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Processing Archivist

Processing Archivist

Virginia Commonwealth University Job Location: Virginia Apply By: Open until filled Date Created: 01-14-2022

Processing Archivist Virginia Commonwealth University

The Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries invites applications and nominations for the position of Processing Archivist. The Processing Archivist is responsible for processing personal papers, organizational records, and university archives. The successful candidate will join a culturally and academically diverse faculty of the highest caliber. Located in culturally diverse, historic, and dynamic Richmond, Virginia, convenient to the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the recreation destinations of the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Commonwealth University is one of Virginia's largest universities and among the nation's leading research institutions. VCU Libraries, one of Virginia’s outstanding research library systems, advances the University’s teaching, research, service, and patient care mission with comprehensive digital and print collections and nationally recognized innovation in its facilities, advanced media and technology resources for its community. In February 2018, the Association of College and Research Libraries recognized VCU Libraries with the ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award.

Diversity and Inclusion

VCU’s commitment to diversity is one of the institution’s unique strengths. Our student body is one of the most diverse in Virginia in terms of race and ethnicity and socioeconomic status, and one of the four themes of our Quest 2025 Strategic Plan is “Diversity driving excellence.” VCU is committed to building an increasingly diverse faculty and leadership team, and is actively engaged in partnerships with diverse communities in the Richmond metro area. VCU Libraries is purposeful in our efforts to advance diversity and inclusion and expects that the Processing Archivist will be a leader in fostering a welcoming atmosphere for all members of the VCU community. The successful candidate will receive support for research, service, and professional development and will have ample opportunity to pursue diversity and inclusion related opportunities in those areas.


Reporting to the Interim Director of Special Collections and Archives, the Processing Archivist will be responsible for:

  • High priority processing and description of collections in all formats including manuscript materials related to twentieth and twenty-first century American history and university archives;
  • Developing and implementing processing plans for manuscripts and university archives;
  • Editing and writing descriptive finding aids in accordance with DACS, the Virginia Heritage Guidelines for Encoded Archival Description, and institutional practices;
  • Inventorying collections and inputting data into ArchivesSpace;
  • Accessioning newly received collections; and rehousing collections and other tasks to ensure preservation of materials.
  • May supervise student assistants and interns.
  • The Processing Archivist is expected to be active professionally and to contribute to developments in the field. Faculty with the VCU Libraries are evaluated, and promoted, on the basis of job performance, scholarship, and service. The position will work primarily on the Monroe Park Campus, but will be expected to travel to and from the MCV campus.

Required Qualifications

  • ALA-accredited graduate degree or master’s degree in appropriate discipline.
  •  Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Professional archival processing experience including work with born-digital materials or advanced course work in archival theory, methodology, and digital archives.
  •  Demonstrated understanding of the principles of arrangement and description, national and international standards and best practices that govern the arrangement and description of primary source materials, and basic preservation standards for archival materials.
  •  Experience or commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion as a faculty member through archival practice, scholarship, and service.
  • Knowledge of ArchivesSpace, automated library systems such as Alma/Primo, Omeka, and Digital Asset Management Systems.
  • Ability to establish priorities, set and meet goals and deadlines, and manage project schedules.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing. Ability to work independently and collaboratively within and across organizational and community boundaries in a diverse and evolving organization with a wide variety of users.
  • Ability to lift boxes weighing up to 40 lbs, climb ladders, and work in varied environmental conditions that may contain dust and mold.

Candidates need not meet preferred qualifications to be fully considered. We value many individual and unique skills that would strengthen the VCU Libraries and our teams.


Salary commensurate with experience, not less than $55,000 annually. This is a full-time, non-tenured faculty position. 12-month faculty benefits apply, including 24 vacation days annually and choice of retirement and annuity plans. Relocation assistance, as well as a professional development allowance. For more information about benefits, see the Faculty Benefits page.


Initial interviews will be conducted virtually. We anticipate inviting finalists to campus. Learn about the position in an online information session We are hosting information sessions for interested applicants in advance of the February 14, 2022 review date. Please consider joining one of these sessions to learn more about the position, meet the supervisor (Jodi L. Koste, Interim Director for Special Collections and Archives), and get answers to your questions about the position. Join one of our info sessions via Zoom: 1/19/2022 at 4:00 pm EST 1/25/2022 at 11:00 am EST The attendee list for each Zoom session will be hidden and those asking questions may do so anonymously. Live captioning will be provided. To attend a session, please complete the confidential form to receive a Zoom link. Questions? Please contact Jodi Koste at jlkoste@vcu.edu.

