Reporting to the Head, Library Services, the Archivist preserves, arranges, and makes accessible the institutional records of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the people and the community connected to it; provides research service and reference assistance; implements and evaluates archival programs for the Nelson-Atkins staff, researchers, and the community in accordance with best practices and standards; and participates in the institutional records management program of the institution.
- Archive Support: Assists museum staff in identifying internal documents and their sources that have historical, legal, and informational value to the museum, including the determination of lasting value and appropriate formats; works cooperatively with museum staff in planning and implementing projects, including participating in strategic and impact planning with the library staff.
- Collection Management: Plans, implements, and directs all aspects of the collections including evaluating, processing, describing, cataloging, creating and maintaining records and databases, finding aids, and other tools and technology facilitating discovery of, and, access to the holdings of the Museum’s archives according to best practices, current standards, and technology in library and archives management.
- Conservation – Analyzes physical condition of documents for long-term preservation through basic conservation handling techniques and practices, including preservation digitization; creates and maintains the physical environment for maximum longevity in current formats; and works cooperatively with museum staff to ensure preservation and transferability of historical and current assets, including print, a/v media, photographs, scrapbooks, blueprints, ephemera, memorabilia, slides, and born-digital.
- Reference and Research: Provides archival reference and research services for in-house staff and external researchers, including researching and answering reference questions, preparing research reports, preparing user support documentation, and conducting research instruction with the library staff for museum staff, external researchers, and the general public. Creates outreach strategies promoting research in the archival collections.
- Planning and Evaluation: Plans and implements goals and programs in the archives which actively support museum strategic initiatives; reports regularly on archives issues, providing textual and statistical reports; and conducts evaluation of archives programs. Participates in discussions, planning, implementation and evaluation for institutional records management, digitization programs and projects, and other initiatives.
- Professional Knowledge and Standards: Keeps current with issues, best practices and standards of the archival profession; assures compliance with current intellectual property laws and any other laws or acts that may apply to documents in the custody of the Archives; conforms to professional ethical standards for the museum and the archives profession. Attend and participate in professionally relevant meetings and conferences.
- Other: Performs all other duties as assigned in general support of Library Services and the museum as a whole.
Reports to the Head, Library Services
- Master’s degree from an ALA-accredited program for library/ information science, or an accredited archives studies program/related field with two (2) or more years of direct experience or an equal combination of education and experience. Preferred: Additional degree in art history, museum studies or related field.
- Certification from Academy of Certified Archivists (ACA) or the programs of the Society of American Archivists (SAA). Preferred: SAA Digital Archives certification.
- Minimum two years of demonstrated successful experience in appraising, accessioning, arranging and describing archival and manuscript collections, and reference services.
- Working knowledge of current metadata and archival descriptive standards, including DACS, EAD, and related MARC 21 and RDA standards. Preferred: VRA core 4 and XML coding skills.
- Knowledge of the conservation and preservation needs of archival collections in a variety of formats including print, a/v media, photographs, scrapbooks, blueprints, ephemera, memorabilia, slides, and born-digital materials; database management, and transfer methods to accessible formats for research and reference.
- Familiarity with archives management systems and/or content management systems and an understanding of emerging technologies for digital collections, document imaging and conversion systems.
- Experience presenting archival and historical information and research methods to diverse audiences through diverse media.
Other Knowledge, Skills & Abilities
- Knowledge of records management including the creation of record retention schedules, and management of permanent and non-permanent records, including electronic records preservation standards,
- Demonstrated excellent scholarly research skills and reference services skills for different audiences.
- The ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.
- The ability to work collaboratively with a diverse group of constituents.
- Demonstrated strong project management skills.
- Demonstrated excellent time management skills and ability to balance priorities.
- Preferred languages in addition to English: French, Italian, German
The successful candidate should be:
- A mission-driven individual with a passion for archives, libraries, history, research, and art; analytical and strategic, yet tactically skilled in translating ideas and principles into practical programming;
- A collaborator – confident and competent, relationship-focused, with strong skills in building consensus among a diverse group of personalities with different work styles;
- A good listener and strategist; comfortable receiving input from many sources, and able to analyze and formulate disparate information into sound, well-organized plans;
- An individual with outstanding human qualities; one who is straightforward, shares information easily, listens as well as gives advice, and respects the abilities of others; high EQ/emotional intelligence; someone who imparts trust, integrity and solidity and guides others in a similar vein;
- A graceful communicator and tactful diplomat who cultivates trust and engages the active support of constituents; someone that is able to represent and advance the Nelson-Atkins’ interests with determination;
- A results-oriented individual, adept at seeing the big-picture, planning, prioritizing, organizing and following through; a hard worker with a high energy level; emotionally mature with a sense of humor and an ability to maintain balance and perspective.
While performing the duties of this job, the Archivist is required to stand; walk; prolonged sitting; use hands; reach with hands and arms; climb stairs; climb ladders; balance; stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl. The Archivist must be able to lift and/or move up to 40 pounds. The Archivist works closely with materials that may cause allergic reactions, particularly to dust and possibly mold, in environments with possible limited ventilation, and must be able to work in a windowless area.