The Virginia Thoren Archivist
The Virginia Thoren Archivist
Mar 20, 2019
The Pratt Institute Libraries are seeking an innovative, collaborative, and service-oriented leader to serve as The Virginia Thoren Archivist, a new full-time position dedicated to the curation, preservation, maintenance, and outreach of the history of Pratt Institute. The Archives are dedicated to preserving and contextualizing the institutional history of Pratt Institute through its growing body of collections, which include, but are not limited to: the administrative records and publications of the Institute’s departments, schools, and programs; select papers of Pratt faculty, alumni, and members of the Pratt family who were active at the Institute; and photographs and audiovisual materials documenting the activities of the Institute.
The establishment of this position was made possible thanks to a generous gift by Virginia Thoren, a 1942 graduate of Pratt Institute’s advertising design department. After graduating from Pratt, Thoren went on to become a successful fashion photographer, making her start in Paris after World War II and eventually working as the art director for the Albert Woodley Company and later as an independent photographer. Thoren retired in the early 1980s and eventually donated her collection of photographs and memorabilia designated as the Virginia Thoren Collection to the Institute’s Archives in 2007.
The individual assuming this position will be expected to play an instrumental role in articulating a vision and building capacity for the newly configured special collections and archives program, including, but not limited to: exploring new ways develop, describe, and outreach existing archival collections; creating opportunities to bring in new collections that fill gaps in the institutional record; expanding the current archives program to include diverse voices and experiences; putting in place robust procedures around ingesting and preserving born-digital records; and collaborating with staff members across the Libraries to re-envision the spaces in which Special Collections and Archives are stored, accessed, and exhibited. Persons with experience and scholarship directly related to helping Pratt achieve the goals outlined in our Diversity Strategic Plan are encouraged to apply.
Collection Management and Development
- Develop, manage, and implement short- and long-term projects.
- Develop written policies around acquisition, processing, description, and access of institutional records in all formats, and collaborate with departments across campus to ensure that relevant materials are deposited in the Institute’s Archive.
- In partnership with academic and administrative units across the campus, seek alumni, faculty, and organizational collections that help to put the history of Pratt Institute in a broader context, including its relationship to its surrounding neighborhood and community.
Access and Discovery
- Participate in and oversee the accessioning, arranging, and description of newly transferred and acquired records and papers in analog and digital formats into ArchivesSpace, following agreed upon priorities and levels of processing.
- Develop workflows to ensure consistent and uniform application of processing and metadata standards to improve discoverability of new, existing, and backlogged collections.
Teaching, Outreach, and Reference Services
- Promote the use of primary source materials as teaching and research tools, and work with Library and Institute Faculty to incorporate these materials into the curriculum through the development of assignments and instruction programs.
- Present archives materials to classes and other groups from inside and outside of the Institute.
- Foster interest in the history of Pratt Institute through the development of dynamic and relevant exhibitions, programming, and presentations, in relation to campus and alumni events.
- Promote archives collections through engagement with online platforms, including appropriate social media venues.
- Provide public assistance and respond to reference queries for researchers coming from inside and outside the Institute.
- Perform in-depth research related to Pratt’s history and policy for the administration of the Institute.
- Manage a full-time Project Archivist, and play a mentoring role in the supervision of Graduate Assistants pursuing related degrees in the School of Information.
- Initiate and participate in grant-writing and fundraising activities to help support archival programs and collections.
Salary: Low 80k + Benefits
Education: ALA accredited Master’s degree in Library Science or equivalent graduate degree in archives administration from an accredited college/university, or a combination of a relevant, accredited graduate degree in another scholarly field (e.g., history) from an accredited college/university and significant archival experience.
- Minimum three years experience working directly with appraising and processing archival collections, and demonstrated application and knowledge of such best practices and standards as EAD and DACs in the creation of finding aids, and basic preservation for archival and manuscript collections.
- Knowledge of best practices and current trends related to archives reference and outreach, as well as the ingestion and processing of born-digital records.
- Strong organizational and project management skills and the ability to set and modify work priorities independently with a high degree of initiative.
- Outstanding interpersonal skills and able to work in a highly collaborative environment.
- Excellent oral and written communication, including public speaking and scholarly communications.
- Flexible and able to adapt to changing priorities.
- Knowledge of principles of diversity and inclusion; ability to work well with diverse populations; and demonstrated level of cultural competence.
- Ability to lift boxes weighing up to 40 lbs, with or without reasonable accommodation.
- Experience working in an academic institution or university archive.
- Significant experience working with Archives Space.
- Demonstrated experience working with born digital records.
- Significant experience managing full-time staff and/or student employees or interns.
- Record of publication or other relevant contributions to the profession.
- Experience writing grants or participating
- Knowledge of records management best practices.
Please submit your cover letter and resume. If you are selected for an interview, please be prepared to provide at least 5 References via our on-line reference tool system. At least 2 of your References must be, or have been, your direct managers.