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Institute Archives and Special Collections
**This is a one-year term position with the possibility of extension.**
The MIT Libraries Institute Archives & Special Collections seeks an archivist to participate in the initial processing of the archives of MIT Professor Emeritus and world renowned linguist and activist Noam Chomsky. The addition of Chomsky’s personal archives, and a large portion of his personal library, augments an existing collection of the professor’s papers already in the care of the Institute Archives. This project archivist position provides a unique and exciting opportunity to work in a vibrant university archives setting on a collection that will have enormous impact on future research and scholarship.
The collection spans a long and distinguished career, beginning when Chomsky joined MIT in 1955 in the Research Laboratory of Electronics, through his years as a professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics, then as Institute Professor. It also reflects Chomsky’s political activism and outspoken support for freedom of speech and social justice. The collection includes correspondence, background research materials, drafts of publications, email, and other digital content on various media.
RESPONSIBILITIES: Working under the direction of the Archivist for Collections, the Project Archivist will survey, appraise, arrange, and house initial accessions of Noam Chomsky’s archives. Following archival standards, s/he will describe the accessions of the archives and prepare them for use utilizing the Archivists’ Toolkit. S/he will prepare additional records for transfer to the archives and transport to storage and will prepare a processing plan for the collection. And s/he will participate in the selection and description of items to be digitized. The Project Archivist will work closely with the subject specialist, assisting with the selection, digitization, and mounting of a selection of materials on-line to showcase a representation of the collection. S/he will supervise a collections assistant who will be dedicated to the project—including training, directing the assistant’s work, and conducting performance assessments.
QUALIFICATIONS: Required - ALA-accredited MLS/MLIS or Masters degree in history or relevant subject/field. Minimum one year working in an archival repository or library, processing collections in a quality and timely manner. Demonstrated knowledge of archival theory and practice including issues related to intellectual property, ethics, content management, preservation, and access. Experience or demonstrated knowledge of metadata standards including MARC, DACS, EAD, XML and Dublin Core. Strong organizational and analytical skills with proven success in deadline-driven work and in independently prioritizing work and managing competing deadlines. Excellent interpersonal skills, including ability to work collaboratively as part of team and to work successfully with a diverse population. Strong communication skills including ability to write and document clearly. Demonstrated ability to maintain and safeguard confidentiality of documents and information collected and reviewed. Demonstrated ability to be flexible, tolerate ambiguity, adapt to change and successfully work in a fast-paced, dynamic environment. Ability to regularly lift and move records boxes weighing up to 40 pounds. Preferred – Experience working in an academic environment. Experience with Archivists’ Toolkit. Experience with digital collections and creating website exhibits. Supervisory experience. Reading knowledge of modern-European language(s).
SALARY AND BENEFITS: $51,000 minimum. Actual salary and appointment to Archivist I or II will depend on qualifications and experience. MIT offers excellent benefits including a choice of health and retirement plans, a dental plan, tuition assistance and a relocation allowance. The MIT Libraries affords a flexible and collegial working environment and fosters professional growth of its staff with management training and travel funding for professional meetings.
APPLICATION PROCESS: Apply online at: http://hrweb.mit.edu/staffing/. Please include cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references. Review of applications will begin March 15th and continue until position is filled. MIT is strongly and actively committed to diversity within its community and particularly encourages applications from qualified women and minority candidates.
Through a culture that encourages innovation and collaboration, the MIT Libraries are redefining the role of the 21st century library – making collections more accessible than ever before, and shaping the future of scholarly research. Library staff, at all levels, contribute to this spirit of innovation and to the mission of promoting learning, discovery and the advancement of knowledge at MIT and beyond. “Reinventing the Research Library: The MIT Libraries in the 21st Century” is a short video that looks at how the Libraries are expanding beyond their traditional role to shape 21st century research library --creating innovative services, reaching out to students and faculty, and leading efforts to increase global access to MIT’s scholarly work.
The Institute Archives and Special Collections is a collegial and entrepreneurial Department in the MIT Libraries. It serves as the premier source of reliable historical information about MIT including manuscripts and other materials such as video, audio, and digital content. To that end, the Archives identifies, collects, and preserves records, regardless of format that document the history of MIT, its people, and their work. The Institute Archives promotes the use of these resources and makes them widely available to the MIT community and researchers around the globe. The Department is committed to developing new strategies for documenting MIT and to providing seamless access to its collections in order to support administration, research, and teaching at MIT.
The MIT Libraries support the Institute's programs of research and study with holdings of more than 2.9 million print volumes and 3.1 million special format items, and terabytes of MIT-owned digital content. In addition, rare special collections, Institute records, historical documents, and papers of noted faculty are held in the Institute Archives and Special Collections. Library resources and services are accessible to students and researchers through the Libraries’ website (http://libraries.mit.edu/), and library spaces are widely available for both collaborative work and quiet study. Traditional library resources are supplemented by innovative services for bioinformatics, GIS, metadata, social science data, and research data management services, as well as multimedia facilities and services for video production, conferencing, webcasting and distance education. The Libraries utilize the Ex Libris Aleph system for its Integrated Library System, the Archivists’ Toolkit for archival collection management, and DSpace for its digital repository. Other MIT repositories include: Dome, a second DSpace instance, providing access to a sizable image collection and other digital collections owned by the MIT Libraries; the MIT Geodata Repository for a diverse collection of GIS Data; and MIT’s DataVerse for licensed social science datasets. MIT Libraries maintain memberships and affiliations in arXiv, Association of Research Libraries, the BorrowDirect group, the Boston Library Consortium, DDI Alliance, DuraSpace, HathiTrust, CLIR/Digital Library Federation, the Coalition of Networked Information, EDUCAUSE, North East Research Libraries, OCLC Research Library Partnership, ORCID, and Portico.
Robin M. Deadrick
Human Resources Administrator
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Cambridge MA 02139-4307