Descriptive Services Manager for Digital Processes

California, United States
21 Jul 2020
End of advertisement period
19 Oct 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

Are you interested in being part of a dynamic team that is growing? The Hoover Institution at Stanford University is seeking enthusiastic and growth-focused candidates for the Descriptive Services Manager for Archival Control position within the Library & Archives. The full-time Academic Staff (Career Track) position supports the Digital First/Virtual Library Initiative and general operations. A cover letter and resume are required for full consideration. Your one-page cover letter should briefly describe your background in academic libraries and archival description and provide examples of past projects and work completed.

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 Descriptive Services Manager for Archival Control leads the description needs for location tracking and physical processing of materials. Managing a team of archival staff, the successful candidate will work to encourage collaboration across descriptive practice in the Library & Archives as an active manager, describing and processing materials alongside the team. Manages description of all formats but focuses particularly on manuscripts, records, photographs, time-based media and microfilm.

The successful candidate will collaborate closely with the Acquisitions & Appraisal Archivist, as well as with the Public Services area, to ensure that intellectual control of archival collections meets researcher needs in the reading room while working in close partnership with the Descriptive Services Manager for Digital Processes to assign the correct language and subject expertise to the processing of all formats while also managing the description aspect of internship-based and short-term assistant work.


  • Leads the program of archival arrangement and description in collaboration with other description-based managers.
  • Responsible for supervising a team of archivists, support staff and student assistants.
  • Establishes policy standards for arrangement and description with particular focus on access in the reading room and the problems presented by each particular physical format type.
  • Works with other managers and staff to develop a uniform description environment across the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.
  • Assists with the development of procedures and workflows to support the Library & Archives Digital First initiative.
  • Works across functional teams to plan and prioritize projects.
  • Leads, hires, coaches, trains, and evaluates performance of staff; assigns and prioritizes workloads, sets deadlines, and reviews work for quality and timeliness.
  • Coordinates reappraisal decisions for accessioned collection materials according to the collection development policy, in conjunction with subject specialists and curators.
  • Serves as an expert on DACS and EAD while taking a leadership role in managing location and container-based aspects of ArchivesSpace administration.
  • Assesses materials for conservation needs in conjunction with conservation staff.
  • Applies archival and library principles and procedures to complex and unique collections, creating housing and description appropriate to the predicted use of the materials in collaboration with team members.
  • Collects and maintains statistics, reports, and other metrics to assess and improve functions.
  • May assist with outreach and reading room activities, providing orientations and instruction to researchers in how to request and use rare materials.
  • Participates in relevant professional activities.

* The job duties listed are typical examples of work performed by positions in this job classification and are not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Specific duties and responsibilities may vary depending on department or program needs without changing the general nature and scope of the job or level of responsibility. Employees may also perform other duties as assigned.


Education and Experience:

  • Master’s degree from an ALA-accredited library school or equivalent accredited degree, or a Master’s degree in a related discipline in the humanities or social sciences with demonstrated understanding of archival theory and practice and a background in 20th century European history, politics or culture required.
  • Two years of relevant experience required. Relevant experience should include responsibility for staff supervision and/or the management of archival workflows.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of appraisal, arrangement and description of archival materials in multiple formats.
  • Demonstrated supervisory skills with the ability to manage heavy and complex workloads using considerable judgment and initiative.
  • Experience using and managing an archival collection or content management system.
  • Demonstrated experience in applying, or supervising the application of, current archival and special collections descriptive practices and principles, including DACS.
  • Demonstrated experience utilizing EAD. Experience with at least one other metadata standard used for the description and control of archival special formats and the ability to learn, analyze, and utilize existing and emerging metadata standards, such as Dublin Core, MODS, EBUCore and METS/ALTO.
  • Experience with, or ability to learn XML and other machine actionable languages and linked data principles and standards.
  • Demonstrated ability to organize and prioritize work, with strong project management skills and the ability to use considerable judgement and initiative.
  • Excellent analytical and problem solving skills combined with attention to detail for complex, detail-oriented work.
  • Ability to be organized, productive, and effective in a dynamic environment, with the capacity to engage with others to identify challenges and opportunities.
  • Excellent written, verbal, analytical, organizational, and interpersonal skills required.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and collaboratively in a fast-paced environment with the flexibility to adjust to changes and reprioritizations.
  • Broad knowledge of archival repository functions, services, and requirements.
  • Successful applicant may be asked to apply for US national security clearance to assist the 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 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'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: 86892