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Digital Archivist, Archives and Special Collections

Sewanee: The University of the South
Sewanee, TN, TN

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Job Details

Position Overview

Primary Function:
Discover, collect, preserve, and provide access to born-digital and digitized archival materials in the Archives from University and external sources. Help shape strategies, initiatives, and methodologies for University digital archives and digital curation. Identify digital content and execute a range of archival functions on born-digital and digitized archival material according to archival standards and best practices. Collaborate with other members of LITS and the University community to help facilitate and support digital scholarship at the University. Actively participate in general Archives support activities.

This position receives general supervision. Broad instructions, policies, and procedures are provided and the staff member uses judgment and experience to carry out assignments.

Career Band: 2DPosition Description

Typical Duties & Responsibilities:

Work with the Archives Director and others to help shape strategies, initiatives, and methodologies for University digital archives and digital curation

Provide expertise on workflows, tools, implementations, standards, and best practices to support the management and preservation of born-digital content, including, but not limited to emails, web content, social media, and content from legacy physical media

Help oversee the implementation of technologies and systems that support a full spectrum of digital objects and services

Help develop and implement policies governing the organization, management, and care of digital materials

Lead the development and implementation of efficient workflows to ensure the successful accessioning, processing, preservation, and access of digital materials in the Archives

Identify digital content and execute a range of archival functions on born-digital and digitized archival material according to archival standards and best practices

Identify and select University digital materials, including web content

Collaborate on the acquisition, accessioning, ingest, and migration of born-digital materials

Use digital forensic and preservation tools to maintain and ensure the long-term preservation and integrity of digital assets

Arrange and describe digital materials

Create metadata for digital collections using appropriate schema, standards, and best practices

Ensure access rights and permissions are in place for digital materials, safeguarding sensitive information

Establish the means for providing public and staff discovery and access to digital materials

Monitor the lifecycle of digital assets, performing maintenance and ongoing assessment of the Archive’s digital resources and online platforms

Collaborate with other members of LITS and the University community to help facilitate and support digital scholarship at the University

Work with LITS staff responsible for the University’s institutional repository

Collaborate with LITS staff and campus units to identify potential digital initiatives or to provide guidance to digital projects with long-term implications

Serve on LITS or University-wide teams as needed to create digital scholarship workflows as well as discovery and access solutions

Actively participate in general Archives support activities

Assist with reference services for in-person researchers and via electronic reference requests

Help with exhibit research, production, and installation

Works actively with other staff to design and teach class orientations, and instruction sessions, and to host special events

Page and reshelve materials

Other duties as assigned

Judgement Required:
Independent judgment and discretion are required in the application of standard operating procedures to the essential duties of this position.

Machines & Equipment Used:
Computers, mobile devices, printers, copiers, and scanners.

Budgetary Responsibility: None.

Personal Interaction/Communication:
  • Student Contact: Daily: providing archival instruction and assistance, answering questions.
  • Internal: Daily: providing archival instruction and assistance, answering questions; and University committee involvement.
  • External: Daily: providing archival instruction and assistance, answering questions.
  • Attributes of a Successful Candidate

    Master's degree in Library and Information Science, or related graduate degree.

    3-5 years of digital archives management within an archives, library, or other similar organization.

    Job-Related Skills:

    • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

    • Excellent interpersonal skills.

    • Knowledge of and experience with professional archival standards, best practices, and technologies for accessing, arranging, describing, and preserving digital archival materials.

    • Experience with tools and software to ingest, curate, and deliver born-digital archival material, as well as transfer content from media such as hard drives, flash drives, floppy disks, servers, etc.

    • Experience with institutional repository and digital collection platforms, such as Dspace, Omeka, Digital Commons, etc.

    • Working knowledge of standards-based metadata schema.

    • Knowledge of intellectual property rights, copyright, rights management, patron and donor privacy, and other legal issues, especially as they apply to primary materials in digital formats.

    Supplemental Information

    Confidential Information:

    Faculty and departmental files, correspondence, research materials, personnel activities, records for library patrons, restricted and sensitive archival and manuscript materials.

    Working Environment:
    University Archives and Special Collections, normal office environment, some physical maneuvering of boxes, object,s and other sometimes heavy items. Working with older materials may involve exposure to mold. Staff members are expected to present a professional demeanor and appearance in dealing with all members of the University community and the general public in the performance of duties for this position.

    Any additional requirements specific to this position:

    The University of the South, commonly known as Sewanee, comprises a nationally ranked residential College of Arts and Sciences and a School of Theology. The University is strongly committed to the values of intellectual inquiry, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and living and serving in community. Situated on 13,000 acres atop Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau, Sewanee is known for its stunning natural beauty while providing easy access to Chattanooga, Nashville, and Huntsville. The University is affiliated with the Episcopal Church and seeks to help employees of all backgrounds and identities flourish.

    DEI Institutional Statement:

    At the University of the South, our commitment to inclusion and belonging is grounded in our core values of community, courage, flourishing, and inquiry. We seek to build a community enriched by our diversity and centered on equity, justice, mutual respect, and shared responsibility.

    Equal Employment Opportunity:

    The University of the South is an equal-opportunity educational institution that is committed to creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive campus environment.


    Working at Sewanee: The University of the South

    Known familiarly as “Sewanee” by its students, faculty, staff and friends, The University of the South offers an unmatched educational experience. The university remains purposefully small and dedicated to building a sense of community. All classes are taught by professors, not graduate teaching assistants, and close faculty-student interaction ensures that each student enjoys a rich and personal educational experience. It is not unusual for students and faculty members to work shoulder to shoulder on research projects and journal articles, to meet for coffee at a local eatery, or to serve together as members of the university orchestra, volunteer fire department, and other civic groups.

    The result of such individualized education is clear in the academic success of Sewanee students and alumni. The university has had 26 Rhodes Scholars—a number that puts Sewanee in the top four nationally among American liberal arts colleges—as well as 27 NCAA Postgraduate Fellows, 43 Watson Fellows, and dozens of Fulbright Scholars, and has an acceptance rate to graduate and professional schools that far outpaces its peers. The School of Theology has added to its alumni ranks countless bishops, including three of the last four presiding bishops of the Episcopal Church.

    Sewanee offers 36 majors, 32 minors, and 15 special programs, along with pre-medicine, pre-nursing, pre-law, and pre-business. More than 40 percent of students participate in study-abroad programs, and a comprehensive endowed program that provides financial support for summer internships has greatly strengthened career development for undergraduates. See more about Sewanee in the "Sewanee Snapshot" here.

    In an era of specialization, Sewanee upholds the broad-based ideals of liberal education as a surer means to success. At the University of the South, the adherence to outstanding liberal arts education and enduring traditions of honor, community, and respect have transformed many generations of students, and have earned the abiding loyalty and support of alumni who are enjoying lives of integrity, leadership, and service.

    The University is located atop the Cumberland Plateau between Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Sewanee’s physical environment, which includes the 13,000–acre Domain (as the campus and surrounding area is known), provides a remarkable academic and recreational resource, and an unparalleled place in which to study and reflect. It invites students to engage in both a multitude of outdoor activities and careful study of the natural environment.

    As the University celebrated the 150th anniversary of its founding in 2007–2008, it looked back on a rich history and forward to new opportunities for the next generations. “The essence of Sewanee is consistent from generation to generation,” said Vice Chancellor emeritus Joel Cunningham. “We are a university dedicated to liberal education, to time-honored traditions, and to our commitment to serve our students and this nation. We have been successful in advancing our mission, and I believe we have the resources and the will to ensure that Sewanee’s best years are still to come.”

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