Archivist (SHI)

Posted Date 3 weeks ago(2/23/2018 3:34 PM)
One Sealaska Plaza, suite 300
Other - Operations
Job ID


The mission of the Archives, Library and Collections Program of Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) is to collect and preserve materials that document the history, culture, heritage, and languages of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian people and to make these materials available to the public for educational purposes. SHI collections constitute 3,100 linear feet of archival and historical manuscripts and papers, photographs, and audio and visual recordings, as well as a collection of 500 art and ethnographic objects and a library of 2,500 books (historical and contemporary). The archives include historical documents, manuscripts, and papers of individuals of importance to both the indigenous people of the region and in Alaska history, as well as over 60,000 digital and historic photographs. SHI currently houses more than 5,000 historical and contemporary audio and audiovisual recordings documenting the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian language, culture, and history. Most of these recordings are wholly unique and cannot be found in other libraries, archives, or repositories. These collections come to SHI through donation and purchase on a regular basis, and materials are continuously collected by SHI.


SHI serves the general and academic Native and non-Native community by making its extensive library, archival, and ethnographic collections available to the public for research and educational purposes; hosting public lectures; advising and assisting visiting scholars and researchers; publishing academic essays and books; and having SHI staff present papers at scholarly conferences. SHI has contributed significantly to the documentation of Tlingit oral traditions through major publications and enjoys an ongoing relationship with the University of Washington Press. SHI’s culture and history, language, education, and art programs rely heavily on its library and archival collections in the development of their activities and publications.


Major Responsibilities:

  • Primary responsibility for appraising, accessioning, processing, cataloguing, preserving and describing SHI’s archival collections (manuscripts, photographs, and audio and video recordings) utilizing professional archival procedures and practices.
  • Responsible for developing and managing the SHI archival collections and making these records available and retrievable for public research.
  • Surveys the collection and prioritizes collections for preservation treatment, reformatting, rehousing, and other improvements.
  • Manages a small library of scholarly publications and rare books, makes recommendations for new acquisitions, and maintains electronic catalog records for the archival and book collections in Archon, OCLC Connection (including MARC records), Workflows (SirsiDynix), and the library catalog.
  • Manages ongoing digital preservation projects and advance efforts for metadata documentation of indigenous language recordings working with Native speakers.
  • Develops and manages grants for the physical and digital preservation of collections and other specialized areas to support the work of the SHI Archives and Library.



  1. Arranges the collections; creates, edits, and indexes folder lists and box/container lists; and updates lists and indexes as needed.
  2. Conducts baseline condition surveys, condition assessments, and inventories of collections.
  3. Conducts archival appraisals and reappraisals.
  4. Manages digital collections including audio and visual recordings and photographs; maintains systems for digital preservation of collections.
  5. Processes new accessions and donations.
  6. Rehouses SHI Archival and Manuscript Collections as needed.
  7. Prioritizes materials for preservation treatment, reformatting, rehousing, and other improvements; makes recommendations for treatments.
  8. Carries out pest control and eradication techniques; and recommends suitable environmental conditions for storage and exhibits.
  9. Improves collections management through digital preservation techniques, developing strategies, and installing new systems for the preservation of audio and video recordings and photographs.
  10. Develops metadata documentation and finding aids for archival collections.
  11. Manages SHI’s collections management database (Proficio by Re:discovery Software)
  12. Conducts strategic planning including short-term and long-term preservation planning, disaster plans, etc.
  13. Updates, refines, and develops archival collections management strategies, practices, policies, and procedures for improving the preservation and accessibility of SHI collections while meeting professional standards and best practices.
  14. Trains staff, contractors, interns, etc. on best practices and procedures.
  15. Provides archive and library reference services.
  16. Develops and maintains effective working relationships with Alaska Native clans and communities, agencies, scholars, and the public.
  17. Organizes and analyzes cultural and historical information and materials.
  18. Supervises interns, temporary employees, and contractors on occasion.
  19. Assists Culture and History Director in hosting visiting scholars.
  20. Recommends purchases of equipment, supplies, books, etc.
  21. Provides organizational representation in local, state, or regional organizations and at professional meetings, conferences, and gatherings.
  22. Initiates, develops, and submits grant proposals for Department activities and needs in association with Department Director and SHI Development Director.
  23. Develops and administers budgets, grants, and contracts.
  24. Performs other duties as assigned.



  • Advanced knowledge of the principles, concepts, techniques, and guidelines of professional archival work
  • Professional training in archives management
  • Knowledge of information technologies and techniques of digital preservation
  • Knowledge of library systems and technology appropriate for professional management of a small library
  • Good communication skills
  • Good interpersonal skills and a team player
  • Cross-cultural communication skills
  • Ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously

Spending Authority: As delegated
Other Authority: As delegated


This position’s duties are performed at the Walter Soboleff Building. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, filing cabinets, and fax machines.


While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to talk and listen. This position is very active and requires standing, walking, bending, kneeling, stooping, crouching, and climbing all day. The employee must frequently lift and/or move objects up to 20 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move objects up to 50 pounds.


This is a full-time benefited position working 37.5 hours a week. The standard operating
hours expected for the incumbent is 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Occasional travel may be required for this position.



  • B.A. in Cultural Anthropology or related field
  • Two years of professional archival experience


  • MLS or MLIS with Archives Concentration or related field
  • Three or more years of professional archival experience
  • Knowledge of Northwest Coast cultures and culturally relevant archival practices

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.
SHI employment is “at will.” This means that the employee or SHI may terminate employment at any time and for any reason. Unless specified in writing, no term of employment is expressed or implied for this position.

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