Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Purdue University seeks a Digital Preservation and Electronic Records Archivist

If you're a seasoned electronic records archivist and would like to work at the flagship campus of a large Midwestern state university, Purdue University may have a position waiting for you.
Reporting to the University Archivist and Head, Archives and Special Collections Division, the Digital Preservation and Electronic Records Archivist will be responsible for the management, acquisition, appraisal, description, and preservation of born-digital records with historical, evidential, research, or administrative value to the university. Will collaborate with faculty and staff to collect, manage, preserve, and provide access to born digital and digitally reformatted collections. Will participate in the active management and preservation of a wide array of types of digital collections, including but not limited to university electronic records and websites, born digital manuscripts and personal papers, faculty research datasets and scholarly publications.

  • Master's in Library Science or MIS from an ALA-accredited institution with graduate level course work in archives or a Master's degree in History, Archives or a related field with completion of graduate level course work in archives.
  • One year of experience applying archival theory and practice of managing, preserving, and providing access to born digital objects.
  • Demonstrated experience with repository platforms (e.g., Fedora, DSpace).
  • Knowledge of preservation technologies (e.g., BagIt, JHOVE, micro services architectures) and other related technologies (e.g., XML, relational databases, scripting languages).
  • Knowledge of preservation metadata, archival storage methods and preservation systems, data security, and format migration.
  • Knowledge of OAIS and issues relating to long-term preservation and archiving of electronic records or other types of digital collections
  • Ability to effectively use current technologies, acquire new technological skills, and resolve problems in a resourceful and timely manner.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, analytical, time management and organizational skills.
  • Degree specializing in archival science, digital curating or digital preservation.
  • Project management experience as it applies to management of born digital content.
  • Experience generating checksums, creating preservation metadata, and working with tools that verify file authenticity and tools that identify potentially restricted content.
  • Familiarity with preservation planning, including creation of preservation policies, procedures, and/or disaster recovery plans.
  • Demonstrated expertise in dataset management or management of other born digital content.
  • Knowledge of web archiving, working with born digital personal papers or university records, and issues related to working with large and complex research data sets and related collections.
  •  Expertise in format migration, preservation metadata, archival storage methods and systems, data security, and related issues inherent to long-term preservation and access.
  •  Awareness of emerging technological advances relating to digital preservation as well as awareness of tools and techniques for identifying and working with information of a sensitive or confidential nature.
  • Awareness of copyright law as it applies to both published and unpublished digital content along with an understanding of the research process, the data life cycle, and scholarly communication trends, including knowledge of applications for organizing and managing research data.
  • Demonstrated commitment to the archives and/or library and information science professions, through active involvement in professional organizations.
Additional Information
  •  A Background Check will be required for employment in this position.
  • FLSA: Exempt (Not Eligible for Overtime)
  • Retirement Eligibility:  Defined Contribution Waiting Period.
  • Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.
For more information, consult the position description, fringe benefits overview, compensation information, and supplemental (and really helpful!) job seeker resources

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

OCLC seeks a Curator of Cultural Heritage

This may well be the most unusual -- in a very good way -- corporate archives job out there.  Many corporate archivists devote a lot of effort justifying their existence to their employers, but OCLC serves the library and archival communities, and just about every OCLC professional I've encountered has a graduate degree in library/information science.  The person who takes this job will probably be able to spend less time explaining the fundamentals of archives and demonstrating how his or her program supports OCLC's mission and a little more time actively accessioning, describing, and providing access to archival materials.

This posting is a little light on the electronic records/digital preservation stuff, but the position description indicates that the successful candidate will work with "digital assets" and the "OCLC [Digital?] Archive".  Moreover, any employer that has built its own trusted digital repository almost certainly has tons of born-digital records -- and lots of employees who are focused on digital preservation.

