African American History Archivist


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About this position

The Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS) is pleased to announce a search for the position of African American History Archivist.

The African American Archives of the Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS) was established in 1970. Its purpose is to collect, preserve and make accessible historic documents, photographs, memorabilia, art, and artifacts pertaining to African American life, history and culture in Northeast Ohio. The collection includes manuscripts, photographs, microfilm, and newspaper collections. Museum artifacts are specific to the African American experience and cover a wide range of topics and categories of primary importance to the body of Black history.

Western Reserve Historical Society gratefully acknowledges The George Gund Foundation, The Booker Tall Endowment Fund, The George L Forbes Endowment Fund, The Margaret R Barron Scholarship Fund, and the United Black Fund for their support of our African American History initiatives.

RESPONSIBILITY: Responsible to the Acting Library Director for the assessment, accessioning, inventorying, arrangement, description, processing, preservation of manuscripts, creation of finding aids, and maintaining donor relationships.

CLASSIFICATION: This position is classified as full-time, professional and is exempt with regards to overtime compensation.

1. Coordinates with associated WRHS endeavors for library and archival projects, including exhibitions, public programs, special events, educational programs, and as otherwise needed.
2. Maintains associations with a variety of professional organizations to remain current on professional standards and matters in the archives field as well as promote WRHS and its interests

SUPERVISION: Occasionally supervises interns and volunteers.


1. Supports WRHS’s strategic and operational priorities
2. Arranges, processes, and preserves collections in accordance with accepted professional standards and practices, including understanding and implementation of DACS and EAD
3. Describes collections accurately and appropriately in accompanying finding aids including using Encoded Archival Description for online finding aids.
4. Maintains professional standards for work environment and records of collections – including confidentiality, deed of gifts, stewardship, processing, storage, et cetera.
5. Supports and contributes ideas, content, and other information to the WRHS’s marketing and communication strategy
6. Collaborates with WRHS Cataloging, IT Systems Manager and Archives Team to insure accurate and timely entry of archival collection data into the WRHS Collection Management System and with OCLC.
7. Participates in development and implementation of policies and standards for the archives
8. Occasional travel, evening and weekend hours will be necessary to accommodate WRHS operations
9. Undertakes other duties as assigned by the Acting Library Director.


1. Education: Master’s degree in library science (MLIS) with an emphasis on archival processing and management preferred. Bachelor’s degree in history or related field.
2. Experience: Two years of archival processing experience, EAD understanding, and knowledge of MPLP required.
3. Outstanding analytical, organizational, project, and time management skills and the ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously.
4. Evidence of active membership, participation, and involvement in professional and scholarly associations related to archives and/or libraries or willingness to join such organization(s).
5. Ability to be proactive, flexible, and collaborative in order to accomplish library and institutional goals.
6. Demonstrated proficiency and capability with information technology systems in the context of a special collections library and archival program.
7. Experience with legal and ethical standards associated with archival and manuscript collections.
8. Excellent written, verbal skills and strong interpersonal skills.
9. Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, access, and inclusion.

SALARY RANGE: $45,000 - $50,000/year

If interested in applying, please email your cover letter and resume to Jennifer Dukes, Human Resources Manager at

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Western Reserve Historical Society is the oldest cultural institution in Northeast Ohio, the region's largest American history research center, and one of the leading genealogical research centers in the nation.

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Cleveland History Center
10825 East Boulevard
Cleveland, Ohio 44106 ↗

(216) 721-5722

Thursday: 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Friday, Saturday, & Sunday: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm