Assistant University Archivist (Evanston, IL, USA)


  • Work Group: University Archives
  • Reports to: University Archivist

Summary: The Assistant University Archivist actively engages students, faculty, and alumni in the collection, use, and preservation of university records and the papers of faculty, administrators, staff, students and alumni of Northwestern University. As a key partner in the teaching and learning mission of the university, he or she will provide leadership for reference, instruction, outreach, web presence, and other research and instructional service functions of the University Archives. This position supervises several student workers and assists in the overall management of the University Archives. Additionally, the Assistant University Archivist will share responsibilities for collection development and donor relations, under the direction of the University Archivist, and provide expertise on materials that document the university’s history. As a member of the Distinctive Collections workgroup, the Assistant University Archivist will work across all units of Distinctive Collections on collaborative workflows and projects that support the mission of the workgroup in particular and of the Northwestern University Libraries overall.

Key responsabilities:

  • Provides reference and information services for University Archives to university administrative offices, alumni, students, and faculty in all academic disciplines, including answering questions in the reading room and via telephone/email, and providing reference consultations on demand
  • Provides classroom instruction on the use of archival sources to students, faculty, and others, including working with faculty to design and oversee course projects, participating in the annual Research Resources Forum for grad students, and offering workshops
  • Assists the University Archivist in the acquisitions of archival collections, maintaining and cultivating relationships with alumni and other donors, and promoting the collections and services of University Archives through outreach and public programming
  • Supervises one full-time staff member with primary functions in accessioning and processing
  • Assists the University Archivist in managing the University Archives, including hiring, training, supervising, and evaluating student workers (4-6 per quarter); prepares reports as needed; acts in the place of the University Archivist as needed; orders archival supplies; manages the collection and stacks; coordinates special projects
  • Directs policies and workflows for making born-digital archival collection materials accessible to researchers, both in the reading room and remotely
  • Works with the Archival Processing team to manage workflows and ensure that new and legacy finding aids are accessible via various local and consortial discovery systems
  • Promotes Archives and the Libraries through campus outreach, exhibitions, the Archvies website, and social media
  • Participates in NUL committees and activities, and collaborates on projects with units in other work groups
  • Engages in appropriate professional development, continuing education, professional service, and research activities
  • Contributes experience and skills to the wider community through outreach, volunteer work, collaborative projects with peer organizations and Evanston cultural institutions, campus tours for visitors and NU groups, etc.

Minimum qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in librarianship or related field, or equivalent combination of education and relevant experience
  • 3 to 5 years experience in public services and/or in processing and managing archival collections in a college or university
  • Supervisory experience
  • Aptitude for teaching, training, and public speaking
  • Valid driver’s licence with verifiable clean driving record
  • Ability to lift archival boxes weighing up to 50 lbs. and push carts weighing up to 200 lbs.

Minimum Competencies:

  • Good Communicator – demonstrates excellent interpersonal communication skills
  • Customer focused – strives for high customer satisfaction with a proven record of successful faculty engagement
  • Collegial – desire to work in a collaborative team-based environment
  • Adaptable – ability to work effectively in a changing environment
  • Takes the Initiative – takes ownership of work, completes what is needed without being asked, follows through
  • Efficient – plans ahead, manages time well, is resource conscious, finds better ways to achieve personal and departmental goals

Preferred qualifications:

  • Record of professional service and research activity
  • Experience working with donors, friends groups, or alumni associations

Environment: The Northwestern University Archives, established in 1935, houses records, publications, photographs, and other materials pertaining to every aspect of Northwestern’s history, including the papers of faculty, biographical information on Northwestern alumni, a complete run of Daily Northwestern issues, a complete set of catalogs and bulletins from each of the schools and 250,000 photographs. The University Archives is an integral part of the Distinctive Collections workgroup, which also includes the Art Library, the Transportation Library, the Herskovits Library of African Studies, the Music Library, the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections, and the Archival Processing team.

Northwestern University is a highly selective private university with campuses in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois and in Doha, Qatar. One of the leading private research libraries in the United States, Northwestern University Library serves the educational and information needs of the NU community as well as scholars around the world. Its collection contains more than 7 million volumes, a full array of digital resources, and collections of distinction in Africana, transportation, and 20th-century and contemporary music. Northwestern is a member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA). See more information about University Libraries at:

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.

TO APPLY: Applications received by January 15, 2018 will receive first consideration. Please click here to fill out an application.