University Archivist

University Archivist

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America's Best Employers By State in 2021.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

COVID-19 vaccination is a requirement for all positions at the University of Pennsylvania. New hires are expected to be fully vaccinated before beginning work at the University. For more information about Penn's vaccine requirements and the use of Penn Open Pass, visit the Penn COVID-19 Response website for the latest information.

Posted Job Title
University Archivist

Job Profile Title
Director E

Job Description Summary
Reporting to the AUL Director of Special Collections Rare Books and Manuscripts with a dotted line to the Vice-Provost and Director of Libraries, the University Archivist creates policy for and oversees all operations (acquisition, retention, disposal, preservation, and access to records) of the University Archives and Records Center (UARC), outreach initiatives and a fundraising program. The University Archivist is responsible for the University of Pennsylvania's institutional archives program to collect, preserve and make accessible materials of historical value. The University Archivist is the chief administrator for the Archives that serves scholars interested in the history of the University, institutions of higher learning in the United States, American intellectual life, and the Philadelphia community in which the University lives. In addition to the University's administrative records, the University Archivist is the senior curator of the University's program to collect the personal and professional papers, both print and born digital of University officers, faculty, students, alumni, and benefactors and the papers of individuals and organizations where the subject matter of the collection is particularly relevant to University history. As the information ecosystem evolves and the realm of archives and collecting shifts, the University Archivist will also be responsible for identifying new avenues and technologies for storing records of significance that include in addition to born digital materials, collections in other mediums, audiovisual collections, computer emulation, mapping the systems ecosystem and utilizes open-source technologies when/where available. The University Archivist plays a prominent role in Penn Libraries leadership while working to integrate the work of UARC in that of Penn Libraries and building partnerships with stakeholders across Penn's campus, while actively contributing to the Society of American Archivists and contributing to the local, national and global archival community.

Job Description


The University Archivist is responsible for the University of Pennsylvania's institutional archives program to collect, preserve and make accessible materials of historical value. The duties of this position include:
  • As a member of the Vice-Provost and Director of Libraries' Administrative Council, participates in the development of a collective vision for the future of the Penn Libraries that is consistent with the mission and strategic vision of the University and that responds to the changing information needs of the Penn community; Works closely with the AUL - Director of Rare books and Manuscripts and with the Vice Provost and Director of Libraries in system-wide planning, policy development, resource allocation, personnel, collections, technology, fundraising, programmatic events and academic engagement.
  • The University Archivist makes final decisions on the permanent retention of university records designated for destruction by the departments of origin; makes final decisions on the donation, acquisition and purchase of collections, signing deeds of gift with the donors; grants permissions for reproduction rights for copyrighted material of the estate of Loren C. Eiseley (donated to the UA); works with a number of alumni groups and classes on topics and projects related to Penn or West Philadelphia history; supervises the staff of the UA; approves all paid time off request for monthly paid staff at UA; prepares the budgets and planning for the UA.
  • The University Archivist plays a prominent role in Penn Libraries leadership while working to integrate the work of UARC in that of Penn Libraries and building partnerships with stakeholders across Penn's campus, while actively contributing to the Society of American Archivists and contributing to the local, national and global archival community.
  • The University Archivist is responsible for long-range planning, works closely with the Penn Libraries CFO and the Vice Provost in the preparation and administration of departmental budgets, and hiring, training and supervising of departmental staff.
  • The University Archivist is accountable for the successful performance of all departmental services: records management, development of archival collections, cataloguing and other technical services, access, and other public services.
  • The UA shall review and have decision making power over University records which may be offered to or found in any of the multiple archival repositories at the University. He or she shall establish intellectual access to all such repositories through the maintenance of shared collection catalogues and finding aids.
  • The University Archivist, in accordance with prevailing collections and access policies, shall be responsible for the appraisal of inactive University records for their historical significance. The Director shall determine which such materials shall be permanently retained by the Archives, shall grant and limit access to the collections and shall establish and administer other public service policies and procedures as necessary. Historically significant records transferred to the University Archives for permanent retention shall become the property of the University Archives.
  • Perform additional duties as assigned.


The ideal candidate will hold a Master's degree in library/information science with a concentration in archives, or equivalent and an impressive record of intellectual and scholarly achievement. In addition, they should bring strong leadership skills and administrative experience to the role. Other desired qualities for the next University Archivist include:
  • Strong public speaking skills;
  • A cutting-edge perspective on digital technology within libraries and archives;
  • A high degree of comfort in building relationships with internal and external partners;
  • Experience mentoring and developing a talented staff; and
  • A demonstrated commitment to creating and maintaining a diverse workplace in which all are welcome and all can thrive.
  • Awareness of best practices, trends, special collections, and records management, including a focus on digital and born-digital records.

Application Requirement:

A Cover Letter and Resume/CV are required to be considered for this position. Please upload your Cover Letter where it asks you to upload your Resume/CV; multiple documents are allowed. All inquiries, nominations and applications are invited. Interested candidates should submit confidentially, in electronic form (Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF files preferred), a curriculum vitae and letter of interest to

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
University Library

Pay Range
$110,850.00 - $174,270.66

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits
  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family-whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement-and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

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