Illinois History and Lincoln Collections – Pre-Professional Graduate Assistantship - General Information

Central Illinois Jewish Communities Archives

  • FTE: 0.3 (12 hours/week)
  • Job duration: August 16, 2024, through May 15, 2025, with the possibility of reappointment
    for the subsequent academic year.

Major Duties and Responsibilities

This graduate assistantship will provide description, preservation, and outreach support for the materials of the Central Illinois Jewish Communities Archives (CIJCA), as they are donated to the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections (IHLC) unit of the University Library.

Since 2021, the IHLC has received donations of records and papers from central Illinois Jewish communities comprising over a dozen different collections. These include records of temples and synagogues, Jewish individuals and families, and Jewish community organizations. The CIJCA Graduate Assistant position plays a significant role in the development and stewardship of the CIJCA.

In the assistantship, the incumbent will contribute to all stages of archival acquisition, processing, and access for the CIJCA collections. This includes supporting donor relations with those seeking to donate materials to the CIJCA, pre-donation assessments and appraisal of archival materials, arrangement and description of incoming archival acquisitions, including assessing and mitigating preservation concerns and creating finding aids. The assistantship may also include outreach with the community; instruction and research support for the collections; coordinating, conducting, and processing oral history interviews; assessment and metadata creation for potential digitization projects; and other efforts to enhance access, preservation, and engagement with the materials. The position additionally supports the IHLC broadly by assisting with general reference and other unit functions.

Responsibilities

  • Assist with donor relations, pre-donation assessments of prospective collections, and initial surveys of potential acquisitions
  • Arrange and describe new archival acquisitions and additions to existing collections
  • Assess collections for possible digitization projects and draft metadata
  • Plan and facilitate instruction and outreach efforts related to the collections
  • Contribute to the continued development of the oral history program by coordinating potential interviewees, conducting interviews, preparing transcriptions, and creating metadata
  • Develop and implement plans for additional projects to enhance access, preservation, and engagement with the collections
  • Provide reference services to on-site and remote researchers for the IHLC (monitor the reading room, retrieve and reshelve requested materials, respond to reference inquiries, fulfill scanning requests, etc.)

Qualifications

  • Required
    • Bachelor’s degree with a major or minor in history, religious studies, social science, humanities or another related field
    • Interest in archives and/or special collections librarianship
    • Demonstrated ability to work independently and with sustained attention to detail
    • Sensitivity to and awareness of handling concerns for rare and fragile materials
    • Strong written and oral communication skills
    • Demonstrated organizational skills
    • Interest in working with collection materials documenting Jewish life and culture
  • Preferred
    • Previous employment in a library or related work environment
    • Practical knowledge of archival arrangement and description practices
    • Knowledge of or experience with creating or using archival finding aids and databases
    • Familiarity with Jewish life and culture
    • Knowledge of Hebrew and/or Yiddish
    • Interest in engagement and outreach for special collections libraries
    • Familiarity with special collections outreach and/or instruction programs
    • Strong computer skills including experience with content management systems or databases

To apply

Please submit an application and upload a current resume and cover letter outlining your qualifications and interest in the position at the following link: https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/280037615

For full consideration, please apply by March 14, 2024.

Supervisor Contact Info: Krista Gray, Archives Program Officer for IHLC, graykr@illinois.edu