Incandescent Love, courtesy of the NFI Hungary Film Archive and the Association of Moving Image Archivists, Archival Screening Night Roadshow 2021

Irma McClaurin Black Feminist Archivist


Irma McClaurin Black Feminist Archivist (term-position)


Amherst, MA United States

Application Date

September 01, 2024

Job Link

Job Contact

Job Summary

The Irma McClaurin Black Feminist Archive (BFA) is an archival home for Black women and their allies. Founded by Dr. Irma McClaurin, Black feminist anthropologist, academic administrator, award-winning poet and author, past president of Shaw University and leader in higher education, the BFA seeks to identify Black women from all walks of life who are artists, activists, and academics but may not be well known, and document their wide array of contributions at many levels: community, state, national, and global.

The Irma McClaurin Black Feminist Archivist will work with colleagues in the Robert S. Cox Special Collections and University Archives Research Center (SCUA), working with the Head of SCUA, Curator of Collections, and Associate Dean on collection development, description and access, digitization, public programming, and promotion of collections that document the lives and work of Black women and their allies. The Archivist will be responsible for implementing professional standards in arrangement and description; assisting patrons in learning and research; identifying collections for digitization and ensuring digital content is created according to national and departmental standards; conducting research; overseeing the transfer and accessioning of new collections; and supporting the use of collections in SCUA’s reading room. This position is term-limited to three years and may be extended at the discretion of the Dean of University Libraries, contingent on available funding.

Essential Functions

  •  Process BFA archival collections, support the managing of archival collections, and assist in the preparation and transfer of records to SCUA.
  • Make recommendations for processing and digitization priorities and prepare progress reports to share with the Head, SCUA.
  • Catalog manuscripts, photographs, and other materials in a range of archival collections; create finding aids and bibliographic records for collections.
  • Create descriptive metadata, review existing metadata and enhance legacy records, as necessary.
  • Use EAD and MODS metadata schemas to describe materials in manuscript collections. Prepare descriptive records that conform to all relevant metadata standards.
  • Conduct subject analysis for manuscripts, photographs, and other materials; establish local subject headings that supplement, repair, or replace headings in existing controlled vocabularies when terms that are insufficient or inaccurate; research collections in order to provide accurate descriptive information.
  • Train and supervise the work of departmental student staff to ensure provision of services and adherence to work standards. Provide on-the-job training and orientation as needed.
  • Work with departmental colleagues to develop best practices and standards in collection management and description and to implement those practices.
  • Play an active role in SCUA’s efforts to acquire new BFA collections; participate in departmental marketing and outreach.
  • Work creatively, collaboratively, and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality, and inclusiveness within the UMass Amherst Libraries and the campus.
  • Participate in library-wide preservation activities.
  • Serve on internal library committees as needed.

Other Functions

Perform other related duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the Libraries and the department.

Organizational Values

  • Commitment to support justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) within libraries and institution.
  • Ability to build and sustain effective working relationships and work collaboratively in a diverse and fast-paced environment.
  • Purposefully promote a One Library environment for all that encourages inclusion, personal growth, respect, self-reflection, curiosity, and continuous learning.
  • Understands responsibilities with respect to conflicts of interest and behaves in ways consistent with both law and with university policy.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Graduate degree in librarianship (from a program accredited by the American Library Association) or related field, or combination of an advanced degree in a relevant subject area and experience in libraries, archives, museums, or similar institutions.
  • Training in areas such as archival management, manuscripts, maps, rare books, and/or special collections librarianship.
  • Educational background in the humanities or social sciences.
  • Working knowledge of MARC format; strong knowledge of DACS and other relevant content standards, and strong familiarity with XML, EAD, TEI, MODS, DC, and other metadata standards.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to foster a collegial work environment that encourages change and innovation.
  • Mastery of interviewing skills and a superior level of efficiency in the use of reference and information sources, particularly primary, archival, rare, and manuscript sources.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule which includes some evening, weekend, and holiday hours as needed.
  • Excellent interpersonal, written, and oral skills, including presentation skills.
  • Proven ability to work effectively in a collaborative environment, including remaining calm under pressure.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage competing priorities in a positive, constructive, flexible, and cooperative manner.
  • Ability to respond effectively to changing needs and priorities showing initiative and flexibility.
  • Strong service ethic and the ability to interact effectively and work productively and collaboratively with a variety of colleagues and levels of staff.
  • Demonstrated ability to work creatively, collaboratively, and effectively and to promote teamwork, diversity, equality, and inclusiveness within the UMass Amherst Libraries and the campus.
  • Strong service orientation and the ability to meet the public graciously and tactfully.  Strong customer service attitude and initiative.
  • Understanding of, appreciation of and experience with the goals of higher education.


Work Schedule

  • The regular working schedule for this position is Monday – Friday, day hours.
  • The incumbent of the position is expected to work on a flexible schedule, which includes some evening, weekend, and holiday hours.
  • This position has the opportunity for a hybrid work schedule, which is defined by the University as an arrangement where an employee’s work is regularly performed at a location other than the campus workspace for a portion of the week. As this position falls within the Massachusetts Society of Professors (MSP) Union, it is subject to the terms and conditions of the MSP collective bargaining agreement.


Salary Information

  •  Librarian I or II
    1. Librarian I salary floor: $55,000
    2. Librarian II salary floor: $61,500
  • Salary commensurate with experience.



University benefits may differ based on collective bargaining agreements (unions). Please see below for the potential benefits MSP Librarians can be entitled to obtain: benefits for the Massachusetts Society of Professors (MSP) members and benefits for MSP Librarians positions:



MSP Librarian positions are eligible for promotion, defined as a change in rank as a librarian from one rank to the next higher rank. The bargaining unit member who gets a promotion shall receive the base salary increase in line with the MSP collective bargaining agreement. You can view the MSP Collective Bargaining Agreement, particularly, article 20, to learn more about MSP Librarian Personnel Actions, including promotion, appointment, reappointment, and continuing appointment.


Additional Information

This position is term-limited to three years and may be extended at the discretion of the Dean of University Libraries, contingent on available funding.


Application Instructions

Along with the application, please submit a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three (3) professional references.


The University is committed to active recruitment of a diverse faculty and student body. The University of Massachusetts Amherst is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer of women, minorities, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities and encourages applications from these and other protected group members. Because broad diversity is essential to an inclusive climate and critical to the University’s goals of achieving excellence in all areas, we will holistically assess the many qualifications of each applicant and favorably consider an individual’s record working with students and colleagues with broadly diverse perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds in educational, research or other work activities. We will also favorably consider experience overcoming or helping others overcome barriers to an academic career and degree.