Thursday, January 18, 2018

Processing Archivist - Chinese Materials (2 Year Position), Columbia University

Processing Archivist - Chinese Materials (2 Year Position), Columbia University Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
Requisition Number:
Field(s) of Specialization:
Rare Book and Manuscript Library  
Position Title:
Processing Archivist - Chinese Materials (2 Year Position)  
2203- LIB Collections and Services  
Department Number:
Summary Description:
The Columbia University Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML) seeks an experienced professional to arrange and describe Chinese language archives and manuscript material in all formats held by the Rare Book & Manuscript Library according to local and national best practices.

Reporting to the Head of Archives Processing, responsibilities include:

- Processing: Arrange and describe manuscript material and archival collections in all formats (paper, photographic, electronic, audiovisual, etc.). Develop processing plans for collections, including determining level of granularity at which to process, assure appropriate housing of materials, identify and recommend materials for conservation treatment, write and edit finding aids according to DACS (Describing Archives: a Content Standard) specifications.

- Technical Services: Encode finding aids (written by self, students, interns, and other archivists) into EAD (Encoded Archival Description- an xml markup language) and publish them online, catalog collections using Voyager in accordance with appropriate bibliographic standards (MARC, RDA, etc), maintain metrics on processing and submit regular reports on the ongoing processing and cataloging work. Create item-level metadata for digital objects relating to archival collections as appropriate.

- Public Service: Supports and participates in reference and public service with reference work; including answering reference queries (email, telephone), staffing front desk and supervising the reading room.

- Training, Instruction, and Supervision: Train and supervise the work of students, support staff, and interns working on archival projects. Assist in training peers (archivists) in EAD and other best practices, and assist in training new archivists on staff. Provide instructional support for Columbia and non-Columbia students and classes.

- Professional Involvement and Development: Participate in unit-wide, library-wide, and profession-wide planning and committee activities.

- Administrative Tasks: Participate in planning and strategy meetings for the general staff and various smaller groups.


The Rare Book & Manuscript Library is Columbia University's largest repository for primary source collections. The range of collections in the RBML span more than 4,000 years and comprise rare printed works, cylinder seals, cuneiform tablets, papyri, and Coptic ostraca; medieval and renaissance manuscripts; as well as art, photography, and realia. Some 500,000 printed books and 14 miles of manuscripts, personal papers, organizational archives and records form the core of RBML holdings. The history of publishing, comics, graphic arts, human rights, the performing arts, and the Bakhmeteff Archive of Russian émigré materials are strengths of the RBML. The RBML is also home to the University Archives and the archival arm of the Columbia Center for Oral History. In addition, the RBML hosts several faculty and graduate student researchers each year through both the Library Research Awards and Primary Sources Internship programs. For more information about RBML collections and services, see

As one of the world's leading research universities, Columbia University in the City of New York provides outstanding opportunities to work and grow in a dynamic, multicultural, intellectual community. The Columbia University Libraries comprises a diverse and engaged staff committed to furthering the University's teaching and research mission through innovation, collaboration, and a commitment to excellence.

Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and strongly encourages individuals of all backgrounds and cultures to consider this position. We offer a salary commensurate with qualifications and experience.  
Minimum Degree Required:
MLS or PhD or equivalent  
Minimum Qualifications:

All applicants MUST meet these minimum qualifications to be considered for the position.
1. Reading knowledge of Chinese
2. Comprehensive knowledge of archival theory and practice
3. Strong writing and editing skills
4. Strong organizational and analytical skills
5. Project management skills
6. Strong interpersonal skills
7. Proficiency with EAD encoding
8. Knowledge in Cataloging and Metadata  
Preferred Qualifications:
1. Advanced degree in an academic discipline
2. Working knowledge/fluency in at least one foreign language
3. Some familiarity with other relevant metadata standards, including Dublin Core, VRA Core, METS, and MODS
4. Experience providing reference services
5. Experience supervising staff  
Additional Information:
Posting Date:
Closing Date:
Open Until Filled
Special Instructions to Applicants:
Proposed Start Date:
EEO Statement
Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.  
Date Review Begins
Required Applicant Documents for Upload:
Curriculum Vitae
Cover Letter
List of References  
Optional Applicant Documents for Upload
Quicklink for Posting: