***OPENING: Archivist in Reading, PA
The Historical Society of Berks County dba Berks History Center (BHC) in Reading PA is seeking an energetic and passionate library/archives professional for the role of its Archivist. The ideal candidate will be a pragmatic, detailed-oriented leader who is familiar with all facets of a historical society’s operations including archivist/librarian duties, collections management and facility operations. Candidates must be professionally flexible and understand that all employees within the organization wear many hats at any given time. This position reports to the Executive Director.
Position Goal: The BHC Archivist contributes to the organization’s success by preserving the archival materials and library holdings of the BHC’s Henry Jansen Library collections and through the operation of the research library open to the citizens of Berks County and those that visit us to gain an understanding of the unique legacy of our community. In addition, the position contributes to the organization’s success by assisting the executive director in the oversight of facility maintenance ensuring that the research library and programming provided by the BHC are accessible to the public.
Performance Responsibilities: The Archivist will be a critical member of the overall staff team, who supervises two Library staff members, volunteers, and interns. The Henry Janssen Library is the center for genealogical and historical research at the Berks History Center. BHC’s archival holdings have grown extensively since the founding of the Society in 1869 and include both personal and family papers as well as the records of churches, cemeteries and local businesses. Some items especially worth noting are: County tax records from 1754 to 1850; Census reports from 1790 to 1920; over 17,000 photographs; newspapers from 1796 to the 1940s (including the run of the Reading Eagle from 1869 to 1988 on microfilm); Church and Cemetery Records from 1730 to present; and numerous histories on local Berks County families.
- Accepts donations of materials for consideration as potential accessions to the Collection, ensuring the proper paperwork is completed and temporary custody standards are followed.
- Processes new accessions following archival standards.
- Responsible for establishing inventory and cataloging priorities for the entire library and archival collections and implementing work plans to accomplish collections management goals.
- Plan and manage collections storage for archives, library materials, vertical files and microfilms.
- Deaccessions materials which are superfluous to the Library and organization’s collections policy and overall mission.
- Assists the Assistant Archivist with Reference desk duties as needed.
- Ensures proper handling of materials in research rooms.
- Responds to remote research requests and handles photograph reproduction requests, including scanning materials.
- Oversees the work of the Assistant Archivist and a part-time Library Assistant, as well as monitors the work of about thirty volunteers, and assigns projects when applicable.
- Maintains statistics of Library visitation and use, including tabulating daily visitor totals and inputting data into an Excel spreadsheet.
- Prepares weekly deposit forms for admission and copies fees. Works with the Financial Administrator to reorder office supplies and maintain service contracts related to the Library.
- Compose content for The Historical Review of Berks County, monitor the Organization’s social media accounts, with the Communication Director, to moderate and encourage engagement.
- Provides research support to the curator.
- Curates temporary mini-exhibits that coordinate with special events or organizational marketing plans.
- Performs other duties as assigned.
- Must be able to work Wednesday to Friday, 8am to 5pm and Saturday, 8am to 4pm, with occasional night and weekend hours for organizational events and other needs.
Candidate must be able to present the following background checks, required by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Board of Trustees of the Berks History Center, on their first day: Pennsylvania State Police PATCH; PA Childline – PA Child Abuse History Clearance Program; FBI Fingerprinting Services. Successful candidates will also be required to sign the BHC Child Abuse Policy and the BHC Code of Conduct Form.
- Graduate degree in Library Science, Public History or Museum with coursework or educational experience in archives. Preferably an MS in Library Science with an Archives Management Concentration from an ALA/SAA-accredited program.
- Demonstrated interest in America History. Undergraduate degree in History preferred.
- Five or more years professional archival experience in an archives or special collection environment with staff and volunteer management experience.
- One or more years experience processing a wide variety of archival materials following current archival standards and policies.
- Experience using a collections management system, such as Archivist’s Toolkit or preferably PastPerfect.
- Knowledge of reference services in a research setting, especially archives and special collections.
- Ability to use standard office equipment (ie copy machine), microfilm readers and book scanners. Trains staff, volunteers and interns on how to use these devices. Ability to troubleshoot basic technology issues.
- Understanding of copyright regulations as they relate to library and archival materials.
- Experience using a wide variety of social media platforms and an understanding of how they can apply to a LAM/LIS setting.
- Demonstrated written and oral communication skills.
- Ability to work independently, as well as on a large team often with competing deadlines.
- Participation in the formulation of policy, procedures, programs, planning, and budget preparation in cooperation with the Museum & Library Committee and Executive Director.
- Demonstrated commitment, through active membership in professional and/or scholarly associations and the interest in staying current on professional trends and policies.
Terms of Employment:
Full Time – Experienced. Compensation package is negotiable and commensurate with experience.
The position holder must be able to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodations. It is the responsibility of the employee to inform the BHC Executive Director of any and all reasonable accommodations that will be required.
Please send PDF cover letter, resume, and three (3) writing samples to:
Benjamin Neely, Executive Director
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
The BHC is committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all persons regardless of age, citizenship, color, disability, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, veteran status, genetic information, ancestry, and any other protected status. The BHC values and promotes diversity as a strategic advantage.
Berks History Center leads the way in telling the 300-year story of Berks County and its people, with the aim of building an understanding of our unique history, strengthening our sense of community and inspiring our community’s progress in the years to come.
MORE ABOUT BERKS HISTORY CENTER
Founded in 1869, the Historical Society of Berks County, now the Berks History Center (BHC), is the official historical society for Berks County, Pennsylvania as recognized by the Berks County Board of Commissioners. The BHC owns and operates two facilities in Reading Pennsylvania. The BHC’s Museum collection includes, 28,941 three-dimensional artifacts dating from 1684-2017. The purpose of the BHC is to promote the discovery, collection, preservation and publication of the historical legacy, records, and information relating to Berks County and the City of Reading. It accomplishes this by collecting and preserving Berks County artifacts, court records, books, newspapers, maps, genealogies, artwork, relics, engravings, manuscripts, letters, and all other materials that illustrate and document the history, growth and development of the area. Our concentration includes, but is not limited to, the social, commercial and artistic development that shaped the community we serve. In addition to being an important adjunct to the educational institutions in Berks County, we also strive to promote the artistic and cultural legacy of our community, which enhances the quality of life and place for the citizens of Berks County, as well as the county’s reputation as an important destination for tourists throughout the world.
The Center’s Henry Janssen Research Library & Archives is staffed by a full time archivist and holds 2,782.37 linear feet of archival and manuscript material, including 272 collections, with 7,628 books, 600 maps and 20,665 photographic images. This state of the art research center hosts genealogists, scholars and researchers from all 50 states and abroad.