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Archivist, Boston Public Library (Boston)

Brief Job Description: 

Position Overview
Processes archival collections held by the Boston Public Library across all formats. Ensures that collections are arranged and described in accordance with established standards and best practices at an appropriate level of detail and effort. Assists with development of the library’s processing policies and procedures for archival materials across a spectrum from basic initial control through full, detailed description. Works closely with appropriate staff to set accessioning, deaccessioning, and processing priorities, and tracks and reports progress. Collaborates with other BPL staff on the development and use of tools and workflows to support description and access.

Reports to
Lead Archivist or delegate

Professional and support staff, as assigned
1. Arranges and describes archival collections both large and small to varying levels of detail, and assesses and determines appropriate levels of processing based on research value, condition, and other factors.

2. Applies knowledge of current and emerging archival descriptive standards and systems (including DACS, EAD, and authority control standards) to the development of processing practice.

3. Collaborates with Preservation and Conservation staff to determine appropriate housing of archival materials and identify and recommend materials for conservation treatment. Participates in stacks maintenance and inventory projects.

4. In collaboration with Special Collections and Content Discovery staff, assists with the establishment of digitization priorities for archival materials and the design and implementation of project plans to address those priorities.

5. Supports reference and research staff with inquiries regarding archival collections.

6. Alternates with other staff members in supervising a public reading room in such a way as to maintain an atmosphere conducive to research while responsibly preserving and protecting materials.

7. Assists with the training of staff and interns at all levels in processing methodologies and tasks.

8. Participates in instructional and outreach programs and activities to promote knowledge and use of the library’s archival collections.

9. Documents activities, makes oral presentations, and prepares written progress reports regarding the status of assigned areas of responsibility.

10. Performs other related duties as assigned.


Proven skill in arranging and describing archival collections both large and small to varying levels of detail, and assessing and determining appropriate levels of processing based on research value, condition, and other factors.
Demonstrated knowledge of archival theory and practice; comprehensive knowledge of descriptive standards for archival and manuscript materials, especially DACS and EAD, and familiarity with other relevant standards, such as DublinCore, EAC, MODS, METS, MARC, AACR2, RDA, LCNAF, and LCSH.
Demonstrated experience with basic preservation and conservation standards for archival and manuscript collections.
Ability to execute library policy.
Ability to plan and supervise the work of others.
Demonstrates initiative and independent decision making skills.
Communicates effectively and presents ideas clearly. Excellent oral and written communication skills, including public speaking, editorial, and formal writing abilities.
Ability to think creatively and innovatively.
Significant experience working with special collections materials.
Ability to collaborate with library staff, external partners and resources.


Minimum Entrance Qualifications:
1. Education – Bachelor’s degree from recognized college or university. Master’s degree in library and information science required with formal training or professional experience in archival theory and practice. In exceptional instances specialized education, training, and/or experience may be substituted for a part or all of the educational requirements.

2. Experience – Four years of professional experience in archival processing and description in museum, library, or other similar cultural heritage institution required.


Ability to exercise good judgment and focus on detail as required by the job.
Residency - Must be a resident of the City of Boston upon the first day of hire.
CORI - Must successfully clear a Criminal Offenders Record Information check with the City of Boston.

Full/Part Time

Full Time



Salary Range

$65,758.19 - $85,913.20  / year

Closing Date

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please visit the City of Boston Career Center Portal here:


2021-12-20 |  Quick link to this job