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Processing Archivist, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME


The Bowdoin College Library seeks a collaborative, creative, and detail-oriented processing archivist to arrange and describe archival and manuscript materials, with a focus on collections that currently have minimal or no description. This is a 3-year term appointment that will be evaluated at the end of the initial period and may be extended for an additional two years.

Reporting to the Archivist and participating as a member of an active and highly collaborative special collections department, the Processing Archivist employs archival standards and best practices, including inclusive description, to survey, arrange, describe, and preserve materials in varying formats, including paper, photographic, audio-visual, and born-digital materials. The ideal candidate will have an intellectual curiosity about the broad range of subjects and time periods represented in the collections, including Arctic exploration, the geology of Maine, the antislavery movement, Maine book arts and publishing, and the development of Bowdoin from a regional college to a national leader in liberal arts education. The Processing Archivist is responsible for following local and national best practices to create EAD-encoded, DACS-compliant finding aids for these collections in ArchivesSpace. Further, the successful candidate will apply an expansive view of traditional archival theory, standards, and procedures to ensure collections are presented in a respectful, contextualized, and easily discoverable manner.

The Processing Archivist oversees the work of student assistants, delegating processing tasks as appropriate, and provides excellent service to users by promoting and facilitating access to collections through archival arrangement and description.

As the intellectual heart of the Bowdoin campus and serving as a major research library in the state of Maine, the College Library is highly valued for its rich and extensive collections, outstanding staff, and vibrant spaces, including Hawthorne-Longfellow Library—the main library building—and three specialized branch libraries for music, art, and science. Located within the main library, the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives is distinguished for its commitment to access, innovative instructional and educational programs, world-class collections including an archival record that dates to the College’s founding in 1794, and an ambitious digital collections program.

The Bowdoin Library strives to be forward-thinking, diverse, and welcoming. In line with its goals to address the ways in which structural racism has permeated long-standing library practices, it is committed to developing, describing, and stewarding diverse and inclusive collections that represent the voices and experiences of BIPOC and other marginalized communities.



  • A Master’s degree from an ALA-accredited library program or an advanced degree in a related discipline with formal professional archival training or apprenticeship; or, substantial progress towards degree requirements in one of these programs that includes successful completion of coursework on archival management and theory.
  • One year equivalent of archival processing experience, which can include paraprofessional, student, or internship experience. Facility with spreadsheets and databases, such as ILS or collections management database.
  • Knowledge of current approaches to archival arrangement and description, including anti-racist archival theory and inclusive descriptive practices.
  • Familiarity with current approaches to processing and describing born-digital holdings.
  • Experience with detail-oriented work, including the ability to analyze, repurpose legacy inventories, and manipulate complex spreadsheets.
  • Evidence of ability to attend to accuracy, attention to detail and discretion, and the necessity for confidentiality.


  • Knowledge of efficient archival process procedures and standards. Familiarity with principles of archival appraisal.
  • Experience with an archival collection management system, such as ArchivesSpace.
  • Project management experience, including creating processing plans.


$55,000.00 – $65,000.00

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