Job Posting: Assistant Archivist, Art Institute of Chicago

07 Jan 2020 11:15 AM | Janet Olson (Administrator)

Position Summary

Reporting to the Archivist, the Assistant Archivist is responsible for facilitating reference and research services to internal and external users, as well as servicing some internal requests for archival research. This position also conducts normal collection processing activities including archival appraisal, basic conservation, and arrangement and creating detailed electronic finding aids in EAD. The Assistant Archivist also contributes to the development of archival programs and publications in support of library outreach activities.

Duties and responsibilities:

  • Appraise, arrange, process, apply basic conservation measures and provide intellectual access to large and small collections.
  • Add accruals to existing collections; evaluate and reorganize existing collections to better facilitate access accordingly.
  • Review and update existing EAD finding aids and encode new finding aids in EAD.
  • Assist in the establishment, organization, creation, and application of metadata for new and existing collections.
  • Assist patrons and researchers in navigating collections on-site and online; respond to telephone, email, Art Institute staff and faculty, and walk-in research inquiries; supervise researchers using archival materials. Fulfill image and photocopy requests; monitor and manage copyright issues associated with research requests; produce and manage rights and reproduction fees and contracts.
  • Maintain and update OPAC MARC records for all Ryerson and Burnham Archives collections; create new item records in OPAC as needed.
  • Maintain and update existing Archives webpages.
  • Assist in appraisal of potential new acquisitions.
  • Digitize collection items when appropriate and develop content for online exhibits, publications, and other uses as required.
  • Monitor and analyze current trends and practices and actively participate in the profession.
  • Assist the Archivist as needed.


  • Graduate degree in Library and Information Science or related field from ALA accredited institution required. Must include minimum of 6 semester credits in formal academic training in archival practice. Must demonstrate proficiency in archival procedures and understanding of archival principals.
  • Accuracy, neatness, reliability, and attention to detail are essential. Must show history of ability to initiate and conclude projects and to work independently.
  • Demonstrated commitment to providing excellent public services in an archival environment within the museum library setting.
  • Experience cataloging in MARC and creating and/or editing finding aids in native EAD (XML) is required.
  • Knowledge of DACS and Dublin Core is required.
  • Working knowledge of CONTENTdm, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Bridge, HTML, CSS and Drupal is preferred. Knowledge of museum operations and/or Chicago and Midwest history, art, design, architecture is preferred.
  • Able to lift 40 pounds.
  • Strong written, oral, and interpersonal skills. Capacity for analytical, detailed work.

Apply at

The Art Institute of Chicago is an equal opportunity, equal access employer fully committed to achieving a diverse and inclusive workplace.

The Art Institute of Chicago, founded in 1879, is a world-renowned art museum housing one of the largest permanent collections in the United States. An encyclopedic museum, the Art Institute collects, preserves, and interprets works in every medium from all cultures and historical periods. With a collection of approximately 300,000 art works and artifacts, the museum has particularly strong holdings in Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting, contemporary art, early 20th century European painting and sculpture, Japanese prints, and photography. The museum’s 2009 addition, the Modern Wing, features the latest in green museum technology and 264,000 square feet dedicated to modern and contemporary art, photography, architecture and design, and new museum education facilities. In addition to displaying its permanent collection, the Art Institute mounts more than 30 special exhibitions per year and features lectures, gallery tours, and special performances on a daily basis

Follow CAA on Twitter or Facebook

© Chicago Area Archivists

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software