If you're an early- to mid-career archivist who finds the thought of working for the world's largest library/archival service provider appealing, OCLC just might have a job for you.  OCLC is located just outside of Columbus, a city that, in its pleasant Midwestern way, is a little cooler than one might expect.  (OCLC's offices are also a stone's throw away from one of the oddest art installations I've ever seen, but that's a story for another day.)
Online Computer Library Center, Inc. is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing information costs. Tens of thousands of libraries around the world use OCLC services to locate, acquire, catalog, lend and preserve library materials. We are currently seeking candidates for a Curator, Corporate Heritage position at our Corporate Headquarters in Dublin (Columbus), Ohio.
  • Develop, execute and evaluate the strategic vision and priorities for collecting materials of permanent value to OCLC.
  • Develop written policy statements and procedural guidelines for the collection, including access to and use of both public and confidential materials. Monitor and provide reports on the use of collection.
  • Assure access to records in compliance with ISO 9001.
  • Create metadata to provide access to items and collections and prepare document descriptions and finding aids for use of collections.
  • Coordinate corporate records retention policies with other areas (e.g., Finance, Legal, Human Resources, and Marketing).
  • Promote the use and understanding of the collections and communicate the value of corporate heritage for public relations and pro bono activities of OCLC.
  • Coordinate access to OCLC’s digital assets through the top level of the OCLC intranet, the OCLC Library web site, and the OCLC Archive.
  • Back up the Electronic Resources Librarian.
  • MLS from an ALA-accredited institution or other Master’s degree. Concentration in archives preferred.
  • Three years’ experience in archives
  • Knowledge of OCLC and its role in the history of librarianship
  • Ability to create original bibliographic records in WorldCat
  • Ability and desire to work in a team-based environment
  • Excellent verbal, written and analytic communication skills with all levels of users
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to plan and manage long-term projects
  • Familiarity with integrated library systems, content management software and CONTENTdm desirable
The position description says nothing about salary, but information about employee benefits and  career development opportunities and detailed application instructions are available online.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

United Nations seeks archival consultants

 I don't often run across position descriptions for electronic records or digital preservation consultancies -- at least in the United States, consulting slots are often filled via word of mouth -- so I'm happy to have a few consultancy descriptions to file away for future reference.

About six weeks ago, I posted about a trio of archival positions -- Digital Archivist, Archivist, and  Audiovisual Archivist -- opening up within the United Nations' International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, which was established in 2010 to wrap up the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

The International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals is now seeking a trio of consultants -- Digital Archives Expert, Archives Expert, and Audiovisual Archives Expert -- who will be responsible for helping to recruit and evaluate candidates for these positions.  I find it kind of interesting that the Mechanism started soliciting applications for the archival positions well before it began soliciting consultants who would help to evaluate the applications, but my long sojourn in government has taught me that the workings of large organizations often have a strange logic all their own.

A few things you need to know:
  • Consultants are expected to work for a total of seven days and to be available to work in The Hague on short notice. 
  • Consultants will be paid a flat fee of $200.00 (U.S.) for each day worked.
  • The postings say nothing about travel or lodging reimbursement; if you don't live in or around The Hague, you should probably think twice about applying.
  • The deadline for applying is 26 July 2012.
Here's the posting for the Digital Archives Expert:
The Chief Archivist, Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), is recruiting professional staff for the Mechanism Archives and Records Section (MARS). These staff include Digital Archivists. The contractor(s) will provide expert advice on, and assistance with, recruitment to these posts. Specifically, the contractor will assist the Chief Archivist with: setting and marking technical assessment tests, grading candidates' submissions and shortlisting candidates for interview; planning technical components of interviews and evaluating candidates' responses. The knowledge required is expert knowledge of managing digital records and archives, including digital preservation. Familiarity with records and archives of international criminal tribunals is an advantage.
And the Audiovisual Archives Expert:
The Chief Archivist, Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), is recruiting professional staff for the Mechanism Archives and Records Section (MARS). These staff include Audiovisual Archivists. The contractor(s) will provide expert advice on, and assistance with, recruitment to these posts. Specifically, the contractor will assist the Chief Archivist with: setting and marking technical assessment tests, grading candidates' submissions and shortlisting candidates for interview; planning technical components of interviews and evaluating candidates' responses. The knowledge required is expert knowledge of managing audiovisual records and archives. Familiarity with records and archives of international criminal tribunals is an advantage.
And, for good measure, the Archives Expert:
The Chief Archivist, Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) is recruiting professional staff for the Mechanism Archives and Records Section (MARS). These staff include Archivists. The contractor(s) will provide expert advice on, and assistance with, recruitment to these posts. Specifically, the contractor will assist the Chief Archivist with: setting and marking technical assessment tests, grading candidates' submissions and shortlisting candidates for interview; planning technical components of interviews and evaluating candidates' responses. The knowledge required is expert knowledge of managing physical records and archives, including a variety of media and formats, including artefacts. Familiarity with records and archives of international criminal tribunals is an advantage.
As you can see, the postings contain a lot of duplicate content.  All three of them contain identical language concerning the consultants' core responsibilities:
Objectives and Targets
Expert advice and assistance provided to the Chief Archivist in the recruitment of professional staff for MARS.
  • Tangible outputs of the work assignment
  • Technical assessment tests
  • Marked and graded candidate submissions
  • Technical interview questions
  • Assistance with review of candidate interview responses
The contract will be for the duration of the recruitment process. It is anticipated that the consultant would be required to provide services for 7 working days, comprising 5 days relating to setting and marking of technical assessment tests, and 2 days relating to planning and evaluating interviews.
If you're interested in one or more of these consultancies, each position description contains detailed application instructions.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

2012 Best Practices Exchange: Annapolis, Maryland, 4-6 December

The Best Practices Exchange (BPE) is an annual event that brings together archivists, librarians, records managers, information technology professionals, attorneys, and other people seeking to preserve born-digital state government records and publications.  Sessions are informal, presenters are compelled to leave plenty of time for questions and discussion, and attendees are expected to participate actively in session discussions.  In addition, presenters and attendees are encouraged to highlight not only success stories but also stumbling blocks, problems, and unexpected developments -- in other words, all the experience one acquires when one doesn't get what one wanted or expected.  There's no teacher like failure, and I always come away from the BPE grateful that I'm not the only person who's run into particular problem and determined to make sure that my

I always leave the BPE feeling as if my head is stuffed with knowledge, and I'm glad that this non-traditional conference -- which grew out of a one-off event sponsored by North Carolina in 2006 and has been hosted by libraries and archives in Arizona (2007 and 2010), Montana (2008), New York (2009), and Kentucky (2011) -- has flourished.  If you have an abiding interest in digital preservation haven't experienced the BPE, I encourage you to do so if at all possible; attendance isn't limited to state government employees, and about 10-15 percent of BPE attendees are employed by non-profit organizations, private academic institutions, and other non-government institutions.

Maryland is hosting the 2012 BPE. The BPE website doesn't yet have any information about this year's meeting, but Tim Baker of the Maryland State Archives circulated a save the date/call for proposals notice via the BPE listserv last week.  Excerpts are reproduced below:
I am very pleased to announce that the 7th annual Best Practices Exchange (BPE) will be held in Annapolis, Maryland at the Lowes, December 4-6, 2012. The BPE is a conference that focuses on the management of digital information in state government, and it brings together practitioners to discuss their real-world experiences, including best practices and lessons learned. 

We have secured some excellent accommodations at the Lowes in Annapolis . . . .  While Annapolis is a relatively small city, there is something for everyone to enjoy.  Plus, everything you will want to see or visit in Annapolis is within walking distance from the Lowes.   

Call for Session Proposals
 . . . . Following the format of past Best Practices Exchanges we encourage you, the attendees, to present your projects and experiences, successes, failures and lessons learned.  

Each session will be 90 minutes long with two or more speakers per session.  We ask that you keep presentations to 10-15 minutes to allow for discussion and engagement with the audience.  Proposals should include an abstract of 100 words or less and the name, title, email, phone number and organization of each presenter.  You may submit a proposal for one speaker, which will then be paired with others by the program committee; or a proposal for a full session with multiple speakers (please contact and confirm the other speakers prior to submission.)   

Please send all session proposals to Tim Baker at the Maryland State Archives:

. . . . For planning purposes the hotel costs will be $101/night plus tax and conference registration will be in the neighborhood of $165. 

In the meantime, check out some local web sites:

There really is something for everyone in Annapolis!  

Program Committee Volunteers
I am looking for volunteers for the program committee.  If you are interested, please send me a note [] or give me a call [410 260 6402].
Image: Fireworks over the Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York, 4 July 2012, 10: 05 PM EDT.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hong Kong Legislative Council Secretariat seeks an Archivist

Here's an interesting job for a person with the right mix of language skills, professional experience, and desire to live in a world city:  Archivist of the Secretariat of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Region of the People's Republic of China
Archivist - The Legislative Council Secretariat provides support services to the Legislative Council ("LegCo") in scrutinizing legislative and public expenditure proposals and in monitoring government policies and measures. The LegCo Archives is responsible for developing and implementing an integrated archives and records management programme for LegCo and providing archival services for LegCo Members, staff and the public. We are now looking for a high calibre individual to work as an Archivist to assist in the operation of the LegCo Archives and setting out the best operational procedures and practices in managing the archives and records of the LegCo and the LegCo Secretariat.

Duties: An Archivist will be responsible for: (a) assisting in operating the LegCo Archives; (b) researching and implementing policies, standards, and the best practices for a comprehensive and sustainable archives and records management programme of the LegCo and the LegCo Secretariat; (c) developing procedures, guidelines and manuals for the creation, maintenance, protection and disposal of records in different formats and content; (d) compiling records disposal authorities and disposal schedules; (e) appraising records for preservation as archives; (f) arranging and describing archival records according to international standards and preparing suitable finding aids; (g) providing records access and reference services and conducting outreach public programme; and (h) offering advice, guidance, training and conducting inspections on archives and records management.

Length of Employment: A fixed term for three years.

Remuneration: A newly appointed Archivist will be offered a starting salary at $41,070 per month (increasing by 5 annual increments to $51,670), plus a monthly cash allowance applicable to the rank of Archivist on the date of appointment currently at a rate of $1,105 per month. Candidates not meeting the 6-year professional experience requirement may also apply. If selected, they may be appointed at a lower entry salary. The exact salary offered will be commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate. Upon satisfactory completion of the agreement, the appointee will be eligible for an end-of-agreement gratuity which, when added together with the employer's contribution to a Mandatory Provident Fund scheme, equals to 15% of the total basic salary drawn during the agreement period. Fringe benefits include paid leave as well as medical and dental benefits.

Application: Applications can be made through letters or the application form which can be downloaded from our website. Please send the application to the Human Resources Office, Legislative Council Secretariat, Legislative Council Complex, 1 Legislative Council Road, Central, Hong Kong on or before 23 July 2012. Please indicate the post applied for on the envelope. Applicants who do not hear from us within 8 weeks after the closing date may assume their applications to be unsuccessful. All personal data provided will be treated in strict confidence. If interested applicants would like to send their applications by email, they can send to the following address: and send a copy to for information.

As an Equal Opportunities Employer, The LegCo Commission is committed to eliminating discrimination in employment with the LegCo Secretariat. The vacancy advertised is open to all applicants meeting the basic entry requirements irrespective of their disability, sex, marital status, pregnancy, age, family status, sexual orientation and race. For more information on our policy on employment of persons with disabilities, please visit our website.

Requirements: Candidates should: (a) be a qualified Archivist or Records Manager with a recognized degree in history, political science, public administration, or a related field and have a graduate or postgraduate qualification in Archives or Records Management; (b) have at least six years' professional experience in archives and records management, preferably three years of which in supervisory capacity; (c) have sound knowledge and experience in records appraisal theory and practices; arrangement, description and accessioning of archival records; and records access and reference services; should be conversant with conducting historical research and using General International Standard Archival Description ("ISAD(G)") issued by the International Council on Archives; (d) have the ability to analyze, organize and interpret records and records systems including records captured and stored in electronic environment, and to solve practical archival or records management problems; (e) have excellent command of written and spoken Chinese and English languages; and (f) possess very good interpersonal, supervisory and time management skills. Preference will be given to candidates who are familiar with microcomputer applications and have hands-on experience in electronic records management, archival digitization and preservation. Working experience in archives or records management in public organizations will be a bonus. 
N.B.:  Even though this position was posted on the website of the Society of American Archivists, the salary figures quoted above are in Hong Kong dollars, not U.S. dollars.  At the time of this writing, one Hong Kong dollar equals 0.1290 U.S. dollars.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Old Dominion University is looking for a University Records Manager

If you're a seasoned records manager who relishes the thought of living in close proximity to Colonial Williamsburg or Virginia Beach, Old Dominion University may have a position for you.

I find it kind of interesting that the individual who takes this position will report to the university's Office of Computing and Communications Services and not the Department of Special Collections and University Archives -- most universities combine the positions of university records manager and university records manager -- but this isn't necessarily a bad thing.  In fact, it's likely a sign that the person who takes this job will have the chance to work closely with the people who build, purchase, and maintain the university's core electronic recordkeeping systems and to influence the design of these systems.
The Office of Computing and Communications Services (OCCS) at Old Dominion University is seeking a full time Faculty Administrator to serve as the University Records Manager. This position will ensure university-wide compliance with the Virginia Public Records Act by developing, managing and directing a service-oriented comprehensive records management program. Core responsibilities include: Management of University Records Management Office; Retention and Disposition of Records; Collaboration and Communications with others at Old Dominion University and other state agencies; and Project Management.

Required: Professional records management experience in a university or government agency. Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of physical and electronic records management theory and standards, relevant statutes and administrative rules, and technologies that enable effective records management. Leadership and communication skills and customer service orientation including the ability to work with all academic levels, including faculty, administrators, staff and students. Demonstrated ability to develop and deliver effective training to a diverse population. Demonstrated ability to develop and implement operational plans, to include the identification and investigation of additional resources to promote the program, and to advise agency management on organizational and operational issues. Advanced degree in a relevant field (MLS/MLIS/MIS, MPS), coursework in records management or an equivalent combination of education and professional records management experience.

Certified Records Manager (CRM) or an equivalent certification preferred. Knowledge of the Virginia Public Records Act is preferred.
The position description, which indicates that the review of applications will begin on 25 July 2012 and continue until this post is filled, doesn't say anything about salary and benefits.  However, information about benefits is available online, as is the university's statement concerning administrative/professional faculty pay practices, which indicates that the salary will vary in accordance with education, work experience, and other variables.