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University Archivist, Harvard Library, Cambridge, MA


Harvard University seeks applications and nominations for the position of Harvard University Archivist.  As the senior administrative and financial officer, the University Archivist leads and manages an integrated archives and records management program within the various faculties of the university, with a dual mission to 1) ensure that the university manages, preserves, and maintains access to its institutional records in compliance with federal and state statutes and institutional policies and 2) preserve and make accessible an extraordinary intellectual resource consisting of the records of the university with enduring historical value and related collections including the papers and records of faculty, student organizations, and alumni.

The Archivist provides leadership and oversight for the staff, budget, operations, and programs that support a diverse array of records management, research, teaching and community engagement activities centered in archival records, personal archives, university publications, and other holdings documenting the history of Harvard and the people, institutions, and the social, cultural, and intellectual movements that have flowed into and out of the university over the course of nearly four centuries.

Working in collaboration with the Office of the General Counsel, the Office of the Governing Boards, and the Vice President of the Harvard Library, the University Archivist establishes policies relating to the management of university records, as well as policies governing access, intellectual property, copyright, reformatting, and, when appropriate, republication of archival materials. The Archivist works closely with University faculty and senior administrators and serves on university and library committees, as well as a liaison to advisory groups and external constituencies.

The University Archivist reports to the Associate University Librarian for Archives and Special Collections and actively seeks out and builds cooperative approaches to acquisition, appraisal, arrangement, description, preservation, and access methods for archives and special collections across Harvard Library.  The successful incumbent will possess wide-ranging knowledge of the administration of archives and records management programs; demonstrated commitment to diversity, inclusion, belonging, and antiracism; deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities posed by digital records; enthusiasm for partnering with administrators, faculty, and students; proclivity for adopting new technologies and standards that will improve access to and use of University Archives holdings; a user-driven orientation; and a collaborative and collegial outlook and spirit. 

Job-Specific Responsibilities

  • Leads and manages the Harvard University Archives by developing, articulating, and implementing strategic vision and directions, overseeing day-to-day operations and special projects, establishing priorities, and coordinating work with units in the Harvard Library and the university at large.
  • Supervises and develops a staff of ca. 20 professional archivists, records managers, and administrative staff, as well as project staff, interns, and students dedicated to Harvard University Archives activities.  Partners closely with allied Harvard Library units dedicated to technology systems development and maintenance, access services, preservation, digitization, and technical services.
  • Provides oversight for major functional activities of the University Archives including records management, collection development, public services, arrangement and description, teaching, exhibitions, public programs, and other core activities. 
  • Works closely with administrators across the university to establish, maintain, and implement records management policies and services that ensure that the institution manages, preserves, and maintains access to its records in compliance with federal, state, and institutional policies.
  • Manages the Archives annual operating budget (approximately $2.5 million).
  • Participates in fundraising and development efforts on behalf of the Harvard University Archives and the Harvard Library. 
  • Builds and maintains an active professional and scholarly profile through participation in professional organizations on the regional, national, and international level and through research, publication, and/or other activities.  
  • Works with discretion while interacting with confidential university records and sensitive stakeholder relationships.
  • Supports the advancement of diversity, inclusion, belonging and antiracism, including working with the Associate University Librarian for Antiracism and other senior library administrators in developing strategy, organizing implementation, and tracking progress against goals.

Basic Qualifications

  • Advanced degree in archival studies, records management, library and information science, or related field. 
  • Minimum ten years of relevant experience.
  • Demonstrated experience with supervising employees and supporting their efforts in order to build and foster a diverse, productive, and engaging workplace and professional community. 
  • Deep familiarity with archives and records management theory, practice, and standards.
  • Strong experience managing digital records throughout the records continuum.
  • Demonstrated experience implementing innovative approaches to provide access to collections and to facilitate their use in research and teaching.
  • Demonstrated experience working with confidential and sensitive information and or records.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Commitment to supporting efforts to foster diversity, inclusion, belonging, and antiracism in library, university, and professional contexts. 
  • Currency on laws, policies, and stewardship practices affecting the management of university records and research data.
  • Experience collaborating with senior university administrators.
  • Experience with strategic and annual planning.
  • Strong competency in advocacy and demonstrated ability to work across a complex and highly decentralized organization.
  • Evidence of a strong service orientation and understanding of and commitment to the users of archives.
  • Fundraising experience.
  • Leadership at the national and international level on archives and records management.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and engagement with American history. 
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and interpersonal skills to work effectively with culturally diverse archives users and colleagues.

How to Apply:

To read the full job description and apply, visit:

Although the position will remain posted until filled, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by end of day on August 27th, 2021.