Associate Archivist

Whitman College

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Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details


Located in the historic community of Walla Walla, Whitman’s vibrant and beautiful tree-lined campus is home to an intellectually diverse, dynamic, welcoming and supportive community of some 500 staff and faculty serving approximately 1,500 students from the local region and across the globe. With exceptional students, accomplished faculty and staff, and a fiercely loyal and growing number of engaged alumni, Whitman College continues to build on its national reputation for academic excellence as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country.

Whitman College is cultivating a community built on inclusion and belonging. We recognize the value of those who can offer historically underrepresented perspectives and encourage applications from those whose background, knowledge, and insights from lived experience can add to the college’s working and learning environment. Whitman College is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer (EEO) .


The Whitman College and Northwest Archives curates materials that document the history of Whitman College and the Walla Walla region as well as rare books and other special collections housed in Penrose Library. The archives collects, preserves, provides access to, and promotes the use of these materials for teaching, learning, and research.

The Associate Archivist assists with the management of all functional areas of the Whitman College and Northwest Archives, including collection management, digital preservation, reference and instruction. The primary area of responsibility will be to develop and maintain workflows for the accessioning, arrangement and description of new and backlogged manuscript and archival materials in all formats, using applicable professional standards and best practices. The position will also oversee born-digital processing workflows and audiovisual format migrations. This work will include surveying collections; developing and prioritizing processing work plans; completing necessary rehousing and arrangement work; identifying priorities for digitization; and managing digital collections in ARMINDA, Whitman’s Islandora-based digital repository platform.


  1. Develop and implement policy for accessioning, arrangement and description of regional manuscripts and institutional records, including analog, hybrid and born-digital materials in accordance with professional standards.
  2. Manage the Orbis Cascade Alliance-mandated ArchivesSpace software, with a focus on core functions including accessioning; description and arrangement of processed and unprocessed materials; management of authorities and rights; and reference service. Create collection management records, track events, containers and locations, and develop models for assessing collections.
  3. Supervise and maintain AV reformatting equipment and digital processing station.
  4. Oversee reference operations and implement policies for access to collections in the reading room, and serve as primary backup to the Archives Assistant for reference and public service.
  5. Conduct reference interviews in person, by phone, by post, and by email, and refer archives patrons to relevant manuscript, archival, print, and electronic resources.
  6. Through processing, identify relevant under-utilized collections relevant to the Whitman curriculum, and to local and institutional history.
  7. Collaborate with faculty to provide curriculum integration support for students and courses utilizing archival and special collections. In collaboration with the Archivist, teach classes using archival and special collections, including credit-bearing library courses. Serve as a member of the Instructional and Research Services Team, and develop the ability over time to participate in library-wide instructional initiatives
  8. Work with institutional offices, student groups and community partners to acquire and promote the use of institutional and local history records.
  9. In collaboration with the Archivist and Scholarly Communications Librarian (or ARMINDA administrator), participate in digitization projects and manage metadata and policies related to archival collections in ARMINDA.
  10. Supervise student archives assistants working on processing and digitization projects.
  11. Serve on library-wide teams, including the ARMINDA and Digital Services Team and the Instruction and Research Services team; and participate in planning and policy making in a shared decision-making environment.
  12. Actively participate in regional consortia; pursue continuing educational, professional or scholarly activity.
  13. Other duties as may be assigned by the Archivist or Director of Penrose Library.


Individuals must be able to explain and/or demonstrate that they possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities to safely perform the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodation.

Archival theory, methodology and practices, including:

  1. Experience with ArchivesSpace or other archival management systems; or the ability to develop and maintain expertise in the collections management systems.
  2. Appraisal of College records and regional manuscript collections.
  3. Professional best practices for decision making, prioritization and effective processing of all formats, including familiarity with multiple levels of archival processing, from detailed item-level to More Product Less Process (MPLP) practices.
  4. Descriptive systems and principles including DACS, EAD, XML, MARC21 and Library of Congress Names Authority Files and Subject Headings.
  5. Experience or coursework in born-digital processing or digital preservation.
  6. Archival ethics and laws relating to the management of archives and special collections, including United States Copyright Law.
  7. Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and experience applying this commitment to work in libraries, archives or special collections.
  8. Issues relating to risk, restrictions, and managing access to archival and manuscript collections.
  9. Experience or coursework in designing and delivering instruction using primary source materials in archival, manuscript and digital collections.
  10. Ability to work positively and creatively in a liberal arts college environment, and be flexible in a changing work environment.

Other job-related abilities:

  1. Ability to lift and move boxes, books or supplies weighing up to 50 (fifty) pounds; ability to operate book and hand trucks loaded with more than 50 (fifty) pounds; ability to lift objects above the shoulders or over the head, climb up and down ladders or stairs; ability to sit stand, kneel, squat or bend for extended periods.
  2. Ability to bend, stretch or climb up and down a ladder or stepstool to retrieve, reshelve or rearrange archival storage boxes, books, or other material.
  3. Ability to load, unload and maneuver a loaded book truck or other hand operated vehicle for moving archival resources on a variety of surfaces and inclines; move boxes of materials from private residences, businesses, or warehouses storage to the library and into the archives. This may include situations not normally encountered in archives.
  4. Ability to work in confined areas prone to dust, pollen, mold, and other related contaminates that can be generated by archival materials.
  5. Ability to re-arrange metal shelving and cabinets.
  6. Ability to maintain a valid Washington Driver’s License.
  7. Post-offer physical and background check required.


Required: Master’s degree from an ALA accredited program with an emphasis or coursework in archival management; one year professional or pre-professional experience in archival processing; ability to provide reference, outreach, and instructional services.

Preferred: Knowledge of or interest in the history and culture of the inland Pacific Northwest; Master’s degree in History or a related field; experience supervising student workers; experience with audio-visual digitization and reformatting; fluency in Spanish desirable.


Whitman offers competitive employee benefits, including medical, dental, vision and life insurances, a generous 10% matching contribution to the Whitman College 403(b) Defined Contribution Retirement Plan, and paid time off including 13 paid holidays for full-time staff vacation and sick leave. Learn more about benefits eligibility here.


At Whitman College, we take seriously the safety of our community. Whitman is a fully vaccinated campus, requiring all employees and students to be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations or have an approved exemption. More information can be found here.


Contact Human Resources regarding requests for disability accommodation in the employment application process.


Application review will begin on May 9 and continue until the position is filled.


August 1, 2022


Read our Diversity Profile Located in the historic community of Walla Walla in the scenic wine country of southeastern Washington state, Whitman’s beautiful tree-lined campus is home to an intellectually dynamic, diverse, and supportive community of some 500 staff and faculty and 1,500 students.

Whitman College campusRanked by U.S. News & World Report among the top fifty liberal arts colleges in the country, Whitman is proud to count among its distinguished alumni the longest-serving justice in U.S. Supreme Court history, the first woman to serve as a law clerk for a Supreme Court justice, a U.S. ambassador, a nationally-acclaimed poet, the youngest astronaut in NASA’s history, the Chief Engineer of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a former CEO of General Electric, and a Nobel laureate in physics. With an endowment exceeding $500 million, fiercely loyal alumni, exceptional students, and accomplished faculty and staff, Whitman College continues to build on its national reputation for academic excellence and leadership.

Whitman College diversity student [square]Whitman College is building a diverse academic community and welcomes nominations of and applications from women, members of historically underrepresented minority groups, persons with disabilities, and others who would bring additional dimensions to the College’s learning environment. Whitman is responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

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