Processing Archivist

California, United States
21 Jun 2019
End of advertisement period
21 Aug 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

The Processing Archivist will report to the Collections Management and Accessioning Archivist. The Processing Archivist is responsible for determining the organization of and creating intellectual access to materials in our backlog based on priorities. They are responsible for reviewing records and recommending access and delivery based on legal agreements, privacy and preservation issues, and copyright law including the level of descriptive detail necessary to facilitate access.

Special Collections and University Archives comprises three distinct collecting divisions: Manuscripts, Rare Books, and University Archives; a public services division; and an exhibitions and publications program. Our purpose is to acquire, arrange, describe, preserve, and make available materials of enduring historic value to support the research needs of Stanford students and faculty as well as the larger community of scholars.

Core Duties

MANAGE: The Processing Archivist is responsible for the arrangement and description of all formats of material in collections prioritized for processing - through a variety of programs, as well as publication and dissemination. Materials in these collections range from paper-based (photographs, writings, correspondence, articles, posters, and artwork) to audio, video, computer media and born-digital files, and three-dimensional artifacts.

  • They will appraise the materials, determine preservation and conservation issues, and determine best practice for resolving issues.
  • They will analyze copyright and privacy policies and issues and recommend delivery specifications for digital versions in the collection.
  • They plan the processing and physical workflows for preparing audio, video, and other materials for digitization.
  • They will keep statistics regarding various rates for processing different formats and incorporate them into the departmental statistics.
  • Ensures long term access through identification and resolution of problems in the physical preservation of manuscript materials; works closely with the Preservation Department staff to effectively coordinate the preservation of materials.
  • They will manage and ensure completion of grant and soft-funded projects.
  • The Processing Archivist will hire, train, and supervise student employees involved in various projects, including EAD markup, departmental web authoring, and other projects.

PROCESS: The Processing Archivist is responsible for surveying the collections, analyzing the contents for format and subject areas, and determining the overall organizational structure of the collection.

  • They will create and implement processing plans in a variety of concurrent workflows dealing with arrangement and description; digitization of selected components; processing of any born-digital files; and reformatting of audio and video recordings.
  • They will recommend the appropriate level of preservation efforts for the collection and oversee that these are carried out consistently throughout the process.
  • In collaboration with Special Collections and University Archives staff:
  • Coordinates material for permanent storage at various locations including materials that need to be interfiled with existing materials.
  • Takes a lead in determining the appropriate routing methodology for preserving, arranging, and providing access to electronic media materials, ranging from audiotape, videotape, and video/audio digital files on tape, diskette, CD-ROM, and other electronic media as they develop.
  • Is responsible for end-processing and preparing materials for permanent storage.

METADATA: The Processing Archivist is responsible for determining the level of description appropriate to different parts of the collection, the method or best tool for the task, and overseeing the creation of metadata for all formats of the collection. Participate in the creation of intellectual access to these materials via the online catalog, finding aids, websites, and social media.

  • They will catalog collections in Sirsi and create finding aids in ArchivesSpace.
  • They are responsible for ensuring that links to digital archival objects are imported into the finding aid description.
  • They will analyze metadata created in various programs for re-use in digitization projects as well as the export and ingest of metadata into the Stanford Digital Repository (SDR).
  • They will review, analyze, and describe born-digital files in new programs such as: Forensic Toolkit (FTK), MODS, ePADD, PhotoMechanic or other emerging tools.
  • They will contribute to the growing documentation regarding the capture and processing of born-digital material.
  • They will determine other methods of disseminating news about projects - write articles and submit paper proposals on processing hybrid collections, etc.
  • They will test new programs for the creation of metadata for special formats within collections, submit recommendations, and collaborate on creation of new procedures and documentation.


  • The Processing Archivist participates in general departmental and professional activities as appropriate.
  • The Processing Archivist collaborates with other library staff as appropriate to develop and write grants to seek extramural support for processing collections.

Minimum Requirements:

Education and Experience:

  • MLS from an ALA-accredited program or equivalent with a concentration in archives required.
  • 1-2 years of experience processing and/or cataloging archival materials preferred.
  • Demonstrated work as lead archivist and project manager for complex or hybrid collections
  • Demonstrated understanding of the theory and structure of library-related discovery metadata.
  • Demonstrated understanding with traditional cataloging practice and rules such as AACR2, DACS or RDA.
  • Knowledge and experience with MODS or similar metadata standards.
  • Ability to learn rapidly and implement new cataloging procedures and principles adopted by the Department and the Stanford Libraries required.
  • Demonstrated ability to use applications for data management such as ArchivesSpace, FileMaker Pro, and Trello.
  • Experience creating and maintaining websites; knowledge of Drupal preferred.
  • Excellent analytical and problem solving skills combined with attention to detail.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work independently, as a team member, and across organizational boundaries in a rapidly changing environment on a variety of simultaneous workflows.
  • Knowledge of current trends and issues in archival practices including preservation, restricted materials, and use of electronic records.
  • Commitment to professional development and service.

Certifications and Licenses:

  • Must have a valid California driver's license and be able to drive a delivery truck.

Physical Requirements:

  • Constantly perform desk-based computer tasks.
  • Frequently sitting.
  • Occasionally stand/walk, reach/work above shoulders, grasp lightly/fine manipulation, grasp forcefully, use a telephone, sort/file paperwork or parts, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh up to 50 pounds.
  • Rarely twist/bend/stoop/squat, kneel/crawl.
  • 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.

* - 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 the job.

Working Conditions:

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

Work Standards:

  • Interpersonal skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and 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‚Äôs Administrative Guide,

Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer and is committed to recruiting and hiring without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Additional Information

  • Schedule: Full-time
  • Job Code: 1781
  • Employee Status: Regular
  • Grade: G
  • Requisition ID: 83613