Project Archivist

California, United States
12 Feb 2019
End of advertisement period
12 Apr 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

Job Code: 1781
Job Grade: G

(fixed term)

A cover letter and resume are required for full consideration.

The Hoover Institution Library & Archives at Stanford University is seeking a project archivist to complete a project to arrange and describe the papers of Abraham D. Sofaer, an American judge and lawyer who served as legal advisor to the US Department of State. The full-time position is a non-career track position, for a two-year fixed term. 

About Stanford University's Hoover Institution: The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace is a public policy research center devoted to the advanced study of economics, politics, history, and political economy—both domestic and foreign—as well as international affairs. 

Founded in 1919 by Herbert Hoover before he became the thirty-first president of the United States, the Institution began as a repository of historical material gathered at the end of World War I. The library and archives have grown to be among the largest private repositories of documents on twentieth-century political and economic history. Over time the Institution expanded its mission from collecting archival material to conducting advanced research on contemporary history and economics and applying this scholarship to current public policy challenges. 

With its eminent scholars and world-renowned library and archives, the Hoover Institution seeks to improve the human condition by advancing ideas that promote economic opportunity and prosperity while securing and safeguarding peace for America and all humanity.


The Project Archivist is responsible for determining the organization and creating intellectual access to the papers documenting Abraham D. Sofaer’s lifework. Working independently and as an expert and coordinator of a project team, the Project Archivist will appraise, organize, arrange, describe, and provide access to the Abraham D. Sofaer papers and other related materials of twentieth-century political advisors. 


  • Coordinate the arrangement, appraisal, and description of the collection according to professional standards and current archival procedures.
  • Devise and implement a collection survey, project plan, procedures, and workflow; collect and maintain statistics, reports, and other metrics. 
  • Liaise with the collection donor regarding collection provenance, project status, and priorities. 
  • Independently analyze problems and recommend solutions, displaying a high degree of initiative, originality, and judgment in applying archival principles and procedures to complex and unique collections. 
  • Conduct preservation assessments to determine appropriate preservation treatment and archival storage decisions.
  • Evaluate, select, and apply metadata schemas and techniques, standards, data elements, and thesauri to provide description and access to the collection.
  • Publicize the collection by providing content for a variety of print, internet, and social media formats; develop methods to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of the publicity.
  • Assist with the supervision and training of archives assistants.
  • Participate in the development of a uniform description environment across Hoover Library & Archives.
  • Assist with reading room activities, providing orientations and instruction to researchers in how to request and use rare materials.
  • Other duties may also be assigned.


Education & Experience:

MLIS from an ALA-accredited library school or MA with an archival concentration, archival management certificate, or related subject specialty. Demonstrated understanding of academic libraries and a background in twentieth century history, politics or culture strongly preferred. One to two years of experience with arranging and describing archival materials also preferred.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Established understanding of the principles of archival arrangement, description, and appraisal. 
  • Experience working with large, complex archival collections.
  • Demonstrated experience in applying current archival and special collections descriptive practices and principles including DACS, RDA, and LCSH.
  • Familiarity with EAD, XML and other machine actionable metadata schema.
  • Ability to learn, analyze, and utilize existing and emerging metadata standards and practices associated with linked data.
  • Experience using archival or special collections information systems, such as ArchivesSpace, or the ability to learn them.
  • Demonstrated experience coordinating with and communicating effectively with donors and other stakeholders. 
  • High level of proficiency using PC-based applications (Windows, word processing, spreadsheets) and other computer applications (email, Internet, Integrated Library Systems); ability to keep up to date with emerging technologies.
  • Demonstrated ability to organize and prioritize work, with strong project management skills, and the ability to use considerable judgment and initiative.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to work independently, as a team member, and across departmental boundaries in a fast-paced environment.
  • Demonstrated consistent accuracy and attention to detail while maintaining a very high level of productivity.
  • Flexibility to be organized, productive and effective in a dynamic environment, involved with a variety of simultaneous projects and workflows.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English.
  • Ability to rapidly learn and implement new archival description procedures and principles adopted by the Hoover Library and Archives.

Certifications and Licenses:



  • Constantly sit, perform desk-based computer tasks. 
  • Frequently twist/bend/stoop/squat, grasp lightly/fine manipulation, grasp forcefully, sort/file paperwork or parts, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh up to 10 pounds.
  • Occasionally stand/walk, reach/work above shoulders, writing by hand, kneel/crawl, climb (ladders, scaffolds, or other).
  • Rarely use a telephone, operate hand controls.
  • Must be able to push and maneuver a fully-loaded cart weighing up to 650 pounds that requires an initial push force up to 50 pounds. Ability to lift 40 pound boxes or bundles.
  • Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.


May work in confined spaces and at heights 4-10 feet; be exposed to dust and mold; work extended hours, evenings and weekends.


  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients as well as with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University's Administrative Guide,