Acquisitions and Appraisal Archivist

California, United States
02 Aug 2019
End of advertisement period
02 Oct 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

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 Acquisitions and Appraisal Archivist is responsible for performing a wide range of complex duties to ensure the smooth and safe acquisition of a large amount of collections in all curatorial areas. Working closely with the director, curators, processing archivists, and preservation staff at the Hoover Library & Archives, the Acquisitions and Appraisal Archivist oversees all aspects of managing the acquisitions and appraisal of archival materials: maintains contracts and donor case files, coordinates shipping activities, facilitates visits of donors and appraisers, and prioritizes descriptive projects to ensure a smooth acquisitions workflow. The successful candidate will have substantive knowledge and experience with archival accessioning, appraisal, and description; project management; and strong communication skills.


  • Ensure that contracts, deeds of gifts, and other agreements with donors of collections are executed and filed properly.
  • Maintain acquisition case files for potential and pending archival acquisitions, including correspondence, email, and telephone conversation records; update donor database with contact information.
  • Liaise with shipping companies, Hoover Facilities, and Hoover Preservation to ensure a smooth flow of incoming collections by setting priorities after consultation with the director and curators.
  • Work closely with Hoover Preservation staff regarding quarantine process, conservation issues, and prioritization for format segregation. Assist in the preservation assessment of collections and in the selection of materials for conservation treatment.
  • Prioritize appraisal and reappraisal decisions for collection materials according to the collection development policy and in conjunction with subject curators.
  • Meet with donors and facilitate visits of appraisers.
  • Address special issues or requests from donors, especially those that require research in the Hoover Institution records.
  • Arrange occasionally for transcriptions of audio or video recordings.
  • Supervise and occasionally perform the survey and/or processing of incoming collections according to accepted archival standards.
  • Plan, direct, and review work of librarians, staff, and/or hourly assistants.
  • Assist in the ongoing development of the unit's accessioning and processing procedures for archival collections.
  • Independently analyze problems and recommend solutions, displaying a high degree of initiative, originality, and judgment.
  • Collect and maintain statistics, reports, and other metrics to assess and improve functions.
  • May staff the public services reference desk and conduct tours of the Hoover Institution.
  • Perform related projects and special assignments as requested by the director, including the preparation of acquisition, statistics, and project progress reports.

* Other duties may also be assigned.


Education & Experience:

  • Master's degree from an ALA-accredited library school or equivalent accredited degree, or a degree in a related discipline in the humanities or social sciences with formal training in archival theory and practice. 
  • Two or more years' work experience with archival materials in analog and born digital formats required. A strong knowledge of 20th and 21st century world history preferred.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of accessioning, appraisal, arrangement, and description of personal papers and organizational records in many formats including manuscripts, records series, photographs, born digital material, newspapers, books, posters, audio, film, microfilm, fine art, and objects.
  • Understanding of archival and library theory and practice, particularly the role and impact of acquisitions on library and archives activities.
  • Experience with applying current cataloging procedures and principles as defined in RDA, MARC Bibliographic, Holdings, and Authorities formats, the Library of Congress classification system and subject headings.
  • Demonstrated experience in addressing acquisition issues and ethics, particularly with ownership problems and appraisal; firm understanding of intellectual property, copyright, privacy, and other access issues strongly preferred.
  • Ability to deal tactfully with donors and to manage sensitive material in a confidential manner.
  • Demonstrated ability to coordinate, schedule, and handle heavy and complex workloads using considerable judgment and initiative.
  • Strong ability to work effectively and collegially across departments, both within Hoover and across the university, and to organize and manage team-based projects.
  • Ability to plan, manage, and complete multiple, concurrent projects in a timely fashion.
  • Proven record of sound judgment, initiative, leadership, flexibility, and negotiating skills, with the ability to identify challenges and opportunities, engage others in their resolution, and recommend appropriate courses of action.
  • Excellent analytical and problem solving skills combined with attention to detail for complex, detail-oriented work.
  • Flexibility to be organized, productive and effective in a dynamic environment, involved with a variety of simultaneous projects and workflows.
  • Evidence of strong interpersonal and communication skills with the ability to lead a team environment, and excellent oral and written communication skills in English.
  • High level of proficiency using PC-based applications (Windows, word processing, spreadsheets) and other computer applications (email, Internet, Integrated Library Systems); high level computer competency kept up to date through continuous learning.
  • Strong preference for a working knowledge of at least one non-English language; additional languages desirable.
  • Demonstrated ability to supervise the work of others preferred.
  • Successful applicant will be asked to apply for US national security clearance to assist Stanford University Facility Security Officer in administering classified materials.

Certifications and Licenses:



  • Constantly sit, perform desk-based computer tasks.
  • Work with books and in places that may be dusty.
  • Frequently twist/bend/stoop/squat, grasps 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,
  • The Hoover Institution at Stanford University is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration 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: 1782
Employee Status: Regular
Grade: H
Department URL:
Requisition ID: 84178