Milwaukee, WI: Institutional Archivist, Milwaukee Art Museum

Job Opening Title:
Institutional Archivist

Name of Employer:
Milwaukee Art Museum

Job Site Location (City, State) :
Milwaukee, WI

Application Deadline:

Minimum Degree Requirement:
MLIS from an ALA-accredited library school or the equivalent combination of education. Specialization in archives required.

Years of experience required:

Salary Range:
Competitive salary

Job Opening URL:

Job Description (if URL to posting not available). Include instructions for how to apply.:
Position Title: Institutional Archivist, 9/1/2023 – 3/31/2025
Job: Full-Time, salaried, exempt, non-union
Supervisor: Head of Knowledge Management and Digital Assets
Date: 5/4/2023


The Knowledge Management (KM) department of the Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) is hiring an Institutional Archivist to lead planning, cataloging and processing efforts for a backlog of key collections within the Museum’s institutional archives and assist in developing a records management program for the Museum. This is a grant-funded position for 40 hours per week, for 19-months.

A critical member of the Knowledge Management team, the Institutional Archivist is responsible for ensuring proper description and organization of historical assets (including both digital and physical material) that will allow the staff and public to find and navigate 135-years of information about the Museum’s institutional history.

Key Responsibilities

• Establish guidelines and processes for utilizing the Museum’s newly acquired ArchivesSpace database for institutional papers.
• Lead cataloging and processing efforts for records from the director’s, curatorial, and registrar’s offices, including the assessment, arrangement, description, re-housing, storage, and disposal or return of archival materials.
• Perform original cataloging using best practices and standards for accession, preservation, arrangement, and description of both physical and digital archival materials.
• Work in tandem with the Knowledge Management team, including the head of knowledge management and digital assets, and the librarian/archivist, to help implement a record management program for the Museum, including creating retention/disposition schedules for active/inactive records from these departments.
• Maintain collection records related to all materials processed as part of the backlog processing initiative.
• Participate in larger team meetings related to the processing project and KM department operations.
• Identify records that are candidates for digitization.
• Provide reference support for questions about the institutional archives.
• Research context for collection materials.
• Prepare progress reports.
• Participate in creating blog posts and other activities to promote the discoverability of the collection.
• Perform other related duties as assigned.


• MLIS from an ALA-accredited library school or the equivalent combination of education. Specialization in archives required.
• 2 years’ experience cataloging historic and administrative documents.
• Experience developing processing plans and organizing archives.
• Knowledge of computer standards and applications in archives and libraries including DACS and EAD.

Skills and Abilities

• Understand and apply the principles of library science.
• Knowledge and experience maintaining archival collections.
• Proficiency in ArchivesSpace required.
• Excellent technical and interpersonal skills, including the ability to foster a collegial work environment that encourages change and innovation.
• Ability to work independently and as a self-starter.
• Must be highly organized with strong attention to detail.
• Effective communication skills.
• Ability to be proactive, use independent judgment and initiative.
• Maintain confidentiality while working with sensitive documents.
• Ability to supervise the work of interns.

Physical Requirements

• Remain in a stationary position for three to six hours per day
• Move up to 40 lbs.
• Adding and removing boxes/materials from high and low shelving
• Communicate, discuss, and exchange information
• Observe, detect, distinguish, and assess details in visual art and archival materials
• Move about the museum and campus offices

The employee is regularly required to communicate in person, over the telephone, through email and other electronic means, move about their work area, between buildings and the Museum campus grounds, handle various types of materials, and visually or otherwise identify, observe and assess.

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

DEAI Statement

The Milwaukee Art Museum is an equal opportunity employer. The Museum recruits, employs, trains, compensates, and promotes regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, disability, age, veteran status, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, and other protected status as required by applicable law.

We are committed to recruiting, developing, compensating, and retaining professional staff that reflect our community. We aspire to be a diverse workplace where talented people want to come, stay, and do their best work.

We stand committed to the work ahead, informed by our community, which we will support with our best thinking, our deepest empathy, and the courage to embody the convictions shared in our Strategic Direction.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this job. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all qualifications, responsibilities, duties and skills required.

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