Project Archivist (Contract Position), ONE Archives, USC Libraries

By IS Lab May 18, 2020

Website University of Southern California


The University of Southern California (USC) Libraries seek an innovative, experienced, creative archivist to join ONE Archives at the USC Libraries as the Project Archivist for a two-year contract position. The Project Archivist will process collections of archival materials from ONE Archives, the world’s largest repository of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) materials. The successful candidate will bring motivation and creativity to a collegial and collaborative environment, and contribute to a safe and inclusive space. The candidate must also be knowledgeable concerning current archival theory and practice and be able to apply this understanding. Duties may include weekend and evening hours.


The University of Southern California is one of the world’s leading private research universities. An anchor institution in Los Angeles, USC has a large number of international students and offers extensive opportunities for internships and study abroad. With a strong tradition of integrating liberal and professional education, USC fosters a vibrant culture of public service and encourages students to cross academic as well as geographic boundaries in their pursuit of knowledge. For more information, visit

The USC Libraries actively support the discovery, creation, and preservation of knowledge. We develop collections and services that support and encourage the academic endeavors of faculty, students, and staff; build a community of critical consumers of information; and help develop engaged world citizens. Through these means, we contribute to the continued success of the University of Southern California. The USC Libraries includes the Doheny Memorial Library and fourteen specialized libraries with an operating budget of approximately $41 million. Library collections encompass over 4.2 million volumes, 5.9 million microforms, 3.1 million images, 49,300 linear feet of manuscripts and archives, with access to over 113,800 serials in print and electronic formats, over 1,650 datasets, and nearly 1.3 million e-books. For more information, visit

ONE Archives at the USC Libraries is the largest repository of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) materials in the world. Founded in 1952, ONE Archives currently houses over two million archival items including periodicals, books, film, video and audio recordings, photographs, artworks, organizational records, and personal papers. ONE Archives has been a part of the USC Libraries since 2010. For more information, visit

Job Responsibilities

Reporting to the ONE Archives Librarian, the Project Archivist will:

  • Undertake the appraisal, arrangement, description, and cataloging of primary source collections in accordance with standard archival processing best practices and departmental guidelines
  • Assigns and prioritizes workloads; sets appropriate deadlines; and monitors employee performance to ensure the timely completion of the project(s)
  • Create finding aids for each collection, that includes writing abstracts, historical information, summary description, and inventory lists; and ensure all description complies with professional archival standards, local practice, and relevant authorities
  • Assign, revise (or create) authorized subject headings and genre/form terms to primary source materials in accordance with national standards and local practice
  • Undertake the preservation and maintenance of primary source collections by identifying and working with staff in implementing preventative measures for the preservation and safekeeping of archival materials; and identify endangered materials and conservation work needed
  • Assist in preparing materials for digitization, and work with staff in implementing small-scale digitization projects as needed
  • Create and ensure quality control of metadata records and associated digital files
  • Trains and oversees student workers and interns
  • Work collaboratively with ONE Archives personnel and students to support public service operations and access to collections
  • Provide evening and weekend service, as assigned
  • Participate in the profession through conference attendance, presentations, and publishing
  • Possess the physical strength and ability to move up to 30 pounds of materials at one time
  • Stay up-to-date on relevant archival information trends, practices, and be able to apply this knowledge
  • Perform other activities as needed that fall within the scope of responsibility of the position


Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree

Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education

Minimum Experience: 2 years; combined education/experience as substitute for minimum experience

  • MLS from an ALA-accredited program or advanced degree in equivalent field
  • One or more years of experience processing archival collections in a variety of formats
  • Demonstrated knowledge of relevant standards and thesauri, including EAD, DACS, MARC, LCSH
  • Demonstrated knowledge of ArchivesSpace and Excel
  • Knowledge of current professional trends
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team
  • Flexibility and adaptability; ability to think creatively
  • Strong research and analytical skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Excellent organizational skills, including ability to manage multiple priorities and meet deadlines
  • Ability of lift materials weighing up to 30 pounds
  • Demonstrated knowledge of establishing/applying authority control
  • Experience creating metadata records using DBCore
  • Supervisory experience
  • Demonstrated knowledge of ContentDM
  • Familiarity with digitization practices/workflows
  • Experience working in an academic library
  • Familiarity of LGBTQ history
  • Familiarity with basic preservation and conservation techniques

Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree, Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education Minimum Experience: 2 years, Combined education/experience as substitute for minimum experience Minimum Field of Expertise: Considerable specialized knowledge of contemporary archival and records management principles and practices. Knowledge or background in preservation management. Demonstrated interpersonal, project management, analytical and research skills. Requires computer skills and ability to work with electronic records and databases. Experience utilizing digital reproduction technologies such as scanners and digital cameras for preservation.

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