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Accessioning Archivist (part-time), House of Seven Gables Settlement Association, Salem, MA


Salary Range: $20-$25 per hour based on experience

Date:  March 22, 2022

History and Description of the House of Seven Gables Settlement Association

The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association (The Gables) in Salem, Massachusetts, is a nonprofit organization that owns and operates a National Historic Landmark District composed of six historic buildings, colonial revival gardens, and a rich and varied collection.  The Turner-Ingersoll Mansion, best known as The House of the Seven Gables, was built by Salem sea captain and merchant John Turner in 1668. The mansion was occupied by three generations of the Turner family before being sold to Captain Samuel Ingersoll in 1782. An active captain during the Great Age of Sail, Ingersoll died at sea leaving the property to his daughter Susanna, an entrepreneur in her own right and cousin of famed author Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hawthorne’s visits to his cousin’s home are credited with inspiring the setting and title of his 1851 novel, The House of the Seven Gables.

Caroline Emmerton, a philanthropist and preservationist, founded the museum in 1910 to not only preserve the historic structure and the legacy of Nathaniel Hawthorne, but also to assist immigrant families who were settling in Salem.  Emmerton’s goals were to preserve the house for future generations, provide educational opportunities for visitors, and use the proceeds from the tours to fund her Settlement programs.

The rich human history of the Gables has resulted in an archives collection that is varied, unique and significant to the interpretation of the site and area. The archives collection is composed of materials ranging from Caroline Emmerton’s original handwritten papers to Nathaniel and Sophia (Peabody) Hawthorne letters, to Settlement-related photographs, oral histories on videos and tapes, and papers. The archives speak to:

  • the singular history of the site and the families who lived here
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Salem roots, creative inspirations, and family life
  • Salem as a microcosm of the turn-of-the-twentieth century urban immigrant experience in America
  • the Settlement Movement
  • American women’s history with primary source examples from people like Susannah Ingersoll and Caroline Emmerton
  • the history of the museum as an important American icon
  • the history of the Preservation Movement in America   

Position Summary

Reporting to the Collections Manager, the Accessioning Archivist will undertake a discrete, short-term project to accession, process and digitize materials from key areas of our collection, including but not limited to Hawthorne letters, documents about the Gable’s Settlement work helping immigrant populations in the area, historic house histories and site preservation records, and material related to important historical figures associated with the site.  This material has been inventoried and housed properly but has not been accessioned or processed. This is a short-term (6-8month), project-based position with flexible scheduling.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Create accession records and initial descriptions for key archival collections and manuscript items in a timely manner and according to archival standards, ensuring administrative and basic intellectual access. Using ArchivesSpace, design and carry out archival accessioning for collections through approaches that are user-centered, access-driven, and compliant with national standards and best practices. 
  • digitize select material.
  • advise the collection manager/curator in the assessment and appraisal of collection materials during the accessioning process. 
  • develop and maintain documentation of accessioning procedures and processes; compile reports as necessary.

Required Qualifications

  • ALA-accredited master’s degree in Library or Information Science OR significant graduate-level coursework toward such a degree OR equivalent education and experience (subject expertise combined with professional library education and/or experience).
  • Successful experience applying efficient accessioning techniques.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and engagement with archival principles, as well as best practices for accessioning and archival description.
  • Knowledge of descriptive standards, particularly DACS, and the application of controlled Library of Congress subject headings.
  • Experience with ArchivesSpace
  • Strong research, project management, and oral and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and be self-motivated.

Working Conditions/Physical Demands:

  • Ability to work during site hours.
  • Constant use of speech, hearing, and sight abilities.
  • Ability to lift up to 30lbs in order to move/transport archival material, supplies and equipment.

How to Apply:

Apply online here: