Processing Archivist


The Archivist will have primary responsibility for the processing of archival materials and will assist with archival reference, teaching, and outreach. The Archivist will be an integral member of the William R. Laurie University Archives and Special Collections team, working with experienced archivists. This position requires general supervision. Broad instructions, policies, and procedures are provided and the staff member uses judgment and experience to carry out daily assignments. 


University of the South
Sewanee, Tennessee
Application Deadline: 
Open until filled
More Information: 

Opportunities for Leadership:

This position will supervise student workers. 

Career Band: 2C


Position Description


Typical Duties & Responsibilities:

Accessioning and processing of archival materials: 

  • Assist with appraisal and accessioning 

  • Arrange and describe existing and incoming University archives and special collections material of all formats 

  • Basic preservation, housing, or rehousing materials in appropriate archival containers as necessary

  • Create finding aids and related records in ArchivesSpace in accordance with DACS and other relevant professional standards and local practices

  • Complete end-processing activities such as labeling and barcoding containers, and updating records

  • Update legacy collections to conform to current archival standards and best practices.

Promote visibility and the use of archival materials through a variety of public service functions: 

  • Assist with reference services for in-person researchers and via electronic reference requests

  • Works actively with other staff to design and teach class orientations, and instruction sessions, and host special events

  • Page and re-shelve materials

  • Assist with the creation and implementation of physical and digital exhibits

Other duties may include:

  • Assist with training and supervision of student workers or other project staff

  • Participate in departmental planning, policy development, and decision making

  • Participate in LITS and University organizations, committees, and task forces

  • Other duties as assigned

Judgment Required: 

Independent judgment and discretion are required in the application of standard operating procedures to the essential duties of this position.

Budgetary Responsibility: None.

Personal Interaction/Communication:

  • Student Contact: On a daily basis: receiving requests for instruction and assistance in Archives research.
  • Internal: On a daily basis: receiving requests for instruction and assistance in Archives research.
  • External: On a daily basis: receiving requests for instruction and assistance in Archives research.


Attributes of a Successful Candidate



Master’s degree in archival studies, library science, history, or a related field with an archival concentration or significant coursework in archives.


1-2 years of hands-on archival processing experience; select graduate internships, practicums, or part-time work may be credited towards this experience.

Job-Related Skills:

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Working knowledge of nationally accepted archival standards, tools, and best practices, particularly in the practical application of archival arrangement and description.
  • Working knowledge of basic preservation standards for archival materials: physical care and appropriate housing of archival collections.
  • Working knowledge of ArchivesSpace, or other archival information management systems.
  • An understanding of the basic history, theory, and professional practices relating to materials generally found in archives, including but not limited to manuscripts, digital materials,  maps, prints, photographs, ephemera,  rare books, original artwork, and audiovisual media.


Supplemental Information


Confidential Information:

Faculty and departmental files, correspondence, research materials, personnel activities, records for library patrons, restricted and sensitive archival and manuscript materials.

Working Environment: 

University Archives and Special Collections, normal office environment, some physical maneuvering of boxes, objects, and other sometimes heavy items. Working with older materials may involve exposure to mold.

Staff members are expected to present a professional demeanor and appearance in dealing with all members of the University community and the general public in the performance of duties for this position.

Any additional requirements specific to this position:

  • Must be able to wear an approved mask for prolonged periods while performing job duties and responsibilities. 
  • Employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 subject to an approved medical or religious exemption.


Equal Employment Opportunity:

The University of the South is an equal opportunity educational institution that is committed to creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive campus environment.


University of the South
735 University Avenue

Sewanee, Tennessee, 37383