Job Announcement | Chief Archivist | United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Chief Archivist | United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Monday, 6 September, 2021

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is a federally chartered, nonpartisan institution that was created by the US Congress to serve as America’s national memorial to the victims of the Holocaust and an educational institution dedicated to the history and lessons of the Holocaust. The Museum seeks to educate Americans from all 50 states and all walks of life as well as international audiences. The Museum has three areas of expertise: Holocaust remembrance, Holocaust scholarship and education, and genocide prevention.

In carrying out its important memorial and educational mission, the Museum is guided by its institutional values for our workplace: Honor the memory of the victims; carry out our work with dignity, humility, integrity and respect for others; and strive for excellence through teamwork, rigor, and a culture of continuous learning. Consistent respect for others is the foundation for trust, collegiality and inclusion.

Information about the role

The position is located in the Archival Affairs Branch in the Archival and Curatorial Affairs Division of the National Institute for Holocaust Documentation (NIHD) of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), with a duty location at the David and Fela Shapell Family Collections, Conservation, and Research Center in Bowie, MD.

This is a full-time donated position (non-Federal) paid with the Museum’s private funds. Salary is commensurate with experience.

Duties, and Responsibilities for the role

The primary role of the Chief Archivist is to provide comprehensive archival, cataloging and strategic direction for the branch and the Museum, with an emphasis on description and the orchestration of archival processing and cataloging of incoming collections and accretions, and coordination with other staff to ensure and expand physical and digital access to the Museum's Collection of Record.

Additionally, the Chief Archivist serves as a leader in the international field of Holocaust - related archives and archival access, representing the Museum in coordination with the Archival and Curatorial Affairs Division Director.

Duties include, but are not limited to:    

  • Ensures intellectual control over collections' descriptive data through oversight of archival processing and cataloging as well as development and exchange of metadata attached to collections records to other branches in NIHD, including for incorporation into a Digital Asset Management System.
  • Provides management and policy oversight of the institutional archivist responsible for the retention and disposal of institutional electronic and hard-copy records, according to federal guidelines.
  • Leads the development and implementation of Office-wide practices and policies designed in collaboration with the Archival and Curatorial Affairs Director and Chief Curator, as well as staff from other NIHD divisions and branches to enhance the accessibility of Museum collections by researchers and other patrons.
  • Oversees and reviews answers to archival reference inquiries, in coordination with the Research and Reference Services Division, for other USHMM staff and the public on Museum collections, institutional records, and materials at other institutions.

Minimum Qualifications for the role

  • Bachelor's degree or above in archival science or bachelor's degree or above with a major that includes 18 semester hours in archival or library science, history and/or in political science or government, and 12 semester hours in one or any combination of the following: archival science, history, American civilization, economics, political science, public administration, government, European studies, Area studies, or Cultural studies.
  • Having worked with a Digital Access unit to prioritize and influence digitization efforts and the enhancement of digital finding aids; OR supervising the activities of a team of archivists and catalogers who specialize in various media and subject areas OR developing and implementing archival standards and practices for the organization that meet or exceed the international standards of the archival field.
  • Knowledge of the history of the Holocaust and 20th century Europe as well as at least basic reading knowledge of a central or Eastern European language or Yiddish.
  • A minimum of three years of supervisory experience and work within an archive, museum, memorial or library.

Preferred Qualifications for the role

  • Knowledge of, and skill in arranging and presenting, documentary evidence in order to provide an objective, comprehensive picture of the Holocaust that clearly establishes the relationships and relative values of the many and varied collections of documents involved, alongside the ability to perform extensive research in published sources to fill in significant gaps in the available information relating to the Holocaust, and to use critical judgment in the analysis of the documents to ensure their authenticity.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of object and collection documentation practices in order to oversee accessioning and cataloging.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; and the ability to make presentations and recommendations, and develop material and resources that are clear and concise and convey the appropriate information.
  • Knowledge of, and skill in the use of, leadership practices and human relations concepts in order to supervise a staff within a complex organization;
  • Working knowledge of the German written language in order to be able to appraise and describe the many German language documents and to organize them correctly.
  • Knowledge of, and experience in, research methods and collecting processing and cataloging historical materials related to the Holocaust, including digitization, in order to manage archival collections.
  • Knowledge of current Holocaust historiography and research methods in order to support historical contextualization of proposed acquisitions.
  • Knowledge of, and experience with, the tools and methods of historical research, including in archival, library, and digital settings in order to manage the Branch. 

Please follow this link to apply.

Interested applicants must send their resume and cover letter. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.

*The application deadline for this position is October 1, 2021.