Archivist at the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission – Harrisburg, PA

This is an entry-level limited-term Archivist position with the State Archives Division, and the incumbent will be responsible for an inventory and boxing project at the Pennsylvania State Archives that will preserve the collections and prepare them to be safely moved to a new archival facility.  The incumbent will also be responsible for assisting in the re-evaluation and archival processing of over 500 manuscript groups in the State Archives’ holdings.

May need to work occasional Saturdays. 


The incumbent will verify the current inventory of each storage space within the Archives and box loose volumes and re-box records into archival containers which are currently housed within storage containers of poor condition.  The incumbent will use computer software to correct and make updates to the Archives finding aids as part of the process of verifying the accuracy of the collection management systems.   The incumbent will also assist with the re-appraisal, arrangement and description of the Archives’ large manuscript group collection.

This incumbent will be responsible for the following duties:
  • For the inventory verification, review the record label for each container stored in each slot within archival storage and compare the label with the electronic archival inventory that lists the contents for each slot.  The incumbent will place a physical barcode label on each container, as well as ensure the corresponding barcode number is input into the electronic inventory.  For containers with labels that do not match, the incumbent will make updates and changes to the electronic archival inventory database.
  • For the boxing and re-boxing work, follow proper archival handling techniques to place all loose volumes into boxes, update the inventory sheet to note change of container and update new locations when applicable.  The incumbent will also review existing containers and replace those in poor condition with new acid-free storage containers to provide archival quality protection during and after the move.  After placing archival materials into new containers, the incumbent will place handwritten temporary label information on the container, verifying each re-housed item with the tower inventory sheet noting any changes to location and/or update contents of container as needed.
  • Work carefully to execute the inventory and boxing tasks for each area of archival storage to ensure preservation of the materials.  The incumbent will also make updates to the SQL database which houses the archival inventory and add barcode information and corrections to the Archives web-based finding aids.
  • For the archival processing work, arrange accessioned records in accordance with accepted archival principles. Analyze the provenance of the records and determine existing file patterns. This will include examining accession records, pertinent donor information, and the records themselves. Makes appropriate decisions regarding creating and maintaining records series and subgroups.
  • Describe records in accordance with accepted archival principles and standards. Using appropriate software technology, prepare various types of finding aids and inventories to be used by staff and patrons, such as box listings, series descriptions, collection scope and content notes, and administrative histories.  Participate in the preservation and basic conservation of archival materials.
  • Convert previous descriptive finding aids to current web-based finding aid, and upload to the Archives’ page on the PHMC website when applicable. Make corrections to these files as needed and maintain and update these electronic files as necessary.
  • Participate in reference services to on-site visitors in the State Archives public research areas, including acquainting patrons with overall holdings, finding aids, and related source materials; familiarizing users with Search Room rules, procedures and equipment. Register and update visitors and maintain security while records are being used.
  • Incumbent also performs other related duties as assigned by the Bureau Director, Division Chief, or Section Head.
  • Incumbent is responsible to be familiar with PHMC general safety rules and safety rules specific to this position; for working in a safe manner and following all PHMC safety rules; to immediately report all workplace injuries or incidents to the supervisor; and to immediately correct any safety hazards in the work area or report same to supervisor.
  • The incumbent works independently within the parameters of the job description; however, defers all decision-making to the supervisor when issues or concerns arise.

Essential Functions: 
1. Communicates both orally and in writing
2. Operates a computer and computer software programs
3. Files in alphabetical and numeric order
4. Performs basic math computations
5. Transports 40 pound containers
6. Operates standard office equipment
7. Operates moving equipment


A master’s degree in archival science, history, library information science, or information science that includes six credits in archival science.

PA Residency
Pennsylvania residency is waived.

Work hours: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Recruitment Method(s):
Applicants must meet one (or more) of the following methods to be considered for this vacancy:

  • Reassignment
  • Transfer
  • Voluntary Demotion
  • Reinstatement

Be eligible for selection in accordance with civil service rules.

Selection Criteria

  1. Minimum experience and training required for the job.
  2. Meritorious service; defined as (a) the absence of any discipline above the level of written reprimand during the 24 months preceding the closing date of the posting, and (b) the last due overall regular or probationary performance evaluation was satisfactory or higher.

How to Apply
The following materials must be submitted with the online application by 3.15.2019:

  1. Most Recent Employee Performance Review
  2. A resume which reflects work history and education

Failure to comply with the above application requirements will eliminate you from consideration for this position.


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