Project Archivist, James M. Buchanan Papers

Virginia, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Nov 05, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Project Archivist, James M. Buchanan Papers


The George Mason University Libraries seek to fill the faculty position of Project Archivist, James M. Buchanan Papers, in the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) for the two-year National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant: Preserving the Legacy of James M. Buchanan. George Mason University has a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty and staff, and strongly encourages candidates to apply who will enrich Mason’s academic and culturally inclusive environment.


The Special Collections Research Center is the unit within George Mason University Libraries charged with acquiring, documenting, preserving, and providing access to primary research collections and documents, and is responsible for the retention and disposal of non-permanent university records through the University Records Management Program. SCRC also manages the permanent archival records of George Mason University; is responsible for the administration of, and preservation and access to, the University’s theses and dissertations; and undertakes through its Oral History program, the creation of audiovisual documentary resources. SCRC also adds value to its holdings through selective digitization, interpretive exhibitions, instruction, records management and other workshops, and educational programming.



The Project Archivist, James M. Buchanan Papers, supports Special Collections Research Center goals in the areas of processing and providing access to the James M. Buchanan papers, a 282 linear foot collection of manuscript material created during the career of Nobel Prize and National Medal for the Humanities-winning economist James McGill Buchanan. Specifically, the Project Archivist, James M. Buchanan Papers, will perform complex and specialized duties as follows: apply current best practices to managing archival processing projects; survey the collection; create a processing plan; arrange and describe the collection; complete a collection record using ArchivesSpace; create an EAD-encoded finding aid for the collection; hire and train graduate and undergraduate-level student assistants to aid in processing tasks; initiate and respond to complex communications in carrying out daily operations of functional area in person, in writing, via telephone, video communication, e-mail, and social media tools; and participate within SCRC in working groups and committees as appropriate.



  • The Project Archivist will have overall responsibility for successful grant project completion and responsibility for overseeing part-time graduate and undergraduate student assistants, while reporting to the Manuscripts and Archives Librarian, and consulting with the Director, SCRC;
  • Responsible for all steps in life-cycle of a processing project, including: surveying and developing the processing plan for the James M. Buchanan collection and, in conjunction with the Manuscripts and Archives Librarian, ensuring that processing standards and expectations are met; arranging and describing the collection and supervising graduate and undergraduate students to assist in these tasks; creating an ArchivesSpace record and EAD-encoded finding aid for the collection; and assisting in writing NEH grant reports;
  • Assures appropriate handling, physical housing, and storage of collection materials; identifies and refers items as necessary for preservation;
  • Reports statistics throughout the year and in the annual report. These statistics include data on linear feet processed and any other information pertinent for reporting purposes;
  • Participates in outreach and curatorial activities, which may include reference and research consultation, instruction, exhibits, publications, and programs related to the James B. Buchanan Papers; and
  • Participates in the professional life of the Libraries and the University.


Required Qualifications:

  • ALA-accredited Master’s Degree in Library or Information Science with archives concentration, OR certification in archives combined with graduate degree in history; OR related discipline an equivalent certified foreign degree;
  • Experience in archival processing (appraisal, arrangement and description);
  • Experience with multiple formats, including textual, visual, audio, both analog and digital;
  • Familiarity with DACS and EAD;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of current archival theory, practice, and standards;
  • Ability to build collaborative and mutually beneficial working relationships with people of varying backgrounds;
  • Ability to thrive in a team-based environment and work collaboratively;
  • Demonstrated commitment to professional development and growth; and
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in special collections environment in a university setting;
  • Experience managing students and/or staff;
  • Project management experience;
  • Experience processing large archival collections;
  • Familiarity with preservation and conservation issues and practices; and
  • Familiarity with ArchivesSpace collections management software, LCSH, LCTGM.


Appointment/Benefits/To Apply:

The Project Archivist is a 12-month professional faculty appointment without rank; health plan options and paid life insurance; several retirement plans, including TIAA-CREF; 24 vacation days and 12 paid holidays; and tuition waiver for self.


For full consideration, applications for this position (FA29Hz) MUST be submitted online at George Mason’s employment page ( Applicants must submit letter of application, resume, and the names, addresses (including e-mail) and phone numbers of three current references. Questions should be directed to Renee Prokop (, Human Resources Coordinator, Office of the Dean of Libraries. Review of applications will begin December 7, 2020.


The George Mason University library system, comprised of a large central library and three other distinctive libraries, is located on three campuses in the Northern Virginia-metropolitan Washington, D.C., region. One of Virginia’s leading academic research libraries, the Mason Libraries continues to gain steadily in national stature as it has transformed in all areas that are key to a 21st century research library—innovative technologies and services, expert library faculty and skilled staff members, extensive digital collections, publishing, modern facilities, and transformational engagements and partnerships. Visit us at for more information.


George Mason University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, committed to promoting inclusion and equity in its community. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or veteran status, or any characteristic protected by law.