Head of Digital Preservation

at Harvard University (view profile)
Location Cambridge, MA
Date Posted March 7, 2018
Category Academic
Job Type Full-time
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Reporting to the Head of Preservation Services, the Head of Digital Preservation develops, leads, and administers programs and services that meet and anticipate the digital preservation needs of Harvard’s library community. The incumbent provides strategic leadership to the Harvard community to preserve current and future scholarly assets and acts as a thought leader for the greater digital preservation community. The Head of Digital Preservation directs the strategic development and provides oversight of the Library’s large-scale digital repository service (DRS) which comprises technical infrastructure, the policies, and processes to preserve, manage, and provide access to the Harvard Library’s extensive and growing digital collections. Success attributes include strong strategic focus, deep subject expertise, active participation in the Preservation Services management team, robust and effective communication with key constituents and stakeholders, and accountability for results.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Provides leadership for the Harvard Library digital preservation program. Actively leads and participates in digital preservation working groups both within and outside of the University, including Ivies+ and other national and international collaborations.
  • Participates in the development of national and international standards and best practices in the field of digital preservation and assists in the implementation of standards and best practices at Harvard University.
  • Sets guidelines for curators, librarians, archivists and other collection managers throughout the university to ensure their long-term preservation needs and solutions for digital objects. Provides guidance on preservation formats and preparing digital content for long-term preservation. Engages with scholarly community to ensure proper life-cycle management of digital assets.
  • Coordinates and provides professional development, training and education for library staff and residents on digital preservation services, issues, goals and challenges.
  • Identifies, advocates, and recommends new digital preservation services that are needed at Harvard University. Works with managers in other Preservation Services units and with others across the university in similar service provider roles to ensure services are implemented coherently and efficiently.
  • Monitors, coordinates trials of, and makes recommendations on the adoption of digital preservation tools and platforms at Harvard University.
  • Liaises with Library Technology Services (LTS) and Harvard Library’s Digital Strategies and Innovation.
  • Directs the strategic development and provides oversight of the Library’s large-scale digital repository service (DRS) which comprises technical infrastructure, the policies, and processes to preserve, manage, and provide access to the Harvard Library’s extensive and growing digital collections.

*See Additional Information section for continued duties and responsibilities.

This position will be posted until filled however applications will be reviewed beginning April 16, 2018.

Basic Qualifications

  • Master’s degree from ALA accredited program with an emphasis on archival science or information technology OR an advanced degree or certificate in a field such as computer science, digital curation, or digital preservation.
  • Seven plus years of relevant experience, with four plus years of direct and active experience with digital preservation
  • Demonstrated expertise and technical understanding of digital preservation challenges and solutions

Additional Qualifications

  • Management and supervisory experience
  • Experience working in a research library or comparable institution
  • Leadership skills to promote and advocate for digital preservation activities and goals
  • Demonstrated ability to manage customer relationships as well as to communicate with software engineers regarding new system requirements
  • Core competencies include: excellent verbal and written communication, excellent organizational and project management skills, strong analytic skills, strong independent motivation and follow through ability to thrive in complex, collaborative environment
  • Experience dealing with senior management at a strategic level, developing policy in a library or archive environment
  • Experience working with IT managers on developing functional specifications and managing infrastructure changes
  • Good working knowledge of content models and storage and file system management
  • Demonstrated knowledge of metadata content, structure, and preservation standards including Dublin Core, MODS, METS, PREMIS, and Linked Data
  • Grant writing experience is desirable

Physical Demands

Ability to physically work on a computer accurately and effectively.

Work Environment
The majority of the work associated with this position is performed in an office setting, with frequent meetings in locations across campus.

Additional Information

Duties and Responsibilities continued:

  • Leads strategic and tactical planning for digital preservation for objects stored in the DRS; including monitoring the DRS and the delivery services to do risk assessments associated with trends in technology, processing and transformation software; formats; delivery mechanisms and user expectations. Engages in planning of DRS preservation activities including format assessment; metadata analysis; design and designation of content models; and definition of service levels, migrations or other preservation activities. Coordinates self- and third-party audits of the DRS to assess its compliance with digital preservation best practices and certification requirements.
  • As business owner of the DRS, plays lead role in specifications for system enhancements, management, operations, and development, and consults on the architecture of the preservation repository system. Works with external repositories and vendors responsible for infrastructure, storage and systems to meet the digital preservation needs of Harvard University.
  • Leads the development of policies for DRS including issues of eligibility, preservation strategies, and agreements with DRS owners. Contributes to the development of digital preservation policies and strategies at Harvard University.
  • Serves as advisor to library management on digital preservation issues including keeping informed of new technologies, best practices and initiatives in the field.
  • Designs and participates in outreach to raise awareness of preservation.
  • Supervises at least one professional staff member, as well as Fellows and interns, as appropriate.