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Women@MIT Project Archivist

Women@MIT Project Archivist

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries Job Location: Massachusetts Apply By: 11/08/2021 Date Created: 10-26-2021

Women@MIT Project Archivist (Lib/Arch I - Collections)

**Two Year-Term Position**

The MIT Libraries are seeking an enthusiastic project archivist or information professional to further our Women@MIT archival initiative. We seek an archivist who adopts a user-focused approach to archival work and thinks creatively about how best to integrate collections with research and teaching at MIT. The Women@MIT initiative focuses on documenting women at MIT to add to the existing record of MIT history, especially the work of women of color. The scope of the project includes chronicling the lives and experiences of women professors and researchers, women students at MIT, and gender non-binary and non-conforming individuals, as well as documenting MIT’s efforts to achieve gender equity throughout the years. This position reports to the Archival Processing Manager within the Department of Distinctive Collections (DDC). This position also works closely with DDC’s Interim Head of Public Services on outreach and curriculum development initiatives and with the Collections Strategist on collection development. The Women@MIT Project Archivist is the primary archivist for the acquisition, processing, description, curation, and management of Women@MIT archival collections.

As part of the DDC processing team, they will work with their colleagues to ensure coordination of collections work and optimal access to materials and information. In addition to processing new collections and material (currently totaling 60 linear feet), the Women@MIT Project Archivist will enhance description and access to collections already at DDC, such as the papers of microbiologist Nancy Hopkins, who was integral in the completion of MIT’s 1999 “Study on the Status of Women Faculty in Science at MIT,” and Susan Hockfield, the first female president of MIT. The Women@MIT Project Archivist promotes the values of diversity, inclusion and social justice by identifying and acquiring materials from underrepresented constituencies, and encouraging the widest access to materials. They will assist in collection development as needed in conjunction with the Collections Strategist. The Archivist will work with the Interim Head of Public Services on outreach and curriculum development initiatives, including the Women@MIT Fellowship. MIT Libraries will provide support for professional engagement and development. The project archivist will assist with reference activities, including regular desk shifts, and may participate in resource development efforts. They may also supervise the work of students and interns.


Processing and description (60%)

  • Processing new and legacy collections, including collections containing born-digital materials
  • Making and documenting appraisal decisions in consultation with the Collections Strategist and Interim Head of Public Services
  • Consulting with the Wunsch Conservation Lab on housing and treatment needs
  • Authoring and updating finding aids using ArchivesSpace
  • Collaborating with other members of the processing team to create and maintain policy and procedures documentation for processing and description
  • Contributing to the processing team’s reparative description efforts, especially those pertaining to the Women@MIT collections
  • May train and supervise student workers or interns in processing tasks

Reference and outreach (30%)

  • Providing reference support by working reference desk shifts and helping with reference questions
  • Continuing outreach and curriculum development initiatives for Women@MIT collections in consultation with the Interim Head of Public Services
  • Facilitating the Women@MIT Fellowship, including the solicitation of proposals, application review and fellowship experience

Collection development (10%)

  • Pursuing collection development opportunities based on previously completed gap analysis
  • Forwarding donor conversations about potential donations in collaboration with the Collections Strategist
  • Providing updates to the Director of Development and donors on archival initiative’s progress



  • MLS/MLIS in library/archival/information science or a degree in history, museum studies, or related field and experience with the development, acquisition, management, and preservation of archival and/or special collections; experience with archival content management systems/technologies
  • Experience and familiarity with using an archival content management system and technologies applicable for the archival environment.
  • Experience working with archival content metadata standards and current practice in archival arrangement and description, including DACS (Describing Archives: a Content Standard) and EAD (Encoded Archival Description).
  • Knowledge of issues re: archival security, confidentiality, intellectual property, and access rights
  • Knowledge of the history of science and technology; or women and gender studies
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to collaborate and work effectively within and across organizational boundaries in a diverse organization and with a wide variety of users.
  • Enthusiasm for embracing the empathy, courage, self-reflection and respect essential in a multicultural, diverse and inclusive workplace, and ability to embrace those values in collections and public service work.
  • Demonstrated capacity for critical thinking, problem-solving, and the ability to be flexible, tolerate ambiguity, adapt to change and successfully work in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.
  • Strong organizational and analytical skills with proven success in independently prioritizing work demonstrated in meeting deadlines and in managing complex projects to completion. We expect the candidate to be stronger in some qualifications listed above than others; we are committed to helping our future colleague expand their skills, as well as learning from their areas of strength.


  • Experience using ArchivesSpace
  • Experience working in an academic environment The Institute promotes the principle that every person brings unique qualities and talents to the community and that every individual should be treated in a respectful manner. All members of the MIT community are expected to conduct themselves with professionalism, personal integrity, and respect for the rights, differences and dignity of others (MIT’s personal conduct policy).


This job is a pay Grade 6 with the following range (min-mid-max): 51,675 - 67,185 - 83,170 Actual salary will depend on qualifications and experience. MIT offers excellent benefits including a choice of health and retirement plans, a dental plan, tuition assistance, and fully subsidized MBTA passes for local bus and subway service. Flexible work arrangements, including flex-time and flex-place, are considered for positions that meet established criteria. The MIT Libraries is a collegial and supportive working environment and fosters professional growth of staff with management training and travel funding for professional meetings


Apply online at: https://hr.mit.edu/careers applications must include cover letter and resume. Priority will be given to applications received by November 8, 2021; position open until filled. MIT is strongly and actively committed to diversity within its community and particularly encourages applications from qualified women and minority candidates. Professionals who enthusiastically embrace the empathy, courage, self-reflection and respect of a multi-cultural, diverse and inclusive workplace, and who strive to incorporate those values in their work and interactions are encouraged to apply.


The MIT Libraries support teaching, learning, and research across the Institute, with millions of resources, deep expertise, and five campus locations where our community consumes and creates knowledge. Our organization is on an exciting journey of transformation, pursuing a digital-first model for research libraries and prioritizing an open scholarship agenda. We aim to exercise bold leadership in defining a model for research libraries in the future, with innovative spaces like the newly renovated Hayden Library and a focus on supporting data-intensive and computational research and learning. We strive to do great things, powering the MIT community to solve complex problems in the service of humankind, and each member of our 146-person staff has a role to play in pursuing that vision. We’re constantly adapting to the rhythms of a changing world, and we welcome candidates who can help us do that in thoughtful and strategic ways that center our mission and values. MIT Libraries is an environment that welcomes any body, any mind — including all genders — and particularly encourages applications from underrepresented minorities, women, disabled applicants, and veterans. Professionals who enthusiastically embrace the empathy, courage, self-reflection, and respect of a multicultural, diverse, and inclusive workplace and who strive to incorporate those values in their work and interactions are encouraged to apply. 

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