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Assistant Web Developer & Software Engineer, Massachusetts Historical Society (Boston)

As the Assistant Web Developer & Software Engineer (AWDSE), you are a creative problem solver eager to learn in an environment where you can experiment with the latest web technologies to support the diverse needs of the staff of the Massachusetts Historical Society, a non-profit research library and archive. Come and work with a group of smart historians, librarians, archivists, and documentary editors to help them deliver their content to both a scholarly and general audience. Examples of the types of content include artifacts from the Revolutionary era;  Civil War diaries; World War I photographs; and portraits of abolitionists. You will get to learn from a very accomplished developer and software engineer who is looking for a team member who can help us modernize as well as maintain.  We usually create our own software and systems that work best with predictable digital components (including XML files, metadata, digital images) featuring our unique collections. The challenging and rewarding part of this position is to think outside the box to create lean and efficient code that can run for many years with little intervention.

Here are some areas of our website built with custom software:

•      Our collection guides:

•      The published volumes of the Adams Papers:,-John#1756-january

•      A special collection of Revolutionary-era newspapers:

•      Our crowdsourcing tool:


The AWDSE will create new software for a variety of projects large and small. For example: a bespoke image upload and management tool; a Javascript module for highlighting terms with the HTML output on the frontend; many components for a custom CMS for our database and API of digitized historical items. This work will be done in close collaboration with the Lead Web Developer so that we can make the most robust software, and also in collaboration with our digital  team, who are the primary users. The AWDSE may be required to assist in other areas involving the website, depending on experience and background.

Work Environment
Our employees work a 35-hour work week and are encouraged to live a balanced life.

The AWDSE reports to the Lead Web Developer. This position is mostly remote; weekly in-person meetings at our location in Boston will be required at the outset to get to know the team. The MHS will provide a new & powerful laptop; home broadband is expected at the employee's expense.


The yearly salary is $60,000 -$70,000 depending on applicant experience. The Massachusetts Historical Society offers a generous benefits package including:

•              Medical, dental, and life insurance

•              Medical and dependent care flexible spending accounts

•              Vacation starting at three weeks plus 12-14 holidays per year

•              Retirement benefits with an employer match of up to 4%

•              Free admission to many local education and cultural institutions

About the Massachusetts Historical Society

The MHS is the oldest organization in the U.S. devoted to collecting materials for the study of American history. Learn about our diverse collection:

Note, too, our active engagement with the community in our events and programs:

Additional information:

MHS requires proof of vaccination and booster for COVID-19 for all employees.

Any job offer will be contingent upon completion of a successful background screening.

This position is available immediately. We are interested in every qualified candidate who is eligible to work in the United States. However, we are not able to sponsor visas.

The Society is an equal opportunity employer. We aim to be a diverse workforce that is representative, at all job levels, of the citizens we serve. Candidates of all backgrounds are welcomed and encouraged to apply. We are committed to creating a workplace free from harassment and discrimination on the basis of race, color, ancestry, religious creed, gender identity and expression, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age, genetic information, disability, military or veteran status, or any other category protected by law (also known as membership in a "protected class").


Skill Set

Ideally, you code in object-oriented programming in Javascript and PHP or another C-like language (Java, C#, C++). You should be a strong problem solver and ready to primarily write your own code to avoid the dependency nightmares that come from hobbling together third-party libraries. You write code that is meant to endure, that even aspires toward beauty.

 Other skills - having any of these means there are more ways you can help out our team:

•      BASH/shell scripting

•      cleanly organized SASS

•      familiarity with Node, React, Vue.js

•      fluent in newer vanilla JS, such as ES6 classes

•      familiarity with IIIF, triple stores, and other semantic web technologies

•      familiarity with XML technologies

Full/Part Time

Full Time



Salary Range

$60,000.00 - $70,000.00  / year

Closing Date

How to Apply

Candidates should email a cover letter, resume, and examples of your code (or point us to github) to our Lead Web Developer, Bill Beck,


2023-01-04 |  Quick link to this job