University Archivist - Vacancy Announcement

General Statement

The Montana State University (MSU) Library seeks a service-oriented University Archivist and scholar of the American West to lead our Special Collections department. Reporting to the dean of the library and serving as part of the library’s leadership team, the successful candidate will help fulfill MSU’s aspirations as the University of the Yellowstone™by growing our special collections and archives into a world-class resource that reflects the heritage and aspirations of our local community, Montana, and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Special Collections and Archives is the space where Montana State University’s scholarship and the life of the region finds its historical representation, and the library is responsible for preserving and creating possibilities for these cultural memories. The University Archivist is the position that connects these goals through scholarship, teaching, and providing researchers and the public with the materials to ask questions of our history.


Specific duties include: Taking a strategic and creative approach to collecting contemporary content, and building on an existing foundation that includes records reflecting diverse perspectives of campus life; leading, managing, and overseeing the accessioning and processing of University collections and resources in all formats; fostering an interest in Montana and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem through the development of digital resources, programming, and presentations; establishing wide-reaching collaborations that ensure alignment with national and international archival standards and best practices; employing tools and techniques, such as oral history interviews, to fill gaps in the official institutional record; developing a record of research and creative activities, consistent with the tenure and promotion requirements of the Library and Montana State University.


The Montana State University Library is committed to providing and promoting information resources to ensure student and faculty success. Our librarians are faculty and are active on campus and within state, regional, and national library communities. Montana State University welcomes a broad array of experiences and perspectives and is committed to continually supporting, promoting, and building an inclusive and culturally rich campus environment. In support of our campus and library strategic plans, which value diversity in all its dimensions, we enthusiastically encourage members of traditionally underrepresented groups to apply. We seek individuals who work professionally and effectively with diverse individuals, possess effective interpersonal, written and oral communication skills, and have the ability to contribute positively to the academic success of the students and the mission of Montana State University. MSU recognizes the importance of work-life integration and strives to be responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

Duties and Responsibilities

Required Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills

  1. Master’s degree from an American Library Association-accredited graduate program or a terminal degree in a field appropriate to the position.
  2. Five years professional experience in special collections and archival services.
  3. Demonstrated ability to direct the arrangement, description, and processing of archival materials.

Preferred Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills

  1. Advanced degree such as a subject Masters or Ph.D., with a preference for history, literature, cultural, or environmental studies of the American West.
  2. Demonstrated evidence of progressively increasing scope of management responsibility.
  3. Experience in collection building, donor relations, and growing philanthropic support.
  4. Demonstrated instruction and teaching experience applying active learning pedagogy.
  5. Demonstrated ability to market and promote the services, mission, and materials of the special collections.
  6. Demonstrated ability to facilitate the digitization and digital preservation of archival materials.
  7. Demonstrated experience that reflects commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

The Successful Candidate Will

  1. Possess a deep knowledge and interest in the American West.
  2. Develop a focused program of high quality research and creative accomplishments, consistent with professional responsibilities, tenure and promotion requirements, and the Library’s mission and goals.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the uses of technology to enhance the reach and impact of archives and special collections and the efficiency of work within the department.
  4. Show a commitment to professional engagement and collaboration with local, national, and international archival organizations.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to work independently, collegially, and collaboratively with multiple constituencies.
  6. Have excellent interpersonal skills.

The Department 

The MSU Special Collections and Archives is a unique combination of special collections and innovative digital projects. MSU Special Collections and Archives collects, maintains, and makes available the non-current, permanently valuable records of Montana State University along with unique print and manuscript resources pertaining to designated collecting areas such as agriculture, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Trout and Salmonids, Native Americans, and histories of the American West. MSU Special Collections and Archives also conducts work in the emerging archival areas of computational analysis of archives, data services, digital preservation, and digital library development.

The College        

The MSU Library is a dynamic, adaptive, and responsive research library. We aspire to build innovative digital and physical spaces where our diverse communities can access and apply information to grow intellectually, build meaningful collaborations, communicate ideas, and envision a better future for Montana and beyond. We are proud to serve the university and the people of Montana, and we strive to do so while embodying the core values of the profession of librarianship and MSU. Our values reflect how we carry forward our strategic and operational decisions: we aim to build a more informed, thoughtful, and just world while striving to cultivate an environment that supports the potential for finding joy and meaning in our work. The MSU Library has a full range of resources and services for students and faculty, including books and electronic resources, special collections, public computer workstations, printers, scanners, technology-rich group study rooms, quiet study areas, information instruction, data and publication services, and technology and research consultations. The MSU Library has approximately 60 full-time employees, including 18 faculty and 35 staff.

To Apply:

Send Curriculum Vita, Cover Letter, Names and Contact information for 3 references, and a diversity statement to Robin Francis. Review of applicants will begin Oct 30.

Minimum Salary: Salary commensurate with experience, education, and qualifications.

Desired Start Date: Feb 28, 2020 (negotiable)

Position: 12 month, FY, 1.0 FTE Tenure track position