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Head of University Archives

Head of University Archives

Michigan State University Libraries Job Location: Michigan Apply By: 05/06/2021 Date Created: 04-12-2021


Head of University Archives, Librarian I or II


Minimum $70,000. Salary is negotiable.

Position Summary

The Michigan State University (MSU) Libraries invites a forward-looking and creative professional to bring fresh perspectives to our position as Head of University Archives. Reporting to the Associate Dean of Collection Strategies & Preservation, the Head of University Archives will lead the Libraries’ efforts to transform and invigorate archival services including reimagining service provision and building successful relationships to ensure a robust program of outreach, education, materials acquisition, access, and preservation. Archival resources play an important role in the Libraries’ support of instruction and research at MSU. The University Archives collects the official historical records of Michigan State University, including records created by the Board of Trustees, departments, offices, programs, and committees, as well as the material of individual faculty, staff, students, student groups, and alumni. There is also a focus in collecting material related to the campus environs. The formats collected include papers, audio, film, video, photographs, scrapbooks, and digital files. This position will encourage, empower, mentor, and supervise seven Archivists in various stages of our faculty continuing appointment process, and one Archival Assistant. Skills in creating a respectful, professional, productive, and collaborative environment while empathetically yet firmly leading change are key. 


  • Establishes and manages the strategic direction of the University Archives with direction from the Dean of Libraries.
  • Ensures appropriate oversight of all Archives’ activities.
  • Prioritizes service, instruction, outreach, and engagement.
  • Oversees the development and implementation of policies, procedures, standards, workflows, and best practices for archival materials including collection analysis and management, selection, processing, description, housing, storage, security and digitization.
  • Supervises and mentors Archives’ staff including but not limited to establishing goals, encouraging, and supporting continuous learning and development, and conducting performance evaluations.
  • Prioritizes workflows and communicates priorities and processing plans with others, including preservation staff, as appropriate.
  • With direction from the Dean of Libraries, and in collaboration with the Associate Dean for Collection Development and the Head of Special Collections, oversees the selection, evaluation, and maintenance of new archival materials within established collecting areas and in alignment with the Libraries’ Collection Development Policy. This includes assisting with acquisitions decisions, suggesting areas for future growth and evaluating donations and gift proposals.
  • Participates in developing instructional and outreach programs and activities to promote knowledge and use of archival collections.
  • In collaboration with archivists, subject specialists, and cataloging & metadata staff, establishes digitization priorities and designs and implements project plans to address the priorities.
  • Provides administrative support for archival reference and research inquiries.
  • Contributes to cultivation and stewardship of prospective donors.
  • Works with the Libraries’ fiscal officer to gain understanding of and appropriately monitor Archives’ finances.
  • Initiates and contributes to grant development, work plans, and budgets as appropriate.
  • Prepares statistical and other reports as needed or assigned.
  • Performs other appropriate duties as assigned. Evening and weekend hours may be required.

 The successful candidate must be creative, flexible, broadly focused, and adventurous enough to expand or shift responsibilities to meet evolving needs. Archivists are appointed as regular faculty in the librarian continuing appointment system and are engaged in scholarship, professional development, and service consistent with a faculty appointment. Engaged involvement in professional organizations relevant to archival work is expected and valued. Additionally, archivists serve on library and university committees as elected or assigned. The MSU Libraries values diversity of thought, perspective, and experience and is actively committed to a culture of inclusion and respect. The candidate will enthusiastically partner with others to grow our welcoming multicultural environment. More information on our dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion is available at: http://www.inclusion.msu.edu/about/index.html.

Michigan State University Libraries serve more the 5,700 faculty, 39,000 undergraduates, and 11,000 graduate and professional students on a park-like campus of over 5,000 acres.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in information or library science from a program accredited by the American Library Association, preferably with formal archival coursework and/or archival specialization.
  • Experience working in an archival institution.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of current archival theory and accepted best practices.
  • Planning and leadership skills, with the ability to function independently, take initiative, and set goals and prioritize in a dynamic environment, attention to detail.
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills including the ability to develop a cohesive team and effectively manage conflict.
  • Outstanding ability to establish positive, enthusiastic, and productive collaborations working with a wide variety of constituencies and colleagues including faculty, students, administrators, and national organizations.
  • Demonstrated ability to be flexible in a changing environment.
  • Strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and a desire to work in and foster a collaborative, respectful culture.
  • Strong service orientation.
  • Preparation and commitment to engage in scholarly activity and service consistent with a faculty appointment.
  • Capacity and commitment to engage independently in continuing professional development.

Desired Qualifications

  • Leadership experience in a university archives or archival institution.
  • Experience with grant writing and grant management.
  • Experience with development and fundraising.
  • Knowledge of environmental needs for archival collections, disaster management, planning and recovery.
  • Knowledge of and experience with archival IT solutions for preservation and access.
  • Project management experience.

Closing Date

May 6, 2021

Special Instructions to Applicants

Minimum $70,000. Salary is negotiable. MSU provides generous fringe benefits. Interested applicants should provide a letter of application, CV/resume, and names, addresses and email addresses of three references (2 must be present/past supervisors) to http://careers.msu.edu. Posting number 696231. For questions, please contact Jacquelyn Hansen, aholajac@msu.edu, at MSU Libraries' Human Resources Department.

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