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Director of Technical Services for Archives and Special Collections, Harvard College Library, Cambridge, MA


Although the position will remain posted until filled, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by end of day on June 9, 2023.

Harvard Library seeks applications and nominations for a collaborative, innovative, and transformational leader for the newly created position of Director of Technical Services for Archives and Special Collections (DTSASC).  The Director will play a critical role in implementing a strategic reorganization by leading and managing a new department that brings together technical services staff currently working in the Harvard University Archives and Houghton Library.  Along with staff, colleagues, and stakeholders, the DTSASC will create an integrated approach to supporting a diverse array of technical services activities in these units, including archival processing and accessioning, bibliographic cataloging, acquisitions, and digital strategies and services.  The DTSASC will also foster communities of practice to facilitate activities supporting access, discovery, and preservation of archives and special collections holdings for repositories in the Archives, Arts and Special Collections (AASC) portfolio (Eda K. Loeb Music Library, Fine Arts Library, Harvard Film Archive, Harvard University Archives, and Houghton Library) and will participate and lead, where appropriate, efforts to create a more coherent and cohesive approach to technical services and systems for archives and special collections across repositories at Harvard. 

The Director reports to the Associate University Librarian for Archives and Special Collections and plays a significant leadership role in the overall administration of AASC archives and libraries. 


  • Leads and manages the Technical Services for Archives and Special Collections Department by developing and articulating strategic vision and direction, overseeing day-to-day operations and special projects, establishing priorities, and coordinating work within the department and with other units in the Archives, Arts, and Special Collections portfolio and Harvard Library.
  • Leads the creation of an integrated approach to technical services activities for archives and special collections holdings of the Harvard University Archives and Houghton Library by harmonizing and unifying the policies, procedures, and programs dedicated to these activities.  Refines organizational structure iteratively to optimize the work of the department. 
  • Hires, trains, and manages a team of more than thirty archivists, librarians, and archives/library assistants, as well as project staff, interns, and students dedicated to technical services functions currently in a newly created department with a proposed structure consisting of the following units: Digital Strategies and Services, which will be established under the new Director; Archival Processing; Acquisitions; and Bibliographic Cataloging.
  • Fosters communities of practice among colleagues in the AASC portfolio and within the Harvard Library system to promote innovation, sharing of expertise and resources, and common problem solving in order to strengthen access, discovery, and preservation of archives and special collections holdings.
  • In coordination with colleagues in AASC and Harvard Library, develops and implements methods for prioritization of processing, cataloging, digitization, and preservation for AASC archives and special collections holdings.
  • Develops the vision for and leads the creation of a new Digital Services and Strategies unit charged with promoting digital access to AASC archives and special collections holdings, including digitization, born digital, metadata management, and archives and special collections systems support.
  • Develops and implements plans to effectively appraise, process, and catalog hidden collections and new acquisitions, with consideration of the Total Cost of Stewardship model.
  • Under the direction of the University Archivist and in collaboration with other colleagues, upholds protocols in accordance with University records policies for appropriate identification, handling, processing, description and reformatting of Harvard’s institutional records, including those found in faculty personal archives, student-related content, and other Harvard historical materials. 
  • In collaboration with members of the AASC Leadership Group, Technical Services staff, and other colleagues, explores, proposes, and coordinates the implementation of new technologies that facilitate discovery, access, and use of archives and special collections holdings.
  • Serves as a member of the AASC Leadership Group and works with other senior managers on long-range planning, annual goal setting, policy and procedure development, personnel and budget decisions, facilities planning, and daily administration.
  • Participates actively in the archives and special collections library profession.

Basic Qualifications:

  • B.A., M.L.S. from an ALA-accredited academic program required. 
  • Eight years of professional experience with increasing responsibility in archives and/or special collections.
  • Minimum four years supervisory experience.
  • Demonstrated experience with professional standards, practices, and systems used for special collections and institutional records cataloging, discovery, and access.
  • Demonstrated experience with appraisal, arrangement, description, and preservation of manuscript and institutional archival holdings.
  • Demonstrated experience with metadata creation and manipulation; digitization of analog and audiovisual collections; and born digital archives and records. 

Additional Qualifications and Skills:

  • Demonstrated experience with supervising employees and supporting their efforts in order to build and foster a diverse, productive, and engaging workplace and professional community. 
  • Commitment to supporting efforts to foster diversity, inclusion, belonging, and antiracism in library, university, and professional contexts. 
  • Demonstrated experience with change management and building a positive work culture for staff and colleagues.
  • Demonstrated experience implementing new technologies, workflows and other innovative approaches to improve workflows and access to and preservation of collections.
  • Demonstrated project management expertise.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and interpersonal skills to work effectively with culturally diverse library users and colleagues.
  • Demonstrated experience working with confidential and/or sensitive information with a high degree of discretion and maturity. 
  • High level of comfort with ambiguity and capacity to thrive in a changing working environment. 
  • Experience using and implementing and training staff on new technologies and systems.
  • Preference for experience in an academic or research library.
  • Advanced degree in History, English, Art History or other subject areas relevant to AASC libraries and archives preferred. 
  • Record of engagement with professional groups and activities and/or contributions to professional or scholarly literature.


We invite you to visit Harvard’s Total Rewards website to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

To Apply: