Digital Preservation Archivist

at Smith College (view profile)
Published April 26, 2024
Location Northampton, MA, Massachusetts
Category Academic  
Job Type Full-time  
Apply Here
Cover Letter Requirements Required
Minimum Compensation in Local Currency 70k
Hourly or Salary? Salary
Pay Grade 70-82k


Smith College Special Collections (SCSC) seeks an experienced Digital Preservation Archivist to help launch a robust digital special collections program. The born digital and digitized material reflects both the history and student life at Smith College, as well as the diversity and complexity of women’s lives and identities through the lens of social, political, and cultural change, a broad expression of gender justice.

The Digital Preservation Archivist will hold a leadership position in the implementation of Preservica as Smith College Libraries first enterprise level digital preservation system. Though situated in the SCSC technical service group, the successful candidate will work with all members of the SCSC unit to ensure the long term discoverability and accessibility of unique digital assets. As the program matures, the Digital Preservation Archivist will also work with other collections-based departments on campus - the Smith College Museum of Art and the Smith College Botanic Garden - as well as those in the Five Colleges consortium.  

The Digital Preservation Archivist will join a dynamic group of colleagues in Special Collections who embrace an iterative work philosophy. We are always in the process of learning and improving, using creative solutions to complex problems, and being willing to challenge assumptions. Ability to pivot-to-improve is a value of our professional practice when based on assessment data, feedback, and experiential learning.

Essential Functions              
Preservica implementation and migration (30%):          

  • Design and implement workflows and integrations between the digital preservation platform and existing access platforms  
  • Create and document practices, protocols, and workflows governing the use of Preservica  
  • Lead implementation of Preservica for Special Collections and two campus partners
  • Troubleshoot issues and user support requests from staff regarding the use of the digital preservation platform
  • Manage asset migration from existing platforms and ingest of digital and digitized materials into Preservica  

Digital preservation program development and maintenance (60%)              

  • Maintain and oversee existing systems and infrastructure to ensure the ongoing preservation of digital content
  • In consultation with others in the department and libraries, strategize, design, implement, and document policies, best practices, and workflows for ingesting, preserving, and facilitating routine access to digitized and born-digital materials
  • Provide expertise on issues related to digital preservation and access technology, infrastructure, and storage, and keep abreast of developments within the field
  • Create and maintain documentation and training materials intended for audiences with a variety of technology skill levels
  • Evaluate, coordinate purchases of, and maintain hardware and software specific to the needs of digital materials in Special Collections, which are not otherwise supported at the Library, College, or Consortial level
  • Understand and represent Special Collections’ unique needs in digital preservation and access initiatives at the departmental, library, campus, and consortial levels
  • Communicate and work effectively with a cross-section of technical and non-technical staff, including archivists and librarians, faculty and students, administrators, developers, IT staff and donors.
  • Participate in the development of a roadmap for Smith College's digital access platforms with other Libraries and ITS staff
  • With other Special Collections staff, collect and report on relevant statistics and qualitative/quantitative metrics about digital collections and their growth, management, and use
  • With the Digital Archivist, may participate in planning and execution of large outsourced reformatting projects
  • May serve on relevant committees, working groups, or task forces at Smith College and/or within the Five College Consortium

Operational Support (10%):          

  • As a member of the Special Collections department, provide general operational support when and where needed: staff weekly hours in the reading room; provide reference support; participate actively in the shared decision making for Special Collections; perform related duties as assigned.  

Other Functions                    

  • Perform duties as assigned by manager
  • All employees are expected to participate in the College's efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment. ​

Minimum Qualifications (knowledge, skills, education, experience, certifications, licenses)        

  • MLS or MLIS degree from an ALA-accredited program, or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Minimum of three years of experience working in collection services and/or digitization services for archives, libraries, museums, and/or cultural heritage workspaces
  • Demonstrated leadership in the development and implementation of policies and procedures relating to digital preservation  
  • Evidence of knowledge of digital preservation theory, standards, and best practices including content management, access, migration, and preservation  
  • In-depth knowledge of metadata standards, data structure standards and models relevant to digital preservation and content description such as Dublin Core, PREMIS, METS, DACS, and similar
  • Expertise with a wide range of computer storage media, file systems, software, and file formats
  • Evidence of strong project management skills and ability to prioritize and schedule workloads in the face of conflicting demands
  • Experience working with digital preservation systems such as Preservica, Archivematica, etc.
  • Ability to work in a team-based environment as well as be self-motivated  
  • Excellent interpersonal, problem solving, and analytical skills, and an ability to communicate effectively with technical and non-technical users
  • Experience working with individuals from diverse backgrounds
  • Ability to adapt to, and thrive in, a quickly-changing work environment.
  • Experience working with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Preferred Qualifications      

  • Digital Archives Specialist Certificate from the Society of American Archivists preferred  
  • Knowledge of a wide range of computer storage media, file systems, software, and file formats
  • Familiarity with ArchivesSpace
  • Familiarity with ePadd or other email preservation and discovery tools
  • Familiarity with Archive-It or other web archiving tools
  • Ability to responsibly handle and safeguard rare and fragile materials