Skip to Main Content
Community/Job Board/Job Board/Senior/Mid Level Management/Head of Special Collections Technical Services

Head of Special Collections Technical Services

Posted: November 2, 2022
Description
Skills
Education
Company Description

Job Summary:
Filling a core leadership role in the department, the head of technical service is primarily responsible for the long-term stewardship and care of Smith College’s world-class special collections. The head of technical services will coordinate and manage the physical and digital materials of Special Collections and provide leadership for the stewardship of collections in modern forms, systems, and workflows. The position is a balance of leading, managing, delegating, and doing with technical services staff, students, and interns.

Essential Functions:

Administration:
Provide leadership and vision for the collections management of Special Collections including physical and digital stewardship, description across platforms, systems implementation or improvement, workflows and documentation, and project prioritization. Supervise a minimum of 4 FTE permanent staff: metadata archivist, digital archivist, accessioning archivist, and collections archivist. Oversee term project archivists on specific projects, as necessary. Supervision of staff includes recruitment, hiring, training, mentorship, regular reviews and providing constructive feedback, along with setting reasonable individual goals that align with group goals; mediate competing priorities in keeping with the department’s mission, vision, and values.
Report directly to the director of special collections and work closely with the head of public services, an aligned position in Special Collections. In doing so, express vision and clarity around collection management and access; be adept at prioritizing projects and needs; building consensus with others.

Collection Management:
Collection management extends to all material types in Special Collections - archival and rare books, serials, and manuscripts in any format or medium. Skilled confidence to understand best practices and work across material types is a must. In doing so, the head of technical services will work collaboratively, establish/update policy and best practices concerning collection management. Coordinate with other staff to set accessioning, processing, and preservation priorities for digital, physical, and audiovisual materials. Work within the Smith College Libraries and Five Colleges to steward special collections systems: ArchivesSpace, FOLIO, EDS, Islandora. Oversee, improve, and plan for rare book cataloging and archival descriptive practices. Set digitization priorities, especially around large projects, and supervise digitization for access and preservation. This includes working with vendors on differently sized projects and digitization needs. Create and execute a backlog reduction plan, including final disposition of archival collections and rare books. Maintain physical collections inventory control and management strategies that maximize current and future storage capacities. Make use of and provide guidance for the best use of archival and rare book management systems. Collect appropriate collection statistics and provide regular reporting to the Director. Assist in or supervise pre-custodial collection management activities with donors as needed. Review collection finding aids and catalog records as needed to ensure continuity and quality control. Finalize selection of the enterprise level preservation system, plan and oversee ingest of content and metadata, in addition to ongoing stewardship.

The collection management program is well developed, but has key areas of anticipated growth: implementing digital preservation; improvements to existing systems (ArchivesSpace, Islandora 2; to fully articulate and document program elements such as accessioning, loans, and growth planning; oversee a major two year bibliographic description project; identifying staffing gaps and developing staffing solutions for the short and long term, especially related to rare books management.

Other:
Participate actively in the shared decision making for Special Collections, resource management, and program and policy development. Provide reference desk services on par with other staff. Participate in identifying opportunities for grants and any subsequent grant application process as needed. Participate actively in the archival profession as part of professional development. Perform other duties as assigned.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:

Skills:
Ability to articulate and advocate for information technology solutions to archival and bibliographic challenges
Thorough knowledge of rare books and archival principles and best practices of archival and bibliographic description, stacks management, access, archival technologies, preservation, digital curation, and reference
Knowledge of (or demonstrated ongoing development in) relevant archival and bibliographic standards and frameworks (DACS, Records in Contexts, ISAD(G), ISAAR-CPF, FRBR, RDA; EAD, EAC-CPF, BIBFRAME, MARC), rare books cataloging practices, and archival processing standards and techniques
Fluency with relevant software for managing archives information and assets
Some ability to manipulate bibliographic and archival data through scripting preferred; interest in developing this skill over time required

