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Digital Preservation Archivist, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, MA


The Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) located in Boston, Massachusetts seeks a Digital Preservation Archivist.  This is a full-time (35 hours per week) position; Monday-Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.  The MHS is an independent, scholarly research library founded in 1791 for the threefold purpose of collecting, preserving, and disseminating sources for the study of American history.  The MHS holds more than 3,600 manuscript collections, as well as extensive collections of early American imprints, newspapers, maps, printed ephemera, photographs, engravings, and other research materials. 

Duties:  The Digital Preservation Archivist will be responsible for the long-term preservation and ongoing access to MHS digital collections and will play a central role in building and sustaining a digital preservation program.  The Digital Preservation Archivist will oversee the Society’s implementation of Preservica to preserve and provide access to its digital assets, including born-digital and digitized records, audiovisual materials, and the Society’s institutional records, as well as unique work products of the MHS such as metadata and XML encoding.  The Digital Preservation Archivist will work closely with the Senior Archivist for Digital Initiatives and Processing Archivists to develop policies, procedures, workflows, and documentation for managing, preserving, and processing digital assets, including those in hybrid digital and analog collections. The successful candidate will manage the transfer of digital materials from a variety of current and legacy media formats such as tapes, floppy disks, CDs, and hard drives, and implement procedures for ensuring the authenticity and preservation of, and access to, this material.  The Digital Preservation Archivist will continuously expand and share his/her knowledge of best practices and emerging trends in the field.

This is a new position at the MHS.  Although the primary focus—particularly for the first two years—will be the establishment and implementation of a digital preservation program, the Digital Preservation Archivist may also take on records management tasks for the Society’s institutional records, as well as process analog and hybrid collections.  The successful candidate will be a member of the Collections Services Department and report directly to the Vice President for Collections.

Qualifications: A Master’s degree in library and information science or significant coursework in archives management, digital curation, and/or records management and a minimum of two years’ experience with Preservica or other digital preservation systems and workflows, digital forensics, and/or the management of digital assets are required. Knowledge of relevant standards for archival description and preservation including EAD, and PREMIS, and familiarity with other metadata standards such as MODS are strongly preferred. Preference will also be given to candidates with experience in archival processing, preservation, and/or records management. Some experience with legacy media and/or curiosity and capacity to learn tools and software used to transfer, capture, and manage a variety of digital records is also helpful. The successful candidate must be flexible, self-motivated, and able to work independently and as part of a team. S/he must write clearly and succinctly and possess strong planning and organization skills with an ability to prioritize and multi-task.   

Salary: $54,000 – $64,000, with a competitive benefits package

How to Apply:

Application procedure: Send a cover letter, resume, and the names of three references, preferably by email, to:

Brenda Lawson, Vice President for Collections

[email protected]

Availability:  This position is available on January 10, 2022.  Preference will be given to applications received by November 28, 2021.

Closing Date: December 6, 2021