Cambridge, MA: ACRL Diversity Alliance Fellowship, Harvard University Houghton Library

Project Archivist

ACRL Diversity Alliance Fellowship at Houghton Library, Harvard University

The Houghton Library, part of the Harvard College Library, is seeking a Project Archivist. This residency, in partnership with the ACRL Diversity Alliance and Harvard’s Administrative Fellowship Program, strives to attract talented early career librarians, and in particular, members of historically underrepresented groups, to provide meaningful professional working experience and cultivate the professional goals and interests of the fellow.  Additionally, through the Administrative Fellows Program, currently in its 26th year of operation, offer fellows the opportunity to work in an academic environment complemented by a career development program.



The Project Archivist joins the library’s Manuscript Section and works as part of a team of archivists responsible for arranging and describing at a baseline level the archives and manuscripts collected by the Houghton Library at the point of acquisition, including audiovisual and born-digital materials, in a variety of subject areas, languages, and time periods. The Project Archivist also shares lead responsibility for conducting a backlog survey of Houghton’s audiovisual and born-digital holdings.   By the completion of the fellowship, the Project Archivist will have developed a thorough understanding and hands-on knowledge of the appraisal, accessioning, and baseline description of archives, both analog and digital.  Furthermore, the Project Archivist will have had the opportunity to delve deeply into the issues and challenges surrounding born-digital material and to consider practical solutions for sustainable acquisition/appraisal, preservation, and access. The Project Archivist collaborates in a collegial fashion with other members of the Manuscript Section, the Technical Services Department, and other departments and divisions to assist in the timely and effective description of Houghton Library materials.


The Fellow:

*        Creates accession records and initial description for incoming archival collections and manuscript items in a timely manner and according to archival standards, ensuring administrative and basic intellectual access. Works closely with Accessioning Archivist and Curators in the assessment and appraisal of collection materials during the accessioning process.

*        Processes archival acquisitions as necessary: rehouses materials; assesses conservation needs; creates baseline level description; and prepares materials for off-site storage.

*        Helps maintain documentation of accessioning procedures and processes; compiles statistics and reports as necessary.

*        Collaborates with Houghton colleagues to develop tools for tracking audiovisual and born-digital materials and conducts backlog survey of these holdings at Houghton.

*        Participates in building and enhancing a programmatic approach to the acquisition, preservation and access to born digital archives.

*        Develops and executes a capstone project on a topic determined by the incumbent, with input from the Library.

*        Participates in relevant meetings and activities of Harvard Library groups such as the Digital Forensics Working Group, the Born-Digital Archives Working Group, and the Archives Discussion Group, among others.

*        Serves a regular shift on the Houghton Reading Room desk in collaboration with Public Services staff.

*        Engages with the profession through local and national conferences and events.

*        Participates in the Administrative Fellowship Program to enhance their leadership and administrative skills through seminars, lectures and case studies.


Applicants must have:

*     Master’s degree in library/information science

*     One year experience with archival accessioning and/or archival arrangement and description, preferably in an academic or research library

*     Up to three years of work experience

*     Familiarity with the use and application of DACS and MARC, as well as other archival descriptive and content standards

*     Familiarity with determining processing levels and implementation of MPLP

*     Familiarity with current approaches to accessioning and description of born-digital holdings

*     Superior written and verbal communication skills

*     Excellent interpersonal skills

*     Demonstrated ability to work collegially within and across departments

*     Demonstrated attention to detail

*     Demonstrated ability to manage time and tasks and complete projects in a timely manner

*     Flexibility and the capacity to thrive in a rapidly changing environment


Note: This is a two year fellowship.


To Apply:

Application Deadline:  The application deadline for the Project Archivist Fellow is May 26, 2017.

For application materials, please call/write:

Administrative Fellowship Program,

Office of the Assistant to the President for Institutional Diversity & Equity

The Smith Campus Center, Suite 727W

1350 Massachusetts Avenue

Cambridge, MA 02138

(617) 495-8919; email:

or download


About Meredith Lowe

Outreach Specialist in Continuing Education Services at UW-Madison SLIS. Erstwhile archivist.
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