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Archivist for Special Projects, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA

Job Summary

Harvard Law School Library seeks a half-time (17.5 hours per week) twelve-month term archivist to complete two complex projects. The first project is implementing new Minimum Level Processing (MLP) guidelines for unprocessed Modern Manuscript collections. Part of the implementation will be the development of internal standards, metrics, and repeatable processes to apply across unprocessed collections and future accessions. The second project is reprocessing the Learned Hand collection.

Although previously fully processed, this collection has been used for a major research project and now contains some of the researcher's work product interfiled. The Archivist will make curatorial decisions on the current state of the collection with the short term goal of identifying and/or removing material added by the researcher, and the long term goal of supporting future optimal use of both the original collection and its digital surrogates. Additionally, in collaboration with the Librarian/Archivist for Digital Projects, this position will coordinate the digitization of the high-use components of this collection. This position will report to the Associate Director of Collections and liaise/work closely with the Manager of Digital Strategy for Collections, the Curator of Modern Manuscripts, and the Librarian/Archivist for Digital Projects.


This is a term appointment expected to extend through January 31, 2021 contingent upon funding and business needs.


Job-Specific Responsibilities

  • Gain intellectual and physical control over unprocessed manuscript collections by establishing appropriate Harvard MLP standards with the goal of enhancing a collection's discoverability. Additionally, recommend to the Curator of Modern Manuscripts if certain series or collections should be fully processed based on anticipated demand or content.
  • Create a Harvard Law School Library specific MLP protocol based on the needs of our users.
  • Develop an accessioning workflow using ArchivesSpace.
  • Accession, arrange, describe, and otherwise process collections. This includes organizing the materials and conducting necessary conservation; re-housing documents in acid-free folders and containers; creating an inventory; and preparing a collection guide and finding aids according to local and professional standards.
  • Run multiple projects simultaneously with goal-oriented deadlines.
  • Staff the Historical & Special Collections reading room up to 2 hours per week.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Basic Qualifications 

  • Master's degree in library/information science with a concentration in archival studies or equivalent education or work experience
  • Minimum of two years of professional experience in an archives setting, including work with large 20th century collections as well as sensitive materials
  • Must have a valid driver's license and be able to drive to Southborough, Massachusetts for some work-related duties. (Owning a car not a requirement.)


Additional Qualifications

  • Experience coordinating complex projects
  • Experience making appraisal decisions
  • Knowledge of current national standards related to control of bibliographic and archival collection materials (RDA, MARC, DACS, controlled vocabularies)
  • Experience with processing large archival collections
  • Experience with preparing archival collections for digitization
  • Ability to adapt quickly to new organizational and work settings
  • Must be able to tolerate ambiguity well, be agile, and be adaptable to a work setting in which shifting work locations, interruptions, or last minute scheduling adjustments are common
  • Understanding of copyright and intellectual property issues
  • Able to work independently and as part of multiple teams simultaneously; collaborative; flexible


Salary Grade: 056

To Apply

Access the full job description (Req. #51155BR) at the Employment at Harvard web site, and click the Apply to job button at the bottom of that page. Thank you for your interest in this position.

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