Strong research, verbal and written communication skills required Track record of good judgment, strong time management skills, and the ability to execute complicated projects until they are complete and done at a quality level. Strong cultural competencies and a demonstrated commitment to anti-oppressive professional practices are required

Education/Experience:
Master’s Degree from an ALA-accredited program with a concentration in archival administration; 5 years of relevant professional experience working in archives and special collections; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

About Smith College
Located in Northampton, MA, Smith College is one of the largest women’s colleges in the country and is dedicated to excellence in teaching and research across the liberal arts. A faculty of outstanding scholars interact with students in small classes, as advisors, and through student-faculty research projects. The College is a member of the Five College Consortium with Amherst, Hampshire and Mt. Holyoke Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Students cross-enroll and faculty cross-teach across the Five Colleges.
Consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 151B, it is the policy of Smith College to provide reasonable accommodation when requested by a qualified applicant or employee with a disability, unless such accommodation would cause an undue hardship. The policy regarding requests for reasonable accommodation applies to all aspects of employment, including the application process. If reasonable accommodation is needed, please contact our recruiting team at recruiting-u@smith.edu.
Diversity and a culture of inclusion among students, staff, faculty, and administration are crucial to the mission and values of Smith College. We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, color, religions, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or veteran status in the recruitment and employment of faculty and staff, and the operation of any of its programs and activities, as specified by all applicable laws and regulations. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Description

Job Summary:
Filling a core leadership role in the department, the head of technical service is primarily responsible for the long-term stewardship and care of Smith College’s world-class special collections. The head of technical services will coordinate and manage the physical and digital materials of Special Collections and provide leadership for the stewardship of collections in modern forms, systems, and workflows. The position is a balance of leading, managing, delegating, and doing with technical services staff, students, and interns.

Essential Functions:

Administration:
Provide leadership and vision for the collections management of Special Collections including physical and digital stewardship, description across platforms, systems implementation or improvement, workflows and documentation, and project prioritization. Supervise a minimum of 4 FTE permanent staff: metadata archivist, digital archivist, accessioning archivist, and collections archivist. Oversee term project archivists on specific projects, as necessary. Supervision of staff includes recruitment, hiring, training, mentorship, regular reviews and providing constructive feedback, along with setting reasonable individual goals that align with group goals; mediate competing priorities in keeping with the department’s mission, vision, and values.
Report directly to the director of special collections and work closely with the head of public services, an aligned position in Special Collections. In doing so, express vision and clarity around collection management and access; be adept at prioritizing projects and needs; building consensus with others.

Collection Management:
Collection management extends to all material types in Special Collections - archival and rare books, serials, and manuscripts in any format or medium. Skilled confidence to understand best practices and work across material types is a must. In doing so, the head of technical services will work collaboratively, establish/update policy and best practices concerning collection management. Coordinate with other staff to set accessioning, processing, and preservation priorities for digital, physical, and audiovisual materials. Work within the Smith College Libraries and Five Colleges to steward special collections systems: ArchivesSpace, FOLIO, EDS, Islandora. Oversee, improve, and plan for rare book cataloging and archival descriptive practices. Set digitization priorities, especially around large projects, and supervise digitization for access and preservation. This includes working with vendors on differently sized projects and digitization needs. Create and execute a backlog reduction plan, including final disposition of archival collections and rare books. Maintain physical collections inventory control and management strategies that maximize current and future storage capacities. Make use of and provide guidance for the best use of archival and rare book management systems. Collect appropriate collection statistics and provide regular reporting to the Director. Assist in or supervise pre-custodial collection management activities with donors as needed. Review collection finding aids and catalog records as needed to ensure continuity and quality control. Finalize selection of the enterprise level preservation system, plan and oversee ingest of content and metadata, in addition to ongoing stewardship.

The collection management program is well developed, but has key areas of anticipated growth: implementing digital preservation; improvements to existing systems (ArchivesSpace, Islandora 2; to fully articulate and document program elements such as accessioning, loans, and growth planning; oversee a major two year bibliographic description project; identifying staffing gaps and developing staffing solutions for the short and long term, especially related to rare books management.

