Digital Archives Assistant, New York Public Library

By IS Lab January 27, 2021

New York Public Library

The New York Public Library seeks an extremely organized, detail-oriented person to serve as the Library’s Digital Archives Assistant. The successful candidate will work closely with the Library’s research divisions, archival processing and cataloging staff, and digital collections teams to support workflows for the management of born-digital collections items. The digital archives assistant will migrate materials from digital media and stage them for long-term preservation and access. Additionally, the digital archives assistant will assist the Archives staff in the analysis and description of digital assets. This position is 35 hours per week following a Monday through Friday 10-5 schedule.

Job Responsibilities

Reporting to the Manager of Digital Preservation, the Digital Archives Assistant is responsible for:

  • Maintaining the resources (hardware, software, vendors, peer institutions) to perform migration of born-digital material from physical media and cloud storage as well as identifying new tools, resources, and procedures
  • Contributing to developing, implementing, updating, and documenting policies and workflows related to digital archives and preservation
  • Engaging in research of digital archive practices
  • Imaging digital media and migration of digital files into access and preservation formats
  • Training and assisting archivists and curators as necessary when working with digital media
  • Assisting the Archives Unit staff in the analysis and description of digital assets
  • Extraction of disk and file level metadata from media objects
  • Appraising file systems and executables for service as disk images
  • Analysis and description of digital files held in archival collections
  • Installation of software and virtual machines
  • Evaluating emulators and other software used to view files
  • Evaluating proposed acquisitions with born digital components
  • Developing and documenting techniques and procedures for acquiring electronic records directly from record creators and transferring them directly into the Library’s repository
  • Coordinating acquisitions of electronic records, acting as a liaison between records creators and the Library’s curatorial, archival, and technical staff
  • Working directly with records creators to advise on record keeping practices that will facilitate the eventual transfer of their archives
  • Other duties as assigned

Our expectations for this person are that within…

1 month, this person will:

  • Understand the acquisition workflows for born-digital materials
  • Be trained to perform basic inventorying, transfer, and imaging tasks

3 months, this person will:

  • Inventory and transfer materials for 6 collections
  • Be trained on the usage of forensic imaging equipment
  • Be trained to support archival processing with Forensic’s Toolkit
  • Contribute updates to the Digital Archives documentation site

6 months and beyond, this person will:

  • Be the liaison for the acquisition of born-digital audio and moving image materials
  • Be trained to support on-site evaluations of proposed acquisitions
  • Package materials from 6 collections for long-term preservation and access

Job Qualifications


  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Demonstrated knowledge of digital forensic tools and techniques
  • Demonstrated knowledge of procedures and practices for the arrangement and description of archival collections in general and special collections of electronic records in particular
  • Familiarity with Unix, Macintosh and PC operating systems, command-line interfaces, and relational database systems
  • Ability to lift up to 40 lbs.
  • Ability to travel within New York City


  • Progress towards or completed master’s degree in library, archival, or information studies from an ALA-accredited program
  • Familiarity with shell and Python scripting
  • Familiarity with computing history and equipment, primarily 1980s through 2010s

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