Project Archivist, Isaac Hicks Papers (PT)

JOB TITLE: Project Archivist, Isaac Hicks Papers
DEPARTMENT: Library
REPORTS TO: Head of Archival Processing

Start Date: March 2018

Position Duration and Status:  Grant-funded, temporary, part-time employment; 3 days per week for 6 months, or 78 total days.

New-York Historical Society, a preeminent educational and research institution, is home to both New York City’s oldest museum and to one of the nation’s most distinguished independent research libraries. N-YHS is dedicated to presenting exhibitions and public programs, and fostering research that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today. Founded in 1804, its holdings cover four centuries of American history, and include one of the world’s greatest collections of books, manuscripts, graphic materials, historical artifacts, and American art documenting the history of the United States as seen through the prism of New York.

The Isaac Hicks papers document the mercantile activities of this New York City Quaker between 1791-1808, and, to a lesser extent, his retirement from 1809-1820. At more than thirty-five linear feet, Hicks’s papers include an estimated 10,000 letters received, letterbooks, cargo manifests and other shipping records, financing arrangements such as debt obligations, ledgers, journals, legal documents such as contracts and protests, insurance policies, and other manuscript records primarily concerning his dry goods trade. N-YHS has received a grant to fully process and describe this important collection.

Job Summary:

The New-York Historical Society Library is seeking a Project Archivist to process the Isaac Hicks papers. The project will place emphasis on preparing a finding aid with rich description, including correspondents, commercial firms, and the ships and shipping concerns documented in the collection. The Project Archivist will also be responsible, in consultation with N-YHS’s conservator, for taking basic conservation steps, such as opening and securing tri-folded documents and rehousing as needed.

Compensation:

The position is part-time employment, paid $27.00 per hour.

Essential Job Duties:

  • Physically process the collection, including opening and flattening documents, refoldering and rehousing
  • Describe the collection in a sufficiently thorough manner to identify for potential users the content and strengths of the material
  • Document the collection in a collection management system (Archivists’ Toolkit or ArchivesSpace)
  • Generate a DACS-compliant, on-line finding aid for the collection
  • Establish name and subject access terms with controlled vocabularies
  • Write two posts about documents found in the collection for N-YHS Library’s blog
  • Write an entry for Isaac Hicks to publish in Wikipedia
  • Maintain a pace of work that accomplishes the project’s processing and descriptive goals within the set timeframe.

Education Requirements:

  • ALA-accredited MLIS or equivalent degree, with concentration in archival studies. Current students on schedule to graduate in May 2018 are also encouraged to apply.

Skills and Experience Requirements:

  • Early career experience as a professional archivist arranging and describing archival materials, preferably early 19th-century documents
  • Demonstrated ability to perceive important subject matter and content details within a collection and describe it effectively within set time constraints
  • Demonstrated ability to read and grasp the content of early 19th-century handwritten documents
  • Dexterity in handling and taking basic conservation steps for fragile documents
  • Knowledge of and experience with archival standards and best practices, such as DACS and Library of Congress headings
  • Strong written, oral and interpersonal communication skills
  • Ability to work independently within a collaborative workplace team structure.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:  The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee with or without accommodation, to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

The position requires the ability to lift and carry for short distances storage boxes weighing up to 20 lbs.

To apply:

Send cover letter, resume, and a finding aid writing sample (or a link to an on-line sample) to resumes@nyhistory.org. In the subject line please reference the specific job title to ensure your resume is forwarded properly.

The New-York Historical Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Creative: Tronvig Group