Special Collections and Archives blog

Three-Year NEH Funded Project Archivist Position Announcement

Tad Nichols Filming in the Redwall Cavern in Marble Canyon.
Photo courtesy of NAU Cline Library
Special Collections and Archives

Cline Library Special Collections and Archives is excited to announce the award of a $350,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. This transformative grant will allow Cline Library Special Collections and Archives (SCA) to digitize 400 rare and unique moving images documenting the human and natural history of the Colorado Plateau. The moving images are held by SCA and three regional cultural heritage partners: the Hopi Tribe, the Hualapai Tribe, and Diné College on the Navajo Nation. All together, these moving images offer a glimpse into the collective, complex, and nuanced history of the American Southwest as recorded on film.  The grant provides funding to hire a three-year project archivist, working 32 hours a week, to help support this work.

Position Description:

Title: Project Archivist 

Term: 3 years (fall 2021-summer 2024) 

Start Date: August/September 2021 

End Date: June 30, 2024 

Rate of Pay: $18/hour for 32 hours/week or $2,304 monthly  

Position Overview: 

Special Collections and Archives (SCA) at Cline Library organizes, cares for, and provides public access to unique archival material, including historic documents, photographs, sound recordings, films, and born-digital materials. Reporting to the Archivist for Digital Programs and the Archivist for Discovery, the Project Archivist will be responsible for coordinating the digitization of 400 moving images and developing appropriate descriptive metadata for online access via the Colorado Plateau Digital Collections.  

Special Collections and Archives (SCA) values the diversity of the people it hires and serves. Diversity in SCA means fostering a workplace in which individual differences are recognized, appreciated, respected and responded to in ways that fully develop and utilize each person’s talents and strengths. 

Please note: All applicants for the position will be required to work on-site 32 hours a week during SCA’s normal operating hours (8 AM – 5 PM, M-Th, 8 AM – 4 PM F).

Duties and responsibilities: 

Cline Library Special Collections and Archives (SCA) is embarking on a three year digitization project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to convert analog and magnetic media moving images to digital objects and provide online access to those objects using robust, appropriate, culturally responsive, and accurate descriptive metadata. The Cline Library is partnering with three regional Native American communities to digitized moving images from their collections. Under the supervision and guidance from the Archivist for Digital Programs, Archivist for Discovery, and Head of Special Collections and Archives, the Project Archivist will be responsible for the following activities: 

  • Participate in all training related to the conversion technology and equipment, related software, best practices, and workflows for digitizing analog motion picture film and magnetic media. 
  • Understand and adhere to current national standards for the conversion of analog motion picture film and magnetic media.  
  • Use appropriate technology to convert analog motion picture film (R8/S8mm, 16mm, and 35mm) and magnetic media (VHS, Betacam, Betamax, Umatic, DVCam, Hi-8, and ¾” tapes) to digital files. 
  • Gain familiarity with the operation of archival content management systems such as CONTENTdm and ArchivesSpace.  
  • Work closely with Digital Production Specialist to ensure all workflows are followed precisely, all digital files are examined for quality control standards, and the proper transfer of digital surrogates from a local workstation to the library’s cloud-based storage solution.  
  • Participate in all training related to the production and maintenance of descriptive metadata for discovery via the Colorado Plateau Digital Collections and the integration of digitized material into Encoded Archival Description (EAD) finding aids using ArchivesSpace and oXygen XML Editor.
  • Develop robust and accurate descriptive metadata according to local and national standards (Dublin Core for Moving Images (DCMI), Library of Congress Subject Headings, Visual Resources Association (VRA) Core Categories (for individual records), Art and Architecture Thesaurus, Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS), and Resource Description and Access. 
  • Work closely with Native American colleagues to select, inventory, digitize, develop baseline description, and care for moving images from our tribal partners’ collections. 
  • Become familiar with and apply guidelines based on the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials.  
  • Work closely with tribal partners to identify culturally sensitive content from their collections, as well as culturally sensitive materials from SCA’s holdings Coordinate with appropriate team members and tribal partners to determine appropriate access and use protocols for culturally sensitive materials.   
  • Track and document information to include in reports for the Archivist for Digital Programs, Archivist for Discovery, and the Head of Special Collections and Archives. 
  • Assist Archivist for Digital Programs and Archivist for Discovery in training, supervising, and providing timely feedback for NEH project student assistant.

