation and updating physical locations, and regularly handling fragile and oversized materials. Responsibilities related to answering patron reference and research inquiries includes using the collections to answer in-person and online requests for information in a timely fashion, retrieving collections for staff and public researchers’ use, and occasionally staffing the reading room desk as the Library and Archives reopens to the public. The cataloguing process involves creating item-level records for the Ephemera Collection, describing the collection using concise, formatted, and detailed description; researching names, dates, locations, and events to ensure accuracy; and adding keywords from controlled vocabularies to increase findability, all according to archival best practices. Responsibilities also involve rehousing collections and working with the digital photographer to digitize images for online availability, including the creation of metadata for use in ResourceSpace, the digital asset management system.

The primary responsibility in the first part of the year will be collections management work related to the move; responsibilities related to answering patron research inquiries and cataloguing the Ephemera Collection will increase as the year progresses.

Qualifications: The position requires an ALA-accredited master’s degree in library and information science or archival program, or completed archives coursework working toward the degree, and at least a year of related experience. The candidate must be fully competent in the use of computerized collections management systems, such as Minisis, ArchivesSpace, or Re:Discovery. They must have experience creating item-level catalogue records, arranging and describing archival and manuscript collections, and developing electronic finding aids according to archival best practices. The candidate must have experience using Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS), Encoded Archival Description (EAD), and controlled vocabularies such as AAT, TGN, LCSH, and LCNAF. They must have a commitment to access, equity, diversity, and inclusion through remediation of institutional biases inherent in cataloguing metadata. A high degree of attention to detail, strong communication skills, an ability to work independently to effectively manage time and projects to meet deadlines are required. The candidate must have the ability to lift cartons of 40 lbs. or more. They must have excellent computer and data entry skills and be skilled in the use of Microsoft Office suite.

Location: Primary office location is the Library and Archives, in the West End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts.

Pay Rate: $22 per hour

Applications: Please send résumé and cover letter to Preference will be given to candidates whose application materials are received by May 31, 2023.

Historic New England is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer with a strong commitment to supporting equality of opportunity and respect for diversity. We are committed to providing equal opportunity in employment to all qualified persons without regard to non-work-related factors such as race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, national origin, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

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