Job Posting: Johanna Meijer Magoon Principal Archivist, Bentley Historical Library

The Michigan Historical Collections is the University of Michigan’s archive of Michigan history. The archivist is responsible for developing the holdings of the MHC to meet the needs of historians and other researchers, now and in the future.

Collecting goals are set in a general way by the entire staff of the library through periodic collection development meetings. The archivist will organize and lead the collection development meetings and develop policies and procedures as needed to carry out the collecting goals.

Within the general goals set by the staff, the archivist will develop more specific priorities, identify opportunities and collecting prospects, approach prospective donors (often visiting them at their homes or offices), help them understand the research value of their archives and the benefits of placing the collection at the Bentley Historical Library, negotiate terms of the donation (with input from other archivists or the University attorneys if necessary), select and appraise collections in the field, pack, load and transport collections from donor’s locations to the library (or less often supervise professional movers), record important information about collections and donors in accession records and donor files, and work with processors to be sure the collections are processed efficiently and effectively.

Because many collections require years of discussion before the gift is completed, the archivist is responsible for keeping records of past contacts with prospective donors and keeping in touch with prospects over time.

Many collections contain digital material. The archivist will coordinate with the library’s Digital Curation staff to assure that digital collections are properly acquired and preserved, and that donors understand the processes involved in working with digital collections.

The archivist is a continuing point of contact at the library for donors with questions about their collections, and represents the library by active participation in Michigan historical and archival organizations and through outreach to community groups.

The archivist selects and purchases books and serials for the library’s collection. This includes both current publications and antiquarian materials.

To apply, go to, search for job number 91566; send a letter of application addressing your qualifications for the position, a CV, and contact information for three current, professional references. 

Position closes January 31, 2014. 


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