A dynamic organization devoted to library services for the East Asian studies communities in North America since 1958.

Columbia University: Chinese Processing Archivist (3-year temporary)

Columbia University Libraries seeks a Chinese Processing Archivist to arrange and describe archives and manuscript material in all formats held by the C.V. Starr East Asian Library according to local and national practices. This position is uniquely situated in that it plays a principal, integral role in both the technical services and access services pieces of Starr Library’s operations. This position manages a student employee.
*This is a three (3) year temporary position from date of hire with possibility for extension*


  • Processing: Arrange and describe manuscript material and archival collections in all formats (paper, photographic, electronic, audiovisual, etc.). Develop processing plans for collections, including determining level of granularity at which to process, assure appropriate housing of materials, identify and recommend materials for conservation treatment, write and edit finding aids according to DACS (Describing Archives: a Content Standard) specifications.
  • Technical Services: Upload finding aids to ArchivesSpace. Maintain metrics on processing and submit regular reports on the ongoing processing and cataloging work. Create item-level metadata for digital objects relating to archival collections as appropriate. Triage unprocessed collections for possible use by researchers upon request.
  • Public Service: Provide reference assistance related to the archives in process, including answering reference queries (email, telephone), and participate in supervising the Special Collections reading room.
  • Training, Instruction, and Supervision: Train and supervise the work of a student working on archival projects.
  • Professional Involvement and Development: participate in unit-wide, library-wide, and profession-wide planning and committee activities
  • Administrative Tasks: Participate in staff meetings for the general staff and various smaller groups.

Minimum Degree Required:

Master’s Degree in Library Science or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Comprehensive knowledge of archival theory and practice with at least one or more years of processing collections.
  • Knowledge equivalent to a minimum of one graduate level course in cataloging and metadata.
  • Familiarity and experience with ArchivesSpace or similar software equivalent to six months to two years
  • Thorough command of the Chinese language.
  • Strong writing and editing skills.
  • Project management skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Graduate degree in an academic discipline.
  • Working knowledge in at least one additional East Asian language.
  • Some familiarity with other relevant metadata standards, including Dublin Core, VRA Core, METS, and MODS.
  • Previous experience providing reference services.
  • Some supervisory experience, including students.
  • Some experience working with born-digital archival content.

About Columbia University Libraries

We encourage individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, identities, and abilities to apply for this unique opportunity to become a part of our evolving Libraries and University community. Columbia University Libraries is a globally-recognized academic research library system, serving one of the world’s most important centers of research and learning in the most exciting and dynamic city in the world. Talented Libraries staff build, sustain, and make discoverable collections that transcend traditional boundaries of format and domain, keeping pace with a dynamic and rapidly evolving information environment and creating opportunities for users to encounter 4,000 years of human thought.

Our decisions are informed by new curricula developed to meet the needs of a more diverse student body, new and emerging areas of research being conducted by a broad spectrum of researchers, including graduate students and newly-hired faculty, as well as by perspectives from the diminished or entirely lost voices of historically oppressed, marginalized, and underserved populations and communities. As an organization, the Libraries provides a supportive, connected environment where every employee’s perspective is valued and every employee is encouraged to grow. All staff members have an impact on Columbia’s mission to advance knowledge at the highest levels and make the results of research accessible to the world.

Columbia University has a longstanding commitment to diversity rooted in values of inclusion and social justice, a commitment reflected in the curriculum and throughout University life. Columbia welcomes applications from candidates who share these values and who will foster their contribution to the University’s educational mission. We invite applicants who have demonstrated creative approaches to empowering and mentoring staff, leading projects, solving problems, and developing user-centric programs, services, or collections. We offer salary and benefits commensurate with qualifications and experience.

The Search Committee will review applications and nominations and will continue to receive and review them until the position is filled. Proposed start date is negotiable.

Minimum salary: $71,000

For immediate consideration, please apply online at:

Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and strongly encourages individuals of all backgrounds and cultures to consider this position.