Brooklyn Historical Soicety — Archives Survey Technician

Brooklyn Historical Society Othmer Library

Job Announcement: Archives Survey Technician
The Brooklyn Historical Society Othmer Library in Brooklyn, NY is seeking energetic, team-oriented candidates for 3 temporary, part-time, grant-funded Archives Survey Technician positions. The successful candidates will report to the Survey Project Archivist and the Director of Library and Archives. The appointments are scheduled to begin in April 2010 and will last through October 2011.

Job Responsibilities:
Working with the Survey Project Archivist, the successful candidates will comprise a team to carry out a survey of the Othmer Library’s un- and under- described archive, manuscript and photograph collections over the course of a 1 year and 7 month portion of a 2 ½-year grant-funded project. The survey, based upon the PACSL survey model (, will be done in groups of two and involve physical inventorying of the collections in the archives stacks, as well as additional research and description work to supplement information gathered during the survey. In addition, survey staff members will compose, or revise when available, summary description and historical or biographical notes, and assign Library of Congress subject and name headings for all of the surveyed collections. All description information will be recorded using the Archivists’ Toolkit.

Required Qualifications:

· Significant coursework toward or completion of an MLIS degree, or a Masters in History with a specialization in Archival Studies. Completion of an introduction to archives course, as well as a library cataloging course, or other coursework touching upon cataloging and metadata principles.

· Effective oral and written communication skills.

· Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.

· Strong organization and time-management skills; attention to accuracy and detail is essential.

· Familiarity with AACR2, DACS, MARC, EAD, and with the use and application of standardized vocabularies.

· Ability to lift, bend, and reach boxes or volumes weighing up to 40 lbs repeatedly, including handling these materials while standing on rolling ladders and stepstools.

· Ability to work in library stacks in cold temperatures (60-65 degrees Fahrenheit) for up to an eight-hour workday, 25-30 hours per week for 1 year and 7 months.

· Demonstrated reliable attendance. Because survey work will be done in teams of two, timeliness and consistent attendance are essential to successful, consistent and timely project completion.

Preferred Qualifications:

· Previous experience working in an archival setting.

· Experience using the Archivists’ Toolkit is highly desirable.

· Undergraduate degree in history. A working knowledge of U.S. history is needed to determine how collections fit into state and national issues for purposes of cataloging; knowledge of Brooklyn or New York City history is preferred.


Compensation is $18.00 per hour with no benefits. The successful candidates will work 25-30 hours per week, Monday-Friday. These positions will not be extended beyond their 1 year and 7 month grant-funded period.

To Apply:

Applications should be submitted in writing, and include the following components:

· A cover letter that includes a complete statement of the candidate’s qualifications.

· A full resume outlining the candidate’s education and relevant experience.

· A writing sample, which may consist a completed archival finding aid or another example of academic quality writing.

· The names, addresses, and phone numbers of three references who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s qualifications for this position.

Send applications to:

Chela Scott Weber
Director of Library and Archives
Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201


When emailing, please use the Subject line: Archives Survey Technician Application [your last name]

Applications received via email preferred. Application period closes 2/28/2010

The Brooklyn Historical Society is dedicated to a policy of non-discrimination in employment on any basis including race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, the presence of any mental, physical, or sensory disability, sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by federal or state law.

About Brooklyn Historical Society and The Othmer Library
BHS’ Othmer Library and archives house the most comprehensive col­lection of Brooklyn-related materials in the world. In 1993, the U.S. Department of Education designated the Othmer Library as a “major research library” under Title II-C of the Higher Education Act. Today the collection includes more than 100,000 books and pamphlets, 60,000 photographs and prints, 2,000 feet of archival collections, and more than 2,000 maps and atlases. These materials include family histories, rare books, periodicals, serials, journals, personal papers, institutional records, and oral histories that document Brooklyn’s many different ethnic groups and neighborhoods.

We draw from these holdings to create interpretive exhibitions that prompt students, scholars and members of the general public to reconsider the fundamental facts of history in light of primary source documents and artifacts. BHS serves almost 80,000 people annually by providing opportunities for civic dialogue and community engagement for children and adults through exhibit tours, public programming, research opportunities, educational programs for New York City students, and professional development workshops and written curricula for teachers.

February 5, 2010

Peter J. Wosh
Director, Archives/Public History Program
History Department
New York University
53 Washington Square South
New York NY 10012
Phone: (212) 998-8601
Fax: (212) 995-4017

Peter Wosh

About Peter Wosh

Professor Wosh directs the program in Archives and Public History at NYU. Professor Wosh’s research has focused primarily on American religion, American institutional cultures, and archival management issues. His background includes work as an archivist in a variety of academic and nonprofit institutions, including: Director of Archives and Library Services, American Bible Society (1989-1994); Archivist/Records Manager, American Bible Society (1984-1989); University Archivist, Seton Hall University (1978-1984). He is the author of Privacy and Confidentiality Perspectives: Archivists and Archival Records, with Menzi Behrnd-Klodt (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2005); Covenant House: Journey of a Faith-Based Charity (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005); Spreading the Word: The Bible Business in Nineteenth-Century America (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994); The Diocesan Journal of Michael Augustine Corrigan, Bishop of Newark, New Jersey, 1872-1880 (Newark: New Jersey Historical Society, 1987); as well as articles in various archival, historical, and library journals. Professor Wosh’s current research involves editing the published writings of Waldo Gifford Leland, a pioneering archival theoretician, for the Archival Classics series published by the Society of American Archivists.

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