Job Opportunity: Project Archivist, University of Michigan Library

How to Apply

A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.  

Job Summary

The University of Michigan Library is one of the world’s largest academic research libraries and serves a vibrant university community that is home to 19 schools and colleges, 100 top ten graduate programs, and annual research expenditures exceeding $1.5 billion a year. To enable the university’s world-changing work and to serve the public good, the library collects, preserves, and shares the scholarly and cultural record in all existing and emerging forms, and leads the reinvention of the academic research library in the digital age.

The University of Michigan Library’s Special Collections Research Center is seeking an experienced, knowledgeable, and motivated archivist to process the papers of the award-winning director, producer, and screenwriter Jonathan Demme. Comprising approximately 700 linear feet of materials related to Demme’s 40-year-long career that was punctuated by films including “Silence of the Lambs,” “Philadelphia,” “Stop Making Sense,” “Something Wild” and “Beloved,” the collection consists of production documents; photographs, scripts, and correspondence; promotional material including one-sheets; awards, memorabilia, costumes, and props; and audiovisual material from finished and unfinished projects.

The library is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce  and encourages all employees to fully incorporate their diverse backgrounds, skills and life experiences into their work and towards the fulfillment of the library’s mission.

Note: This position will be a full-time, two-year term appointment with the possibility of renewal.


  • Developing a processing plan. 
  • Arranging and describing the material according to archival best practices. 
  • Identifying conservation concerns and performing basic preservation tasks as necessary.
  • Preparing a finding aid in compliance with local guidelines and national standards 
  • Answering questions about the collection.
  • The Project Archivist may be responsible for supervising the work of staff and student assistants assigned to help with processing the collection.

Required Qualifications*

  • ALA-accredited master’s degree or an equivalent combination of a relevant advanced degree and experience.
  • Experience accessioning and/or processing collections of archival and manuscript material.
  • Familiarity with tools, trends, issues, standards, and best practices in the description and management of archival and manuscript collections.
  • Excellent interpersonal and oral and written communication skills.
  • Excellent organizational, time, and project management skills.
  • Ability to work independently and with sustained attention to detail.
  • Ability to understand diverse perspectives and acknowledge the significance of differences and complexities in background, cultures, values and viewpoints as the foundation for an inclusive environment.

Desired Qualifications*

  • Experience processing large and/or complex collections of archival and manuscript material.
  • Experience accessioning or processing collections containing born-digital and/or audio-visual materials.
  • Supervisory, project management, or other experience directing the work of others.

Additional Information

Appointment is anticipated at the rank of Associate Librarian or Assistant Librarian. Librarian appointments carry with them increased expectations regarding professional development, professional engagement, research, and service, in keeping with the library’s process for librarian promotion and advancement.

The target salary ranges for the position are $54,000-$59,000 per year for the Assistant Librarian rank and $60,000-$64,000 per year for Associate Librarian rank. The salary offered will be based on the qualification and experience of the selected candidates.

The University of Michigan offers a comprehensive benefits package including generous time off (24 vacation days per year, and 15 sick leave a year), matched retirement contributions with immediate vesting, professional development opportunities and more.  TIAA-CREF and Fidelity Investments’ retirement options available.

Note: This position will be a full-time, two-year term appointment with the possibility of renewal.

Physical Demands/work Environment

Responsibilities may involve occasionally ascending to elevated locations or positioning self in order to retrieve items.  Must be able to move and/or transport materials weighing up to 50 pounds.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days. This job may be removed from posting boards and filled any time after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

To Apply:

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