African-American History Archivist

Posted by Western Reserve Historical Society ; Posted on 
African-American History Archivist


Responsibility: Responsible to the Archives & Special Collections Manager for the collection, preservation, and processing (including arrangement and preparation of finding aids) of manuscripts connected to ethnic, religious, cultural, and social communities as they relate to the Western Reserve, as well as for outreach activities associated to the maintenance and growth of the African American Archives Program.

Classification: This position is classified as part-time professional, and non-exempt from overtime.


Maintains associations with a variety of professional organizations to remain current on professional standards and matters in the archives field as well as promote the Society and its interests
Reaches out to the African American community to maintain and foster awareness in the African American Archives program, as well as the Society, and to seek additions to the collection.
Coordinates with associated Society endeavors for exhibitions, public programs, special events, educational programs, and as otherwise needed
Supervision: Occasionally supervises interns and volunteers.


Solicits the papers of individuals, records of organizations, artifacts, and other research resources pertinent to African American history in Northeast Ohio; arranges for the transfer of these collections to the Society.
Processes and arranges archival and audio/visual materials for scholarly research.
Conducts research, writes, and lectures on subject pertinent to local African American history.
Works with the Archives & Special Collections Manager and the Development Department in the acquisition of funds through grant writing, sponsorships, requests for individual contributions and in-kind gifts, and other forms of fundraising, including the identification and active cultivation of potential donors.
Maintain professional standards for work environment and records of collections – including deed of gifts, stewardship, processing, storage, et cetera.
Works with the Education Department in providing and recommending relevant material for use and coordinating activities beneficial to both the African American Archives program and the Education Department.
Supports and contributes ideas, content, and other information to the WRHS website.
Collaborates with the Cataloging staff and WRHS IT Systems Manager to insure the accurate and timely entry of catalog data for archival collections in the Library’s online cataloging system and with OCLC.
Occasional evening and weekend hours will be necessary to accommodate institutional events and needs.
Undertakes other duties as assigned by the Archives & Special Collections Manager.

Outstanding analytical, organizational, project, and time management skills and the ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously.
Evidence of active membership, participation, and involvement in professional and scholarly associations – commitment to stewarding professional standards and involvement.
Ability to be proactive, flexible, and collaborative in order to accomplish library and institutional goals.
Successful completion of a background check and drug screening.
Public speaking is a customary duty of the position and essential to outreach efforts.
Demonstrated proficiency and capability with information technology systems in the context of a special collections library and archival program.
Experience with legal and ethical standards associated with archival and manuscript collections.
Excellent written, verbal skills and strong interpersonal skills.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in African American Studies, History, or related field. MLIS with an emphasis on archives and collection management.
Experience: Two years of archival processing experience, EAD understanding, and knowledge of MPLP required.
Essential personal traits: exhibit tact, enthusiasm for the profession, dependability, motivation, and integrity.
Must possess a valid driver’s license and be willing to travel locally.
Requires prolonged sitting (chiefly at a computer terminal). Some bending, stopping, and stretching.  Occasionally may require lifting up to 50 pounds.
To apply please submit your resume and cover letter to