Archivist

 

The Archivist for the Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco, has the unique opportunity of ensuring the good work of the Sisters is known now and into the future. The history is rich, impressive, and well-documented, growing with each passing day.

The Sisters are committed to working for justice and structural change in issues related to women and children; immigrants and culturally diverse communities; the environment; and human rights. Their story includes 167 years of community life as a family of Sisters, lay Associates, and school alumnae.

There is strong institutional support for the Archivist, and an appreciation for making use of best practices in the field. The work environment is collegial, respectful, and cooperative. The Archivist advises the leadership team and other departments, as well as regularly contributing archival information in support of communications.

Job Description

Position Title: Archivist
Reports To: Member of Council Leadership
FSLA Status: Exempt, Full Time 40 hours/week

INTRODUCTION

This position is with the Sisters of the Presentation Archives. The Sisters of the Presentation San Francisco is an Order of Catholic Sisters founded in 1854 serving in ministry to communities around the world. 

  

The records held within the Presentation Archives reflect a segment of the historic contributions Catholic Sisters have made towards the development of educational, social welfare, and spiritual institutions in the United States.  The records reflect a broad historical range of activities from the early development and expansion of Catholic education in San Francisco and parts of the western United States; and their actions for the poor and marginalized both locally and in Latin American missions.  

Significant archival holdings include administrative records since 1854; ledgers of early convent annals, financial records, and registries; photographs and letters of account of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire; materials related to the Sisters’ missions in Latin America since 1966; and oral history interviews with members of the community.

SUMMARY

The Archivist is responsible for accessioning, organizing, preserving, and describing those records and materials which pertain to the origin, history, spirit and growth of the San Francisco community of Presentation Sisters. The primary goal of such efforts is to provide access to resources and reference services to the institution, and for scholarship. 

The Archivist reports to a member of the Leadership Council, and is occasionally required to present to the Council or Board members.  The Archivist actively maintains a professional relationship with the Congregational Secretary, and provides mentorship and collaborates with national and international Sisters of the Presentation affiliates. 

The Archivist provides direction, guidance, and resources to assist with the institution’s records management duties. Particular regard is given to those records created by members of the Council Leadership, the Corporation, and the congregational secretarial offices.  The Records Management Policy originates from the Archives, and the Archivist is responsible for coordinating efforts in its implementation by collaborating with members of the administration. 

The Archivist uses current and emerging information technologies to foster the preservation and use of collections to a wide-ranging audience of users including members of the institution, researchers, alumni, colleagues, and the general public.  

The Archivist must possess excellent time management skills, and have the ability to work independently and impose and meet project deadlines.  They are also expected to be actively involved with archival organizations and keep professionally updated by attending in-service and workshop opportunities, visiting other archives, and reading current professional literature.

QUALIFICATIONS

To successfully fulfill the requirements of this position, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions. 

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Archival Practice 

  • Oversees the development and maintenance of Presentation Archives’ collections which include: AV material, artifacts, artwork, books, manuscripts, photographs, electronic and paper-based records, and digitized images. 
  • Applies standardized practices and the processes for records appraisal, accessioning, and disposition of materials not suitable for preservation. 
  • Applies standard archival practices to ensure efficient retrieval and preservation of collections. 
  • Develops and implements standards for environmental protection and preservation of archival materials, including proper storage systems, security, and basic conservation procedures.   
  • Updates and manages the collection management system, Preservica Starter /Preservica, for long-term digital preservation of and access to legacy and newly accessioned digitized and born digital materials. 
  • Plans for the future preservation of the Archives, preparing collections for the eventual transfer to a permanent home. Approximate target for the beginning of the transfer is estimated to commence in five to seven years, assessed in partnership with the Archivist. 

Management 

  • Updates the Archives Handbook, including sections on policies and procedures, and job descriptions. 
  • Trains and supervises interns and volunteers.   
  • Produce/track monthly archives user statistics. 
  • Plans emergency disaster recovery procedures. 
  • Prepare and/or update physical plant requirements.  
  • Writes reports and business correspondence. 
  • Develops and manages the Archives annual budget. 
  • Searches and applies for grant opportunities to enhance collection and preservation management including disaster preparedness and digitization initiatives.  
  • Regularly provide educational presentations for and consult and collaborate with the San Francisco Leadership Team and Conference of Presentation Sisters (COPS) leadership representatives and archivists to plan for the future of the collections as congregations begin to move towards fulfillment. 

Outreach Services 

  • Develops, implements, and maintains the Oral History Program. 
  • Makes presentations to historical and professional organizations, and promotes and informs others about the history and mission of the Sisters of the Presentation through activities and tours of the archives. 
  • Produces quarterly archives newsletter and continues the Item of the Week campaign that was initiated October 2016. 
  • Provides content for the Presentation Archives web pages. 
  • Participates in the Online Archive of California (OAC) and California Revealed initiatives to increase public visibility for the collections. 
  • Creates archival displays: develop theme, design, select materials, write text, layout, and construction. 
  • Creates memorial and other videos featuring archival materials for use during annual assemblies and other congregational meetings and events. 

Reference Services 

  • Develops, implements, and maintains reference tools to facilitate, promote the use and understanding of collections, resources, and services. 
  • Responds to email, phone, and in-person requests for information and provides access to research materials in the Archives’ collections. 

Records Management

  • Advises Canonical and Corporate staff regarding transfer of records, file management, and archival practices and standards. 
  • Consults with and advises the Congregational Secretary regarding the management of their files and records management responsibilities. 
  • Develops, implements and oversees the creation and management of a new corporate records collection to accession and preserve those records that are required for continuity of the corporation’s business functions, and to be compliant with the legal requirements set forth by the State of California and the United States of America. 
  • Keeps abreast of current records management practices and standards for paper-based and electronic records. 

Other

  • Select and provide archival materials, upon request, to be used in Communications, Development, and Alumnae publications, emails, and other initiatives 

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE 

Required: 

  • A Master’s in Library Science (MLIS) from an institution accredited by the American Library Association (ALA) or Certification from the Academy of Certified Archivists. 
  • At least 2 years of experience working in an archives setting. 
  • Knowledge of records management practices. 

Preferred: 

  • Additional B.A. or M.A. in History or related field. 

Desirable: 

  • Some supervisory experience. 
  • Familiar with Catholic, Women’s, or American history.  
  • Active involvement in professional organizations, publishing, committee work, and delivering presentations to historical societies or groups.

TECHNOLOGICAL SKILLS 

Required: 

  • Skilled in Microsoft applications such as Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Excel. 
  • Familiarity with Apple iMac and MacBook. 
  • Working knowledge in Adobe Acrobat, Photoshop, and digital scanning software.  
  • Experience creating archival finding aids.  

Preferred: 

  • Working knowledge of Encoded Archival Description (EAD).  
  • Experience with publishing archival finding aids on the Online Archive of California (OAC). 

Desirable: 

  • Experience with digital collections and small-scale digitization projects. 
  • Experience using Web and cloud-based technologies, i.e. wikis and other social networking and online collaboration tools and Google Suite. 

PHYSICAL DEMANDS 

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Must have ability to lift boxes weighing up to forty pounds. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Download full Job Description (PDF) 

To Apply

For answers to further questions, please email jobs@pbvmsf.org.