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"The University of Southern California is committed to excellence in teaching through strategies that foster the knowledge, skills, relationships, and values necessary for students to make real contributions in a rapidly changing world. USC is an equitable and diverse research university, and we recognize the many ways inclusivity strengthens our campus community. Our superb faculty have the exceptional responsibilities of creating new knowledge and instructing and guiding our passionate, hardworking student body" –Elizabeth Graddy, Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Accessioning Archivist (#363)

Special Collections Faculty Los Angeles, California


The University of Southern California (USC) Libraries seek an innovative, service-oriented Accessioning Archivist to join the department of Special Collections.  This is a fixed-term, contract librarian position for one year, renewable for up to three years. Reporting to the Head of Special Collections, the Accessioning Archivist will be responsible for guiding the department’s archival processing program by overseeing all aspects of accessioning, archival processing, and cataloging.  This includes ensuring the smooth transfer of materials into Special Collections, accessioning archival collections for immediate availability, and establishing processing plans. Working in close collaboration with the department’s subject specialists and with other primary source repositories within the USC Libraries, the Accessioning Archivist will perform collection surveys, evaluate collections for preservation needs, create accession records and collection-level resource records for purposes of discovery, and process collections more fully when necessary. In consultation with the Head of Special Collections, the Accessioning Archivist will establish and reinforce policies, procedures and best practices for metadata creation in the department and in the Libraries’ other primary source repositories.

We seek candidates motivated by a passion to develop transformative library services, an investment in the future of librarianship, and who are expected to be creative in identifying and solving problems within a collegial and collaborative environment.  The successful candidate must be knowledgeable about current archival theory and practice and be able to apply this understanding to make a significant, positive impact on the USC community. Duties may include weekend and evening hours.


The University of Southern California is one of the world’s leading private research universities. An anchor institution in Los Angeles, a global center for arts, technology, and international business, USC’s diverse curricular offerings provide extensive opportunities for interdisciplinary study, and collaboration with leading researchers in highly advanced learning environments. With a strong tradition of integrating liberal and professional education, USC fosters a vibrant culture of public service and encourages students to cross academic as well as geographic boundaries in their pursuit of knowledge. For more information, visit


The USC Libraries support the discovery, creation, organization, dissemination, and preservation of knowledge. We develop and deliver collections, services, and programs that support and encourage the academic, research, clinical, and creative endeavors of our community; cultivate an inclusive community of intellectually curious, critical thinkers; and help develop engaged, informed global citizens. Through these means, we participate in the continuing success of the University of Southern California as a private, global research institution committed to the greater, public good.

The USC Libraries, with an operating budget of approximately $42 million, comprise Doheny Memorial Library and many specialized libraries, including the Health Sciences Libraries. Among our libraries’ collecting strengths are the areas of our Collections Convergence Initiative: The Holocaust and genocide and exile studies; the history of Los Angeles and Southern California; LGBTQ history and culture, particularly relating to West Coast activities and activism, East Asian languages and cultures and Asian American history in the United States; and cinema, music, and the production of popular cultures. Library faculty and staff throughout the organization – committed to core values of inquiry, ingenuity, integrity, and inclusiveness – work to advance consequential engagement with our academic and arts communities. For more information on how our libraries support critical, creative, and ethical habits of mind at USC, visit


The Department of Special Collections supports and makes accessible the library’s rare books, historic photographs, and more than 1000 subject archival collections. Our purpose is to collect, preserve, promote and foster access to primary source material to USC students and faculty and outside researchers in our main areas of strength: American literature; Lewis Carroll and Alice in Wonderland; Lion Feuchtwanger and the European exiles of the 20th century in Southern California; Latin American and Iberian Studies; natural history; Shoah Foundation video oral histories; Southern California regional history; and USC history. For more information, visit:


Reporting to the Head of Special Collections, the Accessioning Archivist will:

  • Accession all incoming archival materials
  • Manage physical and/or electronic transfer of all incoming archival materials
  • Create and maintain accession records for all new acquisitions and donations in ArchivesSpace in accordance with established national and local practices
  • Create collection level MARC records for WorldCat and the Libraries’ online catalog
  • In consultation with the Head of Special Collections and the department’s subject specialists establish processing priorities
  • Develop, implement and reinforce policies, procedures and best practices for metadata creation and for collections maintenance in the department and in the Libraries’ other primary source repositories
  • Work with librarians and staff in the Libraries’ other primary source repositories to ensure timely access to newly acquired archival materials by those repositories
  • Manage the Libraries’ instance of ArchivesSpace
  • Gather statistics relevant to the processing, use and maintenance of archival collections
  • Participate in departmental reference and instructional services.


Minimum qualifications: MLS from an ALA-accredited program or non-U.S. equivalent is typically required for a librarian appointment at USC. In addition, candidates must provide examples of:

  • Experience arranging, describing and managing manuscript and/or archival collections in a variety of formats
  • Experience managing projects in a library and/or archive
  • Demonstrated knowledge of ArchivesSpace
  • Demonstrated knowledge of current national content, and structure standards related to the archival control of materials, including MARC, EAD, and DACS.

Desirable qualifications:

  • Experience teaching, and developing teaching or training materials
  • Supervisory experience
  • Knowledge of linked data
  • Familiarity with Aeon
  • Experience accessioning electronic and born digital records
  • Engagement in professional and/or subject discipline organizations, research, or publishing that will have a significant, positive impact on the provision of service to the USC Libraries.


Rank: Contract Librarian

This position is a full-time, fixed-term, non-continuing appointment on a one-year contract, renewable up to three years, as needed. Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications.


Benefits include a choice of retirement programs, 22 paid vacation days per year, university holidays, a choice of medical and dental plans, and tuition assistance (for employees and eligible dependents).  For more information about benefits see:


As part of the application, candidates must upload the following documents (PDF format): 1) a cover letter, 2) a curriculum vitae (including telephone and e-mail address), 3) a list of at least three references that includes the name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address for each referee, and 4) a statement on fostering an environment of diversity and inclusion (no longer than one page in length).

Closing date for applications: open until filled.

For more information about this position, contact Dr. Susan Luftschein, Chair of the Search committee, at  

USC is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law or USC policy.

We provide reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. Applicants with questions about access or requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process should contact USC Human Resources by phone at (213) 821-8100, or by email at Inquiries will be treated as confidential to the extent permitted by law.

USC will consider for employment all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring ordinance.

REQ20084112 Posted Date: 12/20/2019

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