Acquisitions Archivist, Center for the History of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston MA

Reporting to the Deputy Director, and working closely with the Head, Collections Services, the Acquisitions Archivist is responsible for developing the holdings of the Center for the History of Medicine. The Archivist plans and implements a strategic and structured acquisitions program that provides for proposing, identifying, and selecting unique personal and professional records, organizational archives, publications, and other materials that have long term research and evidential value.

Acquisitions activities include program planning; analysis of collection strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in holdings; providing short and long-range recommendations for specific areas of growth or change to holdings; making recommendations for acquisition of new materials in all formats (i.e. paper, visual, electronic); establishing initial physical and intellectual control of incoming materials; preservation decision-making; liaising with prospective donors, donors, and users; and securing gift agreements, making approaches for funding collections, and receiving gifts. The Archivist may travel to donors' locations to review, select, and container materials and arrange for the transfer of materials to the Center.

A rapidly growing area of acquisition is electronic records in a variety of forms. As the primary selector and field worker for the Center, the Archivist has special responsibility to lead environmental scanning of the Harvard Longwood community's use of information technology and for innovation in digital acquisitions and preservation. The Archivist builds strong collaborations within Countway/CBMI, the Harvard Longwood community, and peers within and external to the University to ensure the capture and preservation of digital assets.

The Archivist ensures that acquisitions are well-documented and move smoothly into the processing workflow; that the current needs of researchers and research trends are taken into account in recommending materials for acquisition; and that acquisitions of publications and records are coordinated. The Archivist identifies specialized libraries of publications that document the development of specialties or research areas and works with the Rare Books Cataloger to evaluate and acquire relevant materials.

The Archivist leads or participates in outreach activities such events, mailings, or creation of web and other publications intended to cultivate donors. The Archivist also participates in or supports fundraising and development activities and may contribute to external funding proposals.


Basic Qualifications: Master's degree in library science/information science with a concentration in archives, or a master's in archival studies, required. 2-4 years professional experience in archival/manuscript collection development and appraisal.


Additional Qualifications: Demonstrated knowledge of trends, principles, and practices in archival and special collections, including issues in electronic archives. Strong analytical, and communication/presentation skills are essential. Excellent interpersonal and organizational skills evidenced by success in a collaborative environment. High degree of comfort and interest in information technology and electronic records and data. Must demonstrate an ability to innovate and manage a variety of projects and tasks in a complex and dynamic environment and work effectively at all levels of the University community. Capacity to thrive in an environment of change. Must be licensed to drive a car. May work occasionally in basements, attics, warehouses and other records storage areas that may be dusty or moldy. Must be able to regularly lift 50 lb. records storage boxes. Supervisory experience. Preferred: Second Master's degree in history or American studies. General knowledge of history of medicine and issues in records management. Established record of service to the profession.

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