August Wilson Project Archivist

By IS Lab November 18, 2020

University of Pittsburgh

August Wilson Project Archivist — Archives & Special Collections

University of Pittsburgh Library System

The University of Pittsburgh Library System (ULS) is excited to have acquired the archives of the late playwright and Pittsburgh native son August Wilson, best known for his unprecedented American Century Cycle —ten plays that convey the Black experience in each decade of the 20th century. We anticipate the processing of the collection to begin in early 2021. The ULS intends to make the August Wilson Archive ( available for research, programming, and engagement to local, national, and international audiences.


The University of Pittsburgh Library System (ULS) is seeking a candidate for the position of the August Wilson Project Archivist within the Archives & Special Collections (A&SC) department. This is a full-time, Visiting Librarian, non-tenure-track appointment that reports to the Curator of the Curtis Theatre Collection. The position is one-year with the possibility of renewal. The A&SC department, consisting of 15 full-time staff, is the largest repository for archival manuscript collections in Western Pennsylvania with over 2,000 archival collections and 100,000 rare books and serials.

Position Description

The August Wilson Archive (approximately 450 cubic feet plus memorabilia) comprises correspondence, notebooks, writing tablets, photographs, posters, production designs, props, scripts, newspaper and magazines articles, awards and degrees, books, and audio and video recordings. The collection will be arranged by series described at the folder level, with much of the material described at the item level.

The Wilson Project Archivist will be responsible for:

  • Arranging the papers of playwright August Wilson in accordance to A&SC processing guidelines and Describing Archives: A Content Standard;
  • Creating a finding aid to describe the Wilson collection, which will aid researchers in identifying research materials;
  • Identifying and arranging for the treatment of any items in need of preservation, including the rehousing of the collection into archival quality enclosures and containers;
  • Arranging for the preservation or transfer of digital media in coordination with the Digital Preservation Librarian;
  • Recommending and helping to prepare materials from the Wilson Archive for exhibition in Hillman Library;
  • Reviewing the published material (e.g. books, commercial media) and preparing them for cataloging by the ULS Technical Services Department;
  • Identifying and preparing AV material for potential preservation reformatting;
  • Hiring, supervising, training, and evaluating student assistants, as appropriate to help with the archival processing efforts;
  • Providing reference assistance in support of the academic and research use of Archives & Special Collections including staffing the reference desk and interacting with researchers in person and virtually;
  • Working with A&SC staff to identify material for use in classroom instruction; and
  • Partnering with A&SC staff on programming and outreach associated with the collection for University and community audiences, specifically in relationship to Pitt’s Centers for Community Engagement.

Librarians at the University of Pittsburgh are members of the faculty and are expected to demonstrate continuous professional development in addition to performing their specific responsibilities. This expectation includes such activities as participating in and contributing to departmental, library and campus-wide committees or working groups as well as the profession at a regional, national, and/or international level, maintaining a broad awareness of current and emerging issues that affect their particular areas of expertise, participating in relevant publishing and presentation opportunities, and pursuing of professional trends and developments that can be applied to evolving research, services and collections.

The University of Pittsburgh Library System
The University of Pittsburgh’s University Library System ( is a member of the Association of Research Libraries and contains over 4.7 million print and electronic volumes, including access to over 300,000 journals and 570 databases. The University Library System (ULS) consists of 14 libraries and employs 75 faculty librarians and 103 staff. In addition to the ULS, the University of Pittsburgh includes libraries for the health sciences and law school.

The ULS stands at the center of intellectual life at the University of Pittsburgh, fostering connections and knowledge creation and dissemination that help faculty, students, and researchers from around the world to excel in research, scholarship and creative expression. It supports and enhances faculty and student productivity through its extensive collections, innovative Open Access publishing, and user-centered focus.

The ULS has recently enacted a major organizational realignment and is currently aggressively hiring in many areas of strategic priority, including research support, digital scholarship and creation, entrepreneurship and innovation, as we are repositioning our services to respond to and anticipate changes in research, teaching, and learning. We are also in the midst of a top-to-bottom renovation of Hillman Library, the central library of the University of Pittsburgh campus which saw 1.9 million visitors in FY17. The reinvented Hillman ( will be a light-filled home to spaces, from vibrant to serene, for digital making and exploration, showcasing unique collections, advancing academic study, and fostering energetic, collaborative exchange.

This is an exciting time to join the Pitt library system and contribute to envisioning the library of the future.

The City of Pittsburgh
The city of Pittsburgh is located in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Consistently ranked as one of the most livable cities in the United States, Pittsburgh is recognized for its natural beauty and unique blend of cultural, education, and technological resources. Additional information on the city of Pittsburgh can be found at:

Salary: Commensurate with experience. Comprehensive benefits package including one-month vacation per year; excellent benefit plans; TIAA/ Vanguard; and tuition assistance.

Successful candidate will meet the criteria for appointment at the rank of Librarian I or II, and will be hired on a 1-year Visiting contract with possibility of renewal.

Please apply through the University of Pittsburgh’s Talent Center, requisition number 20005620. In addition to creating a Talent Center account, please upload/attach a cover letter, CV, and three professional references with contact information. Any questions regarding the application process should be directed to Sharon McMasters (

Visa sponsorship is not offered with this position.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until position is filled; primary consideration will be given to those received by December 1, 2020.

The University of Pittsburgh is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer and values equality of opportunity, human dignity, and diversity. EEO/AA/M/F/Vets/Disabled.


Required qualifications:

  • ALA-accredited MLS/MLIS or equivalent advanced degree
  • Minimum of two years of demonstrated experience in all phases of processing archival records/collections;
  • Working knowledge of standard computer office applications such as Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, Teams or other productivity software;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • Detail oriented;
  • Ability to work collaboratively and effectively both as a team member and independently and to promote teamwork among colleagues; and
  • Ability to handle boxes up to 40 pounds in weight and reach up or down to place or retrieve boxes on high and low shelving;

Preferred qualifications:

  • Experience with Archivists’ Toolkit and/or ArchivesSpace software;
  • Knowledge of or experience working with performing arts collections; and,
  • Reading knowledge of August Wilson and his body of American Century Cycle plays.

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