Qualifications and Requirements: 

  • Master’s degree from an ALA-accredited library or information science program with a concentration in archival studies, or other relevant degree, such as master’s degree in visual communications, public history, etc.
  • Or; a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field (History, Applied Indigenous Studies, Native American Studies, Ethnic Studies, Comparative Cultural Studies, Communication Studies, Journalism, Creative Media or Film, Photography, or similar fields) with 1-2 years experience working in a cultural heritage institution.

Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Familiarity with archival and bibliographic descriptive standards, such as Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS), Encoded Archival Description (EAD), Resource Description and Access (RDA), and Dublin Core Metadata Schema (DCMI). 
  • Experience digitizing analog motion picture film and magnetic media moving image materials. 
  • Familiarity with audio and video moving image material in an archival context  Experience with technology and software associated with the conversion of moving images. 
  • Experience developing appropriate, accurate, and robust descriptive metadata for archival material.
  • Familiarity with the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials
  • Knowledge of the human and natural history of the Colorado Plateau. 
  • Knowledge of filmmaking production practices or other relevant subject expertise. 
  • Familiarity with CONTENTdm, ArchivesSpace, or similar archival content management systems. 
  • Excellent research, writing, and communication skills (both written and verbal). 
  • Detail-oriented and ability to be flexible.
  • Strong organizational skills with demonstrated initiative to complete projects within deadlines. 

Application Deadline: 

The position of Project Archivist will remain open until filled. Review of applications will begin on August 26, 2021. 

To apply, please submit the following documents to: 

  • Letter of application addressing your qualifications for the position 
  • A resume or CV which details relevant coursework, work experience, etc. 
  • Name(s) and contact information for three professional references 
  • Copy of current transcript (optional) 

Submit all application materials to Peter.Runge@nau.edu.

Background Information 

Northern Arizona University requires satisfactory results for the following:  a criminal background investigation, an employment history verification and a degree verification (in some cases) prior to employment.  You may also be required to complete a fingerprint background check. 

Additionally, as an employer in the state of Arizona, NAU is required to participate in the federal E-Verify program that assists employers with verifying new employees’ right to work in the United States. 

Finally, each year Northern Arizona University releases an Annual Security Report. The report is a result of a federal law known as the Clery Act. The report includes Clery reportable crime statistics for the three most recent completed calendar years and discloses procedures, practices and programs NAU uses to keep students and employees safe including how to report crimes or other emergencies occurring on campus. In addition, the Fire Safety Report is combined with the Annual Security Report for the NAU Flagstaff Mountain Campus and NAU-Fort Defiance as these campuses have on-campus student housing. This report discloses fire safety policies and procedures related to on-campus student housing and statistics for fires that occurred in those facilities.  

If you would like a free paper copy of the report, please contact the NAUPD Records Department at (928) 523-8884 or by visiting the department at 525 E. Pine Knoll Drive in Flagstaff. 


NAU is a tobacco and smoke-free campus. 

Employees offered a position will be eligible for state health plans (including NAU’s BCBS Plan).  New employees are eligible for benefits on the first day of the pay period following their enrollment, after their employment date.  Employees will have 31 days from their start date to enroll in benefits. If a new employee chooses the ASRS retirement option, participation in the Arizona State Retirement System, and the long-term disability coverage that accompanies it, will begin on the first of the pay period following 6 months after the new employee’s start date. New employees who choose to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP), which is an alternative to the ASRS plan for faculty and other appointed staff, will begin to participate on the first day of employment.  Additionally, the long-term disability plan that accompanies the ORP will begin on the first day of employment.  More information is available at the NAU HR benefits page. 

Equal Employment Opportunity 

Northern Arizona University is a committed Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. NAU is responsive to the needs of dual career couples. EEO Law Poster. NAU is an Employer of National Service. AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other National Service alumni are encouraged to apply. 

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