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Friday, August 7, 2015

F/T - Brooklyn Historical Society Oral History Project Archivist (Brooklyn)

Brooklyn Historical Society seeks an Oral History Project Archivist to process and describe ten oral history collections.  Reporting to the Managing Director of Library & Archives and working closely with the Oral Historian, the successful candidate will be responsible for processing and describing the Voices of Generations: Investigating Brooklyn’s Cultural Identity oral history collections according to established project procedures and best practices for in-house and online access.  Voices presents not only historical evidence about the lives of twentieth-century century Brooklyn residents, but also reveals changes in how history is documented and how cultural identities are defined in a diverse and complex American community over many generations, and through periods of demographic change. The collections demonstrate how these communities sought to preserve vital social, political, religious, and even culinary traditions while embracing new identities as Brooklynites, New Yorkers, and Americans.

Using Archivist’s Toolkit (AT) to create EAD finding aids according the standards set forth in BHS’s oral history and archival processing manuals, the Archivist will be responsible for exporting that descriptive record from AT to online access tools. Each interview will be described at the interview-level within AT using archival standards for description and subject access and indexed and synced using the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS).  The archivist will also be responsible for updating and maintaining procedures and policies; providing information for periodic reports to our funder; supervision of two oral history interns; and support reference services during the library’s open hours, including at least 1Saturday per quarter.
  • Perform due diligence in rights-assessment: review release forms, research and contact narrators to update permissions.
  • Audit audio recordings, review transcripts, and create index logs of interviews.
  • Complete online synchronization of audio recordings to transcripts/indices using Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS) tool.
  • Contribute to BHS’s blog.
  • Supervision of interns including quality check of description and auditing. 
  • Masters in Library and Information Science, or equivalent degree, with a specialization in archival studies and completion of a library cataloging course.
  • Previous experience working with CMS and ILS systems; familiarity with WordPress content management systems; experience specifically with Archivists’ Toolkit.
  • Familiarity with MARC and EAD; AACR2 and DACS; and with the use and application of standardized vocabularies.
  • Experience working with digital assets, specifically audio and video.
  • Ability to lift, bend, and reach boxes or volumes weighing up to 40 lbs. and work in library stacks in cold temperatures (60-65 degrees Fahrenheit) for up to an eight-hour workday, five days a week.
  • Strong organization and time-management skills; attention to accuracy and detail is essential.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work as both independently and as part of a team and ensure that work is accomplished in a timely and accurate manner
  • Familiarity with new archival and digital humanities technology such as OHMS (training provided).
  • Supervisory experience, either within an archive or another work setting.
Preferred qualifications
  • 2-3 years post-MLS archival processing and description experience, including an understanding of pragmatic and efficient processing procedures.
  • Familiarity and/or interest in histories of Brooklyn neighborhoods, New York City, immigration, ethnic communities, public health, and/or racial and social justice.
  • Experience instructing students on the use of primary resources within a classroom setting.
  • Knowledge of oral history best practices; familiarity with OHMS.
Dependent upon qualifications and experience; benefits include medical and dental coverage.  BHS staff ID grants free entrance to museums around New York City. Position is an 18-month, grant-funded position.
To Apply
Please email a cover letter, resume, and salary requirement to with a subject line of Oral History Processing Archivist [last name].  Applications will be reviewed immediately.  No phone calls please. 
About Voices of Generations: Investigating Brooklyn’s Cultural Identity
Brooklyn Historical Society’s Voices of Generations: Investigating Brooklyn’s Cultural Identity is a project to digitize, process, and catalogue ten oral history collections that document different ethnic and cultural groups in Brooklyn. Some of these collections date back as early as 1973; and they all demonstrate how diverse communities sought to preserve vital social, political, religious, and even culinary traditions while embracing new identities as Brooklynites, New Yorkers, and Americans. 
The chief goals of the project are to digitize and process the collections, catalogue them through item-level descriptions as well as collection-level finding aids, and post as many as possible online using the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS)—an innovative online application that makes the content of interviews searchable, and therefore more accessible. A final goal of the project is to use each collection as the basis for increased community and public engagement through outreach, social media, online publishing, and programming. 
For more information on our oral history collections, visit
About Brooklyn Historical Society
Founded in 1863, Brooklyn Historical Society is a nationally-recognized urban history center dedicated to preserving and encouraging the study of Brooklyn's extraordinary and complex history. BHS is a vibrant museum, a world-renowned research library, a cutting-edge education center, and a hub for community dialogue. Located in a landmark 1881 building designed by architect George Browne Post, BHS welcomes both residents and visitors from around the world to learn about Brooklyn’s past, present, and future.

Brooklyn Historical Society is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer.
Brooklyn Historical Society is dedicated to a policy of non-discrimination in employment on any basis including race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, the presence of any mental, physical, or sensory disability, sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by federal or state law.