Job posting: Portal Archivist, Black Metropolis Research Consortium, Hyde Park

24 Jan 2020 8:45 AM | Janet Olson (Administrator)

Requisition Number: JR07533
Division / Dept. / Unit: Library IT & DS- BMRC
Reports to: Executive Director, BMRC
Work Schedule: 37.5 hours per week: Schedule set upon successful hire


The job provides professional support and solves straightforward problems in the operation and provision of access services for a library and serves as a library resource.

1) Has a moderate/solid understanding on matters relating to a specific library section. Collaborates with senior management to develop guidelines, policies, and procedures., 2) Participates in large scale library projects. Consults with management to set goals for the section. Makes decisions that have an impact on controlling costs, planning, and procedural changes., 3) Uses depth and breadth of experience in Library services to maintain changes in systems and software that support effective provision of library services. Facilitates communication about changes in policies and procedures to library patrons and staff., 4) Plans and executes section communications, which include development and oversight of the section's web site. Represents the section on library or external working groups and committees., 5) Performs other related work as needed.

Unit-specific Responsibilities

(This is a grant-funded term position of 18 months)

1) The Portal Archivist for the BMRC will work to overhaul and enhance the BMRC searchable database comprised of member institution’s relevant collections finding aids. 

2) Update archival inventory and collection records currently in the database, to include full finding aids when available.

3) Compile and upload new collection finding aids and inventory records processed and prepared for access since last entry of materials.

4) Develop a framework and set of standards for continuous updates in the future.

5) Create or adapt a simple finding aid upload solution.

6) Migrate collection records in the UNCAP project.

7) Develop an appropriate, attractive, representative name for the updated portal.

8) Submit recommendations for inclusion in federated or aggregated searching tools.

9) Generate a digital exhibit utilizing compatible technology and ideas for future online exhibitions

10) Work collaboratively with other consortiums and their related databases.

11) Monitor emerging trends and technologies related to archives management.

12) Represent the BMRC at meetings and conferences, and in discussions with peer institutions at the local, regional and national level.

13) Responsible for attending and providing periodic updates on portal projects at BMRC Board meetings.

Unit-preferred Competencies

1) Knowledge of core archival concepts and functions (collections, finding aids, etc)

2) Ability to effectively manage multiple competing priorities, manage time efficiently, and achieve unit goals.

3) Detail-oriented and highly organized.

4) Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and the ability to interface positively with fellow staff, board members, member institutions and community collaborators.

5) Proven capacity to acquire new skills and to synthesize and act upon complex information and developments.

6) Ability to work independently, with supervision and as part of a team.

7) Project management experience.

Working Conditions and Physical Requirements (if applicable)


1) Ability to travel around the Chicagoland area to visit member institutions

Education, Experience, and Certifications

Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.

Preferred Qualifications


1) Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited institution

2) MLS/MLIS required; concentration in archives


1) At least 3 years of professional work experience in library/archives work is required.  Related internships and/or volunteer experience prorated for value.

2) Demonstrated proficiency implementing and/or using collection and data management systems

Technical Knowledge or Skills

1) Working knowledge of Microsoft Office

2) Ability to learn a range of position-related software applications

3) Working knowledge of metadata standards and records management systems and practices

4) Basic Unix/Linux skills

5) Familiarity with XML Programming, including XPath, XSLT and XML DTDs and Schemas

Required Documents

1) Resume

2) Cover letter

3) Reference List

NOTE: When applying, all required documents MUST be uploaded under the Resume/CV section of the application.

To Apply

To apply for this position, external candidates must submit their profile and any other required materials through Program Manager/Archivist. Internal candidates must apply by logging into Workday using their CNet ID and password; for more information, please see How to Apply for a UChicago Job (Current Employee) QRG. Resumes sent via mail, fax, or email will not be considered. For more information, please see

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should contact University Shared Services via the Applicant Inquiry Form or 773-702-5800.

About the Unit

The Black Metropolis Research Consortium is a Chicago-based membership association of libraries, universities, and other archival institutions with a mission to make broadly accessible the members’ holdings that document African American and African diasporic culture, history, and politics with a special focus on Chicago, and to advocate for the preservation, enhancement, growth, and use of these materials, and the diversity of the information professionals who care for them. The BMRC is positioned within the University of Chicago Library which is a dynamic research and learning environment, supporting the University’s commitment to research and teaching and to using its intellectual resources to help solve the world’s problems. Member institutions represent a wide variety of missions and audiences, including public institutions, cultural heritage centers, community archives and private research institutions.

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