Processing Archivist, Kheel Center

Job offer

Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.


Cornell requires that all faculty and staff members, regardless of their work location, disclose their vaccination status, and provide proof of vaccination if vaccinated, immediately upon hire.




The Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation & Archives at Cornell University is seeking a Processing Archivist.


We are looking for someone who understands the key role technical services play in the discoverability and use of archives by diverse research communities. While we want you to have some processing knowledge and skills, it is also important that you bring a curiosity about changing technical standards and tools, a commitment to inclusive and reparative description, and a desire to help build an equitable and anti-racist community.


Reporting to the Technical Services Archivist, you will be a contributing member of a team of library workers responsible for preparing rare and distinctive collections pertaining to the history of the workplace and labor relations for research use. You will participate in processing incoming collections in all formats, creating and enhancing online descriptive guides using ArchivesSpace, supporting digital initiatives, and overseeing student assistants. In its seventh decade, the Kheel Center is at an exciting historical point with virtually no backlog, implementation of a new collection management system, and opportunities for collaboration across the library.


If this position sounds good to you, don’t hesitate to apply! At Cornell University Library, we work together to solve problems, develop new skills, and support each another's work: we're looking for someone who wants to learn and grow alongside us.


Duties and responsibilities:

  • Arranges, describes, and preserves archival collections in all formats

  • Supervises student assistants working on processing archival collections and digital projects

  • Working in a team, participates in the maintenance of processing manuals, identification of workflow improvements, and collection documentation in ArchivesSpace

  • In consultation with technical services colleagues, assists in rehousing and shifting materials

  • Collaborates with technical services colleagues on digitization projects

  • Participates in unit-wide meetings and planning; other duties as assigned


Key Opportunities:

  • Mentorship expanding your knowledge of and experience with archival processing

  • Mentorship supporting your career goals and your sense of belonging in the profession

  • Support for continuing education and scholarship in the field of archival studies

  • Assist with public programing and social media posts relating to collections processed


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree from an accredited institution received prior to date of hire

  • Experience processing physical collections in established archives,

    • This includes internships/volunteering/etc; have you arranged and/or described historical materials? Then this is you!

  • General understanding of the principles of arrangement and description of archival collections; such as the uses of DACS, EAD, Dublin Core, and current archival best practices and standards

  • Interest in or knowledge of the ways minoritized groups have been marginalized or removed from the historic record through archival description and metadata creation

  • Interest in or knowledge of best practices for processing born-digital collections

  • Interest in or knowledge of descriptive metadata standards for digital collections

  • Interest in and/or aptitude for learning new metadata standards and new technologies

  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate and communicate in a team environment

    • This includes group projects, successful team work, etc.

  • Commitment to professional growth, and awareness of or engagement with new and emerging conversations around archives, cultural heritage, and public history

  • Ability and willingness to routinely lift 20 – 40 lb. archival boxes

  • Ability to synthesize and summarize information in clear and concise language for use in collection description

  • Experience and/or interest in contributing to an environment of diversity, equity, and inclusion


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in the field of Library or Information Science from ALA-accredited institution, with focus on archival studies

  • Experience with ArchivesSpace

  • Knowledge of data manipulation programs, such as Open Refine and Excel; and database software, such as Access; comfort with working with large amounts of human generated metadata for ingest into content management systems

  • Experience processing and describing born-digital collections

  • Knowledge of United States labor history and social history or related fields


Diversity and Inclusion:

Cornell University Library embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented identities to apply.


Cornell University Library is a member of the ACRL Diversity Alliance, which unites academic libraries who are committed to increasing the hiring pipeline of qualified and talented individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.



Our comprehensive benefits package includes 22 vacation days, 13 paid holidays, health insurance, life insurance, university retirement contributions, childcare and adoption assistance, and child tuition reimbursement. Funding is available to support professional training and research. More information regarding Cornell’s generous Contract College benefits can be found at The anticipated academic rank for this position is Assistant Archivist, with an anticipated salary range of $52,500-$55,000.


Relocation assistance may be provided.


Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.


The safety and well-being of applicants and our team members is of the utmost importance. Decisions about whether to conduct virtual or in-person interviews with qualified candidates will be communicated as we move into the interview stage.


This position is located in Ithaca, New York. The successful applicant will be expected to work on the Ithaca campus, although they may be permitted to perform a portion of their work remotely. The New York Convenience of employer guidelines require New York State individual tax reporting and withholdings for this position. Additional individual state income tax filings may also be required if working temporarily outside New York State.


How to Apply:

All candidates must apply online via the Cornell Careers site. Incoming applications will be reviewed until a viable pool of applicants is identified; submission prior to October 31, 2021 is strongly encouraged. Although we prefer to receive your application as one, multi-page pdf document, we will accept multiple documents in other formats. We ask that you include the following information in your application:


1. A cover letter;


2. A Curriculum Vitae;


3. A Statement of “Contribution to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” which may be incorporated into the cover letter OR presented as a separate statement. Candidates are invited to describe past, present, and/or future aspirations for promoting equity, inclusion, and diversity in their careers as researchers and educators, and/or to convey how they see these commitments continuing at Cornell. Such articulation may focus on teaching, research, or service, or all three factors.


4. The names, phone numbers, and addresses for three references.



One of the leading academic research libraries in the United States, Cornell University Library is a highly valued partner in teaching, research, and learning at the university. With an operating budget of over $58 million and a diverse and innovative staff of close to 400, the Library provides significant collaborative opportunities in support of 2,700 faculty, 24,000 students and 94 PhD fields. Its world class collections, expert librarians, and responsive services in physical and virtual library spaces inspire and nourish scholarship and learning.


The Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives is the foremost archive in the country for labor and management resources. It is located in the Martin P. Catherwood Library in Cornell University’s ILR School, the most comprehensive resource on labor and employment in North America. Catherwood Library is a service-oriented organization, offering expert research support through reference services, instruction, online guides, and access to premier collections


The Ithaca campus sits on 2,300 acres in the heart of the Finger Lakes region. Ithaca, located roughly halfway between Manhattan and Toronto, offers a wealth of cultural activities while maintaining an eclectic college-town feel. Outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of rolling hills, breathtaking gorges, hiking trails, and lakes offering countless outdoor activities. The city has been named one of the top 100 places to live, a top 10 recreation city, a best green place to live, and one of the “foodiest” towns in America.


University Job Title:

Assistant Archivist

Job Family:

Library - Academic



Pay Rate Type:



Contact Name:

Bonnie Bailey

Number of Openings:



Job Titles and Pay Ranges:

To learn more about Cornell’s non-union staff job titles and pay ranges, see Career Navigator. The final rate of pay for the successful candidate will be determined considering the following criteria:

  • Prior relevant work or industry experience.

  • Education level to the extent education is relevant to the position.

  • Unique applicable skills.


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Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.