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Senior Reference Archivist, Harvard University (Cambridge)

The Senior Reference Archivist works as a crucial member of a small team of archivists to provide critical background material on Harvard University’s built environment and land assets for campus planning, new construction projects, maintenance, and renovation to Harvard buildings. The Property Information Resources Center (PIRC) is a fast-paced office with high demand collections. The PIRC provides approximately 30,000 documents to users annually. The Senior Reference Archivist must be able to manage multiple tasks and deadlines in a setting with frequent interruptions and changing priorities.

Reporting to the Lead Archivist, this position is responsible for delivering front-line reference services

• Daily management of the reference email account and calls • Providing in-depth research services to a broad a diverse community, e.g. architects, facilities managers, students, faculty, and Deans.

• Effectively manage research requests which are complex, time-sensitive, and confidential in nature.

• Establishing policies and procedures as necessary to ensure the quality of service and security of the collections. Job-Specific Responsibilities

• Independently coordinates and conducts all reference services: conduct reference/research appointments via email, phone, or in-person, assist researchers in the search for materials and inform all researchers of the specific rules of the collections.

• Advise researchers of relevant collections at Harvard and elsewhere • Manage all off-site storage retrieval and refiles for Reference Services • Oversee researchers’ reprographic orders; select an appropriate vendor based on material condition, coordinate the delivery of electronic content to patrons and retrieval and refilling of archival records (including drawings) from on-site and off-site storage.

• Follow-up to ensure that researchers have received the materials needed; occasionally conduct user satisfaction surveys

• Communicates openly and effectively with colleagues in a collegial fashion; communicates issues and concerns that affect plans, policies, procedures, and collections in a timely manner.

• Conducts training on the use of the on-line catalog and PIRC resources. This training needs to be flexible and may be ad-hoc, arranged in small groups, or asynchronous videos.

• Provide outreach and service equitably, fairly, and in-line with professional ethics and best practices

• Keep abreast of news related to Harvard’s buildings and land assets.

• Review current course offerings, notify faculty of access policies and collaborate with colleagues at the University Archives, Francis Loeb Library, and other repositories on academic requests.

• Works directly with faculty, deans, and building managers in facilitating access to collections and ensuring that sensitive building information is not released for academic use without proper approval.

• Employs standards and best practices in the management of digital records including organization, file naming conventions, proper file formats, and using Harvard’s DRS to store and retrieve digital records in addition to develops strategies for organizing, preserving, managing, and delivering digital archives.

• Recognize potential problems that may arise from working with unpublished collections in areas such as copyright, privacy, confidentiality, right-to-know, and ownership.

• Compile monthly statistical reports and other metrics as requested • Apply best-practice preservation methodologies to daily work • Supervisory Responsibilities:

• Supervises distributes and inspects work of student workers as needed. • Assists in hiring and provides training to new employees and student workers.

Additional Duties:

• Contributes to the development and helps maintain PIRC website and social media

• Contributes to original cataloging; updating records, adding historical information/resources, to ensure that data is accurate and complete

• Contribute to the development and maintenance of PIRC policies and procedures documentation.

• May assist in preparing materials for long-term off-site storage

• May assist in preparing materials for digitization

• May assist with the acquisitions

• May make presentations – in-house and at conferences

• May provide help create digital exhibitions

• May represent repository at regional or national meetings related to the repository’s professional fields

• Contributes to special projects as they arise.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a one-year term position ending one year after the start date.


Candidates MUST meet the following basic qualifications in order to be considered for this role:

• MLS with Archival concentration or Certified Archivist credentials required

• Minimum of two years’ experience providing reference services in archives or special collections

Full/Part Time

Full Time




Closing Date

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2020-11-19 |  Quick link to this job