Other:
Participate actively in the shared decision making for Special Collections, resource management, and program and policy development. Provide reference desk services on par with other staff. Participate in identifying opportunities for grants and any subsequent grant application process as needed. Participate actively in the archival profession as part of professional development. Perform other duties as assigned.

Skills

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:

Skills:
Ability to articulate and advocate for information technology solutions to archival and bibliographic challenges
Thorough knowledge of rare books and archival principles and best practices of archival and bibliographic description, stacks management, access, archival technologies, preservation, digital curation, and reference
Knowledge of (or demonstrated ongoing development in) relevant archival and bibliographic standards and frameworks (DACS, Records in Contexts, ISAD(G), ISAAR-CPF, FRBR, RDA; EAD, EAC-CPF, BIBFRAME, MARC), rare books cataloging practices, and archival processing standards and techniques
Fluency with relevant software for managing archives information and assets
Some ability to manipulate bibliographic and archival data through scripting preferred; interest in developing this skill over time required

Strong research, verbal and written communication skills required Track record of good judgment, strong time management skills, and the ability to execute complicated projects until they are complete and done at a quality level. Strong cultural competencies and a demonstrated commitment to anti-oppressive professional practices are required

Education

Education/Experience:
Master’s Degree from an ALA-accredited program with a concentration in archival administration; 5 years of relevant professional experience working in archives and special collections; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Company Description

About Smith College
Located in Northampton, MA, Smith College is one of the largest women’s colleges in the country and is dedicated to excellence in teaching and research across the liberal arts. A faculty of outstanding scholars interact with students in small classes, as advisors, and through student-faculty research projects. The College is a member of the Five College Consortium with Amherst, Hampshire and Mt. Holyoke Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Students cross-enroll and faculty cross-teach across the Five Colleges.
Consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 151B, it is the policy of Smith College to provide reasonable accommodation when requested by a qualified applicant or employee with a disability, unless such accommodation would cause an undue hardship. The policy regarding requests for reasonable accommodation applies to all aspects of employment, including the application process. If reasonable accommodation is needed, please contact our recruiting team at recruiting-u@smith.edu.
Diversity and a culture of inclusion among students, staff, faculty, and administration are crucial to the mission and values of Smith College. We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, color, religions, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or veteran status in the recruitment and employment of faculty and staff, and the operation of any of its programs and activities, as specified by all applicable laws and regulations. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Position Overview

Company

Smith College

Location

Northampton, MA

Job Type

Full time

Salary

Anticipated salary range: $78,000 - $90,000

Apply Now

Listing Contact

Beth Myers

emyers@smith.edu 4135852978

Position Details

Description

Job Summary:
Filling a core leadership role in the department, the head of technical service is primarily responsible for the long-term stewardship and care of Smith College’s world-class special collections. The head of technical services will coordinate and manage the physical and digital materials of Special Collections and provide leadership for the stewardship of collections in modern forms, systems, and workflows. The position is a balance of leading, managing, delegating, and doing with technical services staff, students, and interns.

Essential Functions:

Administration:
Provide leadership and vision for the collections management of Special Collections including physical and digital stewardship, description across platforms, systems implementation or improvement, workflows and documentation, and project prioritization. Supervise a minimum of 4 FTE permanent staff: metadata archivist, digital archivist, accessioning archivist, and collections archivist. Oversee term project archivists on specific projects, as necessary. Supervision of staff includes recruitment, hiring, training, mentorship, regular reviews and providing constructive feedback, along with setting reasonable individual goals that align with group goals; mediate competing priorities in keeping with the department’s mission, vision, and values.
Report directly to the director of special collections and work closely with the head of public services, an aligned position in Special Collections. In doing so, express vision and clarity around collection management and access; be adept at prioritizing projects and needs; building consensus with others.

