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Digital Production and Metadata Specialist, Massachusetts Historical Society (Boston)

The Massachusetts Historical Society, located in Boston, Mass., seeks a full-time Digital Production & Metadata Specialist to work with the MHS’ vast collection of documents and artifacts, which tell the story of Massachusetts and America from colonial times to the present.

The Digital Production & Metadata Specialist (DPMS) creates digital components for digital projects, web exhibitions, outside requests, and other projects requiring digital representations of the Society’s archival and library collections; coordinates tracking tasks and maintains workflow documents for
internal digitization projects; assembles detailed descriptive, structural, and administrative metadata; and completes tasks relating to metadata mapping, metadata enhancements, and improvements to descriptions to promote discoverability of digital content.

Reporting Relationship:
This position reports primarily to the Lead Archivist for Digital and Web Initiatives with approximately 20% of their time spent working on metadata and resource discovery tasks with the Lead Web Developer and Software Engineer; and this position is part of the digital production team within the Collections Services department.

This is a full-time position, 35 hours/week, workday scheduled during regular business hours Monday-Friday. The DPMS is expected to work onsite at the MHS’ Boston location 4 days per week and is eligible to work remotely 1 day per week. After 6 months, depending on current priorities, the DPMS may be eligible to work onsite 3 days per week and 2 days remotely.

Major Responsibilities:
• Coordinates the smooth workflow of items and collections being digitized, including locating source materials, assembling administrative metadata, and starting and maintaining detailed tracking lists
• Resolves logistical issues relating to source materials including preparation and handling of library collections
• Creates digital images of items from the Society’s collections and creates administrative and descriptive metadata required to manage and utilize the digital images
• Monitors web presentations with an eye toward those who would benefit from redescription and participates in departmental efforts to improve descriptions and provide additional contextual information
• Creates descriptive metadata, content descriptions, refines (and/or creates) collection guides and assembles (or reviews) structural metadata needed for item-level and collection-level web presentations
• Transcribes and encodes handwritten documents
• Troubleshoots issues with sets of XML transcription files and metadata files
• Undertakes specific tasks (granular revisions and/or batch processing) to address metadata improvements and better enable discoverability via search tools on the MHS website and metadata feed for external harvesters
• Follows and contributes to existing documentation and guidelines regarding digital imaging, transcription, encoding, and metadata creation
• Troubleshoots issues with digital production utilizing web-based tools and web-based forms within the MHS content management system.
• Assists with the smooth workflow of digital production tasks (including utilizing and improving databases and/or revising stylesheets for displays within production environment)
• Works as a member of the digital production team
• Participates in digital production team meetings and offers input about web design and navigation issues
• Participates in Collections Services department meetings


• Master’s degree in library science or archives program or digital humanities program
• Demonstrated experience with image editors (e.g. PhotoShop) and scanning procedures
• Demonstrated experience with descriptive cataloging standards and appreciation for the importance and discovery potential of controlled vocabulary and name authority control
• Experience working with special collections
• Experience with markup languages (XML or HTML) and/or schema (preferably TEI and EAD)
• Familiarity with XSLT, METS and/or MODS
• Some experience with metadata mapping, string replacements
• Ability to read cursive handwriting
• Superb attention to detail
• Ability to work independently and in a team environment
• Ability to learn software and technology efficiently and adeptly
• Ability to keep self abreast of changes in areas of specialization and daily work

Full/Part Time

Full Time



Salary Range

$60,000.00 - $70,000.00  / year

Closing Date

How to Apply

Please send by email a single PDF that includes a cover letter, résumé, and the names of three professional references to Lead Archivist for Digital and Web Initiatives Nancy Heywood at

Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, with a target hire date in October.


2023-08-09 |  Quick link to this job