Samuel French Collection Processing Archivist (Grant-Funded), Amherst College Library, Amherst MA

Full Time, Grant-Funded Position

Amherst College Library is seeking applications for an experienced, innovative professional to fill the position of Processing Archivist for the Samuel French Collection in the department of Archives & Special Collections. This is a full-time temporary appointment for two years. The project dates are June 1, 2014 - May 31, 2016.

The Amherst College Archives & Special Collections, housed within the Frost Library, was awarded a Hidden Collections grant by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to fund a full-time professional archivist to spend two years processing the corporate archives of Samuel French, Inc. Samuel French was established in New York City in 1854 and rapidly became one of the most important theatrical publishers in England and the United States. Beginning in 1964, company president M. Abbott Van Nostrand (Class of 1934) began donating business records, manuscript music and plays, published materials, photographs, and ephemera to the Archives & Special Collections at Amherst College. Regular donations followed over the next fifty years. In the fall of 2013 an additional 200 cartons were added to the collection. Only a tiny fraction of the collection was ever described and the holdings now stand at nearly 600 cartons of unprocessed materials.

The Samuel French Processing Archivist will be charged with conducting an initial survey of the entire collection, and developing a processing plan in consultation with the College Archivist and the Head of the Archives & Special Collections. The Processing Archivist will have additional support from the staff of the Archives and undergraduate student workers. The primary deliverable of the project is an EAD finding aid for the entire collection, coupled with vastly improved physical control and appropriate physical housing of the materials.

In addition to basic archival processing, the Samuel French Processing Archivist is charged with raising public awareness of the collection, including, but not limited to, working with faculty and students in relevant academic departments, creating physical and online exhibitions, presentations at professional conferences, and regular contributions to the Archives blog ( The grant includes funding ($1,500/year) for travel to professional conferences in support of this requirement.

To apply, interested candidates should submit the following materials:

• A cover letter expressing interest in the position and outlining relevant experience.
• A complete curriculum vitae of education, employment, honors, awards, and publications.
• One complete finding aid and one additional writing sample in the form of either exhibition text, a professional presentation, or a blog post.
• The names, professional titles, and contact information (mail, e-mail, and telephone numbers) of three professional references, who will not be contacted until the search committee has informed the candidate of doing so.

Minimum qualifications: Master's degree from an ALA-accredited library or information science program with a concentration in archival studies required; minimum of two years experience working in an archives or library preferred; processing experience preferred; experience with multi-format collections, including audiovisual and photographic materials preferred. Knowledge of Anglo-American theatre history, nineteenth and twentieth century publishing history, history of popular culture, or other relevant subject expertise. Demonstrated knowledge of current standards of archival description and practice, including DACS, EAD, and appropriate thesauri. Experience with Archivists Toolkit strongly preferred. Excellent oral and written communication skills.

To apply:

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