Collection Management:
Collection management extends to all material types in Special Collections - archival and rare books, serials, and manuscripts in any format or medium. Skilled confidence to understand best practices and work across material types is a must. In doing so, the head of technical services will work collaboratively, establish/update policy and best practices concerning collection management. Coordinate with other staff to set accessioning, processing, and preservation priorities for digital, physical, and audiovisual materials. Work within the Smith College Libraries and Five Colleges to steward special collections systems: ArchivesSpace, FOLIO, EDS, Islandora. Oversee, improve, and plan for rare book cataloging and archival descriptive practices. Set digitization priorities, especially around large projects, and supervise digitization for access and preservation. This includes working with vendors on differently sized projects and digitization needs. Create and execute a backlog reduction plan, including final disposition of archival collections and rare books. Maintain physical collections inventory control and management strategies that maximize current and future storage capacities. Make use of and provide guidance for the best use of archival and rare book management systems. Collect appropriate collection statistics and provide regular reporting to the Director. Assist in or supervise pre-custodial collection management activities with donors as needed. Review collection finding aids and catalog records as needed to ensure continuity and quality control. Finalize selection of the enterprise level preservation system, plan and oversee ingest of content and metadata, in addition to ongoing stewardship.

The collection management program is well developed, but has key areas of anticipated growth: implementing digital preservation; improvements to existing systems (ArchivesSpace, Islandora 2; to fully articulate and document program elements such as accessioning, loans, and growth planning; oversee a major two year bibliographic description project; identifying staffing gaps and developing staffing solutions for the short and long term, especially related to rare books management.

Other:
Participate actively in the shared decision making for Special Collections, resource management, and program and policy development. Provide reference desk services on par with other staff. Participate in identifying opportunities for grants and any subsequent grant application process as needed. Participate actively in the archival profession as part of professional development. Perform other duties as assigned.

Skills and Experience

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:

Skills:
Ability to articulate and advocate for information technology solutions to archival and bibliographic challenges
Thorough knowledge of rare books and archival principles and best practices of archival and bibliographic description, stacks management, access, archival technologies, preservation, digital curation, and reference
Knowledge of (or demonstrated ongoing development in) relevant archival and bibliographic standards and frameworks (DACS, Records in Contexts, ISAD(G), ISAAR-CPF, FRBR, RDA; EAD, EAC-CPF, BIBFRAME, MARC), rare books cataloging practices, and archival processing standards and techniques
Fluency with relevant software for managing archives information and assets
Some ability to manipulate bibliographic and archival data through scripting preferred; interest in developing this skill over time required

Strong research, verbal and written communication skills required Track record of good judgment, strong time management skills, and the ability to execute complicated projects until they are complete and done at a quality level. Strong cultural competencies and a demonstrated commitment to anti-oppressive professional practices are required

Education

Education/Experience:
Master’s Degree from an ALA-accredited program with a concentration in archival administration; 5 years of relevant professional experience working in archives and special collections; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Company Description

About Smith College
Located in Northampton, MA, Smith College is one of the largest women’s colleges in the country and is dedicated to excellence in teaching and research across the liberal arts. A faculty of outstanding scholars interact with students in small classes, as advisors, and through student-faculty research projects. The College is a member of the Five College Consortium with Amherst, Hampshire and Mt. Holyoke Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Students cross-enroll and faculty cross-teach across the Five Colleges.
Consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 151B, it is the policy of Smith College to provide reasonable accommodation when requested by a qualified applicant or employee with a disability, unless such accommodation would cause an undue hardship. The policy regarding requests for reasonable accommodation applies to all aspects of employment, including the application process. If reasonable accommodation is needed, please contact our recruiting team at recruiting-u@smith.edu.
Diversity and a culture of inclusion among students, staff, faculty, and administration are crucial to the mission and values of Smith College. We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, color, religions, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or veteran status in the recruitment and employment of faculty and staff, and the operation of any of its programs and activities, as specified by all applicable laws and regulations. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Become a Member

Complete the application for Institution Membership to start using NERCOMP member benefits now!

Get Started

You are using an unsupported version of Internet Explorer. To ensure security, performance, and full functionality, please upgrade to an up-to-date browser.