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Project Archivist (Historical Society of Long Beach)

 In Job Postings

The Historical Society of Long Beach collects, preserves, and presents local history. Through historical collections, exhibitions, and programs we connect people to the past, and to the place they live. We present an inclusive community narrative and help create a greater understanding of our neighborhoods, the city, and its place in the larger world.

The Project Archivist is a full-time, hourly position. The candidate will join a small but mighty team of staff and volunteers with a passion for our work, Long Beach, and historical collections. The Project Archivist is the only team member tasked with caring for collections full-time. A successful candidate will communicate effectively, have strong organizational and interpersonal skills, be self-motivated, be flexible, and will think creatively to process collections using volunteers and scarce resources. We seek a candidate who will help achieve strategic goals which include acquiring collections that better represent local communities and processing those collections in findable ways. The position is not limited to one project; multiple projects need to be managed simultaneously.

The Historical Society of Long Beach’s holdings includes 110,000 photographic images, 2,861 recorded accessions with hundreds of thousands of documents, thousands of publications, and 1,982 objects. Processing of these collections vary greatly. Some are processed at item level, some at folder level, some at box level, and some are yet to be processed at all. Highlights of the collection include photographic images, municipal collections of officeholders, City Manager, and Redevelopment Agency, bound and microfilm newspapers, Long Beach LGBTQ materials, organizational records covering the arts, politics, women’s organizations, and Japanese American, Cambodian American, African American, and Latino community materials.

Current Priorities:

  • Developing archival projects for volunteers, training and guiding volunteers in collections processing
  • Processing the results of Pandemic Project surveys.
  • Processing materials collected for A Woman’s Place.
  • Processing City Hall & Navy Base Records processing depends on grant funding (using more product, less process method).
  • Overseeing and the reorganization of film storage in newly acquired freezers.
  • Relocating and updating of PastPerfect database records for collections materials that move during the rearrangement of archival storage area in 2020.
  • Presenting at a workshop in 2023 about using the City Hall & Navy Base Records

Primary Responsibilities Include:

  • Aiding in the development of projects and grant proposals to further collections care.
  • Making recommendations and assisting with budgets for archival projects.
  • Developing and suggesting collections policy and deaccession policy.
  • Creating or overseeing accession records for all new contributions to the Historical Society of Long Beach.
  • Organizing volunteers to catalog historical collections.
  • Working with the Executive Director to prioritize collections projects that fit with the newly adopted strategic plan and exhibitions.
  • Cataloging and organizing exhibition materials.
  • Working with all staff and helping with research inquiries, identifying appropriate items, and sometimes arranging and staffing appointments.
  • Member of Exhibition team—assisting in research and selecting items; may include planning, digitization, and installation.
  • Assembling meetings with historians, board members, staff members, and collections volunteers.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Advanced Degree in Library Science or significant coursework towards an advanced degree
  • Experience working with archival materials
  • Familiarity with content management systems
  • Experience creating finding aids and entries on the Online Archive of California
  • Developing authority files
  • Ability to complete projects in a timely manner

Physical Requirements:

• Sit, perform desk-based computer tasks, for long periods of time.

• Frequently twist/bend/stoop/squat, grasps lightly/fine manipulation, grasp forcefully, sort/file paperwork or parts, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh up to 40 pounds.

• Stand/walk, reach/work above shoulders, climb ladders and stairs

Shared Responsibilities:

  • Visitor Services—greeting visitors about the HSLB and our services; encouraging membership; assessing visitor needs; assisting researchers; accepting contributions of historical materials to the HSLB’s collection; talking about exhibitions.
  • Answering telephone, retrieving messages and responding to calls.
  • Staffing the facility on Saturdays, Thursday evenings, preplanned events, and some First Friday evenings.

Salary Range:

$16 to $20 per hour depending upon experience.

Application Instructions:

A cover letter illustrating your fit for the position, resume, and an example of a collection description or finding aid that you prepared should be emailed to JulieB@hslb.org by January 12, 2022.

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