Project Archivist

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Job Description

The Oberlin Conservatory Library is seeking a full-time Project Archivist to assist in preserving and providing access to the Library’s music-focused special collections including the Milton J. and Mona C. Hinton Collection and other collections related to jazz and American music. This is a twelve month Administrative and Professional Staff (A&PS) position that will report to the Head of the Conservatory Library, with project guidance from the Conservatory Special Collections Librarian. The position will also have significant interaction with the College Archivist, the Conservatory Technical Services Librarian, and the Conservatory Public Services Librarian. The position will also interact with the Core Reference Team in providing resources and guides for interdisciplinary coursework and study. This is a one year appointment with a possibility of renewal for a second year.

The incumbent will work with an assortment of American music artifacts including that of Milt Hinton, a distinguished jazz bassist and photographer. Enjoying an extensive career that stretched from the 1920s through the end of the 20th century that embraced jazz and popular music, he performed with such greats as Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, and Barbra Streisand. The collection includes date books, correspondence, financial records, photographs, audio and moving image materials, and ephemera that provide an unrivaled perspective on the life of an extremely accomplished bass player who thrived in spite of institutional segregation. This position serves as a pathway for emerging talent to work on a fascinating jazz history collection, promote its unique perspective in history, and ultimately draw attention to the life and experience of an exceptional African American musician.

The Oberlin College Libraries value diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), as it is an essential part of our College and Conservatory culture. It is important that the incumbent uses a DEI lens to successfully inform practices within and beyond the Oberlin College Libraries.

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• Contribute to the arrangement, appraisal, and description of large, complex, multi-format collections, including original manuscripts, photographs, printed music, artifacts, and audiovisual and digital media
• Follow processing standards, create descriptions according to archival metadata standards, and ensure consistency and quality of the descriptions
• Create finding aids according to standard archival practices
• Assist in the digitization of audio and paper-based materials
• Provide reference assistance to staff, faculty, students and outside researchers in the Conservatory special collections reading room
• Hire, train, supervise, and develop projects for student workers or interns
• Contribute to academic outreach when needed, including the preparation for presentations, exhibits, and publications
• Perform other duties as assigned

Required Qualifications 

• Master’s degree from an American Library Association accredited institution or equivalent degree with a specialization in archival studies or special collections; recent graduates are encouraged to apply
• Knowledge of the principles relating to archival appraisal, survey, arrangement, description, and preservation
• Experience with processing collections and creating finding aids
• Accuracy and consistent attention to detail while maintaining a very high level of productivity
• Ability to work with the public, excellent written and verbal communication skills, and a commitment to serving students, staff, faculty, and the public in a courteous manner
• Experience with Microsoft Office and Google’s G Suite of applications
• Strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Desired Qualifications 
• One or more years of experience in archival processing and the application of basic processing strategies for large, multi-format collections
• Experience in digital collections processing and metadata creation
• Training in Encoded Archival Description (EAD)
• Bachelor’s degree in music or significant undergraduate coursework in music, including knowledge of American music history
• Experience with image editing software (such as Adobe Photoshop) and audio editing software (such as Sony Soundforge)

Working Conditions
• Must be able to lift up to 40 pounds, climb a ladder, stoop and reach in a variety of physical locations
• Must be able to work in an environment in which exposure to materials containing dust and mold is possible

Within the range established for this position, salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience and includes an excellent benefits package.

Funding for relocation and professional development will be available.

How to Apply

Apply here:

To be considered for this position, please provide a cover letter, resume and contact information for three (3) references. Applications will be reviewed upon receipt with an anticipated start of July 1, 2018.

All application materials must be submitted electronically through Oberlin College and Conservatory’s online application process at: *By providing three (3) Professional References (names and email addresses), you agree that we may contact them through our applicant web portal. Reference writers will be asked to submit an electronic Letter of Recommendation on behalf of the applicant.

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