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University Archivist, Penn State, State College, PA



The Pennsylvania State University Libraries seek a University Archivist who shares our excitement for community-engaged collection building and who is an enthusiastic promoter of primary source materials.

The Pennsylvania State University is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusion that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusion as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission. More information on Penn State’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence can be found by visiting  Information about the University Libraries’ Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility efforts can be found by visiting

Position Summary

Reporting to the Head of the Eberly Family Special Collections Library (SCL), the University Archivist will play a key and collaborative role in building, stewarding, supporting research and teaching, and promoting use and engagement with collections documenting the history of Penn State, including university records of enduring historical value, faculty papers, and records of student organizations.

In order to ensure a more complete record of the Penn State University experience, the University Archivist will lead the effort to document the diverse voices and experiences of students past and present and be committed to working with groups who are underrepresented in the University Archives. The University Archivist will work with material across a range of formats and be eager to collaborate with specialists within the Special Collections Library and throughout the Libraries to ensure that University Archives collections across formats, including email, websites, and other types of digital records, are preserved and made accessible. The University Archivist will work closely with the Office of Records Management to coordinate with university offices across the commonwealth to adhere to policy AD35 University Archives & Records Management as well as Retention Schedules for transfer of designated archival records to University Archives.

The University Archivist will actively promote use and engagement with collections through reference and research consultation, outreach, public programming, and teaching, and will serve as a resource for faculty, students, staff, and researchers interested in using the University Archives. The University Archivist will also develop relationships with donors, alumni, community members, and stakeholders to support the acquisition and ongoing stewardship of collections and to promote broad community engagement with University Archives.

As a full-time, tenure-track, Assistant Librarian, the University Archivist is expected to participate in library, college, and university governance and devote time to research, scholarly activity, and service to the University, the public, and the profession. Incoming faculty benefit from the strong mentoring program developed by the University Libraries to support incoming faculty in tenure-track appointments in fulfilling expectations in the areas of librarianship, research, and service.


  • Acquire and maintain university records in accordance with university, state, and federal laws, regulations, policies, and retention schedules.
  • Collaborate with the Office of the Records Management on university policy to appraise, acquire, and dispose of university records to University Archives.
  • Actively work to document the diverse voices and experiences of the Penn State University community, including assisting in collection development and donor relations and leveraging existing programs for web archiving and oral history.
  • Promote student and community engagement with special collections and enrich the link between collections and instruction efforts and act as advocate and representative of the University Archives to the University community past and present, as well as to external organizations and individuals in conjunction with the Instruction and Outreach Archivist and the Curator and Exhibitions Coordinator.
  • Supervise Sports Archivist and student employees.
  • Collaborate with the Head of Collection Services on the arrangement and description of records and papers (using archival principles), including prioritizing collections for processing and strategizing how to improve discoverability of material.
  • Collaborate with colleagues across the Libraries to ensure appropriate stewardship of born-digital university records. Participate in digital projects and initiatives related to University Archives collections.
  • Develop relationships with key communities and stakeholders across Penn State University and the Commonwealth, maintain strong relations with faculty, administrators, donors, and alumni, and pursue collaborations and partnerships to support community engagement and documentation of Penn State history.
  • Provide research consultation and instruction with regular hours at the reference desk and instruction sessions, and work alongside colleagues in assisting students, faculty, university community, and other researchers with the discovery of resources appropriate for their research needs.
  • Serve on committees and groups related to University Archives, including Records Management Advisory Committee, Alumni Library, and Special Collections & Archives Community of Practice.

Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in library and information sciences or archival studies, or advanced degree in a relevant discipline with applicable experience.
  • Substantial experience in an archival or special collections environment working directly with collections, and demonstrated knowledge of core functions and services, including appraisal and selection, description and preservation, reference, and public services.
  • Strong dedication to student and community engagement. Experience with instruction or outreach to students, faculty, and community groups.
  • Evidence of ability to build and maintain effective interpersonal relationships with faculty, staff, students, donors and alumni, administrators, and institutional partners.
  • Commitment to fostering a diverse educational environment and workplace and an ability to work effectively with a diverse faculty, staff, and student population.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the legal and regulatory issues involved in institutional archives or records management.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Evidence of ability to organize and analyze information, set priorities, manage projects and meet deadlines, and work collaboratively alongside team members.
  • Commitment to service at local, regional, or national level, and record of scholarship and professional accomplishments.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience working with university archives.
  • Experience with retention schedules, record center operations, record analysis and reappraisal projects.
  • Supervisory and management experience.
  • Knowledge of best practices for working with born-digital records.
  • Experience in community and/or donor relations.

Environment: The Penn State University Libraries are a strategic asset to Penn State, advancing intellectual discovery, information literacy, and lifelong learning, all in support of the University’s strategic goals in teaching, research, service, and outreach. The University Libraries is ranked among the top 10 research libraries in North America, according to the Association of Research Libraries’ investment rankings, and provides services at University Park and 22 other campus locations throughout Pennsylvania as well as online. We serve more than 6,400 faculty and 46,800 students at University Park, and approximately 97,500 students university wide. More than 120 faculty librarians in the University Libraries benefit from extensive technological resources and research support services. Penn State is a member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, the Association of American Universities, and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. The University Libraries is a member of the Association of Research Libraries, the Association of College and Research Libraries, the Center for Research Libraries, Digital Preservation Network, AP Trust, SPARC, CNI, the ACRL Diversity Alliance, and a number of other organizations.

The University Park campus is set in the State College metropolitan area, a university town located in central Pennsylvania. State College offers a vibrant community with outstanding recreational facilities, a low crime rate, and excellent public schools. The campus is within a half-day’s drive to Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, or Pittsburgh. The University Park Airport is served by three major carriers with flights to Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago, and Detroit. For more information, please visit ( and (

Compensation and Rank: Tenure-track Assistant Librarian position, salary dependent upon qualifications and experience.

Fringe benefits include liberal vacation, excellent insurance and health care coverage, state or TIAA retirement options, and educational privileges. In addition, faculty in the University Libraries are afforded funds for professional development travel annually. Faculty may be asked to travel as official representatives of the Libraries to certain events and those trips are reimbursed at full cost within limits established by the University.

Applications and all supporting materials must be submitted online and uploaded at the same time at the time of application. Interested candidates should upload the following:

  • Letter of application including a diversity statement
  • Resume or vita
  • Names and contact information of three professional references (including email addresses).

Review of applications will begin in May 2021 and continue until position is filled.

Employment with the University will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies.

How to apply:

To apply:–The-Eberly-Family-Special-Collections-Library_REQ_0000012268-1