Virginia Commonwealth University and the VCU Libraries

As one of only 71 public universities with academic medical centers to be designated by the Carnegie Foundation as “Community Engaged” with “Very High Research Activity,” Virginia Commonwealth University ranks among Virginia’s largest research universities, enrolling over 29,000 students. Located in the heart of Richmond, VCU offers 42 doctoral, 68 masters, 3 professional, and 68 baccalaureate degree programs. Thirty-four of VCU's graduate and professional programs are ranked by U.S. News & World Report as among the best in the nation, with 29 programs ranking in the top 50 and sculpture and nurse anesthesia ranked number one. Over 2,500 faculty comprise the University's teaching force. Research strengths at the University include health and life sciences, education, engineering, social work, behavioral sciences, public affairs, advertising and design, and the fine arts. Sponsored research funding totals over $360 million, placing VCU among the top 100 research institutions in the United States.

Libraries at Virginia Commonwealth University, including the James Branch Cabell Library on the Monroe Park Campus and the Health Sciences Library on the MCV Campus, employ over 65 professionals and 80 staff with annual expenditures exceeding $22 million. VCU also operates academic programs in Doha, Qatar, supported by a library there, and in various locations throughout the U.S. and the world. The VCU Libraries is a member of the Association of Research Libraries, the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries, Center for Research Libraries, Coalition for Networked Information, National Digital Stewardship Alliance, Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, and the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA), a statewide networking consortium for shared access to electronic and print resources, as well as a Resource Library in the Network of the National Library of Medicine, among others.

The VCU Libraries uses the following packages for its system architecture: Alma, Primo, Islandora, Digital Commons, ArchivesSpace, ILLiad, and Omeka. Special Collections and Archives at James Branch Cabell Library and the Health Sciences Library houses primary source materials, rare publications, and the university archives for VCU. The department’s manuscript holdings document the history of twenty and twenty-first century Richmond and Central Virginia including: African American, LGBTQIA+, and women’s history; civil rights and social justice; urban planning; visual, literary, and performing arts; and collections focused on the history of health sciences and the health care professions. Additional research collections consist of: book arts; comic arts; Richmond history from the late 19th century to the present; alternative and underground publications; the personal library of James Branch Cabell; 19th-century American medical imprints; health sciences history focused on Virginia and the South; physiatry; and the Richmond Academy of Medicine Joseph Lyon Miller Collection. Other resources of note include the Anderson Gallery and medical artifacts collections. The Monroe Park Campus of VCU is located in Richmond's Fan District, a large, residential neighborhood of townhouses, shops, and cafes. The campus is home to most of the University’s undergraduate and many of its graduate programs, including the School of the Arts, the Colleges of Humanities and Sciences, and Engineering and the Schools of Business, Education, and Social Work. The School of Social Work also offers the Masters of Social Work at the Northern Virginia Campus in Alexandria, Virginia. In addition, VCU’s Qatar campus in the Middle East offers degree programs through the School of the Arts. The MCV Campus, located in historic Court End near state and local government and financial centers, is home to the VCU Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy; VCU College of Health Professions; the Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research; and, VCU Health. VCU Health includes VCU Medical Center, a Magnet Recognized hospital with 812 inpatient beds, outpatient clinics, a Level 1 trauma center, and over 800 physicians in 200 speciality areas, many of national and international renown, as well as the Children’s Hospital at VCU and Massey Cancer Center, Virginia's first NCI-designated cancer center. In addition to multidisciplinary centers for cancer, cardiology, neurosurgery, and transplantation, VCU Health offers virtually every form of contemporary medical service. For more information about the VCU Libraries, please visit our home page at http://www.library.vcu.edu/.

Review of applications will begin February 14, 2022 and will continue until the position is filled. To apply, complete the application and submit a cover letter, resume, and the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of three references. Virginia Commonwealth University is an urban research institution with a richly diverse university community and commitment to multicultural opportunities. Virginia Commonwealth University is an equal opportunity affirmative action university providing access to education and employment without regard to age, race, color, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, veteran’s status, political affiliation or disability.

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