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Head, Manuscript Department

  • Post Date:May 18, 2019
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  • Offered Salary Depends on Qualification
Job Description

Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America seeks a creative, collaborative, experienced leader and administrator for its manuscript department. The successful candidate will have a proven record of success in inspiring a high performing team of processors and interns, deep knowledge of archival practices, standards, and archival technology systems. The candidate should also possess expertise in the history of women, gender, and sexuality in the United States, and demonstrate commitment to building diverse, equitable, and inclusive excellence in the workplace. Reporting to the Executive Director of the Library, the Head of Manuscripts participates in Schlesinger’s senior management groups, acquisitions committee, and collaborates with other department heads within the Library and across Radcliffe Institute to develop and make readily available premiere collections in the history of women.  The Head of Manuscripts contributes to the Library’s continuous effort to offer state of the art and innovative services to our research community. Additionally, the Head of Manuscripts serves on Harvard Library committees, work groups, and task forces to assure the development of Harvard Library systems that serve the mission of Schlesinger Library.


Responsibilities of the position include:

  • Administers the full range of practices and procedures in the manuscript department including accessioning, and the creation of finding aids, Marc records, and metadata.
  • Demonstrates proficiency in archival theory and knowledge of current archival and bibliographic standards such as; DACS, EAD, MARC, etc.
  • Coordinates collections and related operations workflow
  • Reviews all existing policies and practices to assure maximum effectiveness and best practices across all departmental processes
  • Plans annual departmental and processing goals and in consultation with members of the department and library leaders; makes annual collections assignments
  • Inspires, leads, develops talent through a variety of professional development opportunities and mentoring
  • Conducts annual performance reviews and develops techniques for continuous feedback on job performance of members of the manuscript department
  • Applies managerial practices that contribute to staff well -being and community building across the Library
  • Participates in acquisitions program, exhibition program, grant writing, strategic planning for the Library, and in professional development activities
  • Excels in analytical skills, report writing, and problem solving
  • Engages with the profession and professional literature to assure current level of knowledge and continuous improvement
  • Exercises responsibility for storage, preservation, and physical movement of collections
  • Coordinates access to and processing of born-digital collections and audio-visual collections.


The successful candidate will possess:

  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant academic field combined with strong archival training and experiences
  • demonstrated commitment and passion for women’s history or gender studies
  • appreciation for the unique nature of a special collections library and willingness to advocate for it
  • strong organizational skills and administrative experiences with a record of increasingly progressive responsibilities over a period of 7 to 10 years
  • advanced understanding of archival technology and systems such as ArchivesSpace, AEON, etc.
  • demonstrated capacity to lead, motivate, assess, and manage people and processes
  • skills to foster collegiality, coalition building, and trust
  • demonstrated capacities for managing a diverse workforce and promoting an equitable and respectful working environment
  • excellent written and oral communication skills.