Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pruitt-Shanks Project Archivist, UNC Chapel Hill

UNC Chapel Hill University Library

POSITION: Pruitt-Shanks Project Archivist(*Fixed-Term Appointment*)
AVAILABLE: May 1, 2011

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library seeks a motivated, innovative, collaborative, and knowledgeable Project Archivist to work on a large photographic collection in the Southern Historical Collection (SHC) of the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library.

Under the supervision of the Visual Materials Archivist, the Project Archivist will coordinate and implement the processing of the Pruitt-Shanks Photographic Collection. Pruitt-Shanks is a large collection of photographic negatives produced by two studio/commercial photographers in Columbus (Lowndes County), Mississippi, and the surrounding area from the late 1920s into the 1970s. There are approximately 140,000 images, both studio portraits and images of events, scenes, and people taken outside the studio. Primary duties will include assisting in conducting a preliminary inventory and developing a processing strategy; housing materials in appropriate storage enclosures; and arranging and describing the collection, including development of an NC-EAD-compliant finding aid. Additional duties will include supervision of a Graduate Student Research Assistant and an Undergraduate Student Assistant who will assist with the processing of the collection.

The Southern Historical Collection (SHC) documents the American South with its massive holdings of unique, primary source materials: letters, diaries, oral histories, photographs, sound recordings, scrapbooks, financial records, literary manuscripts, digital records, and items in many other formats. These records reveal the lives of farmers, homemakers, tradespeople, industrial workers, plantation owners, enslaved people, entrepreneurs, educators, politicians, activists, lawyers, physicians, and others. They date from the mid-18th century to the present. These materials, totaling over sixteen million items, make the SHC the largest assemblage of personal archival items anywhere in the world documenting the region.

The SHC offers strong documentation of all periods of southern history since the late 18th century: the colonial and Revolutionary periods (though less fully than the others); the antebellum plantation era; the Civil War and Reconstruction; the New South; the Jim Crow South; and the South in the second half of the 20th century. Subject strengths range widely, but especially prominent are early 19th-century plantation culture; Confederate leadership and fighting on both sides in the American Civil War; politics and political activism; religious experience; rural life; southern literature; African American life; journalism; business; and family relations. Among the most heavily used materials are thousands of oral history interviews with individuals ranging from business leaders to textile workers in the Southern Oral History Program Collection.


Required: ALA accredited master’s degree in library or information science, or a Masters degree in American history or related field, with evidence of commitment to the archival profession as demonstrated by work experience (including internships), coursework, and memberships in professional associations. Demonstrated knowledge of EAD (Encoded Archival Description). Familiarity with archival descriptive standards, especially DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard). Superior interpersonal, communication, and writing skills. Demonstrated ability to work in a collegial environment.

Preferred: Experience processing photographic collections. Knowledge of the history and culture of the American South. Familiarity with historical methodology. Experience in a repository with photographic holdings or archives within an academic library.


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the country's oldest state university. UNC-Chapel Hill has an enrollment of approximately 29,000 students, employs more than 3,500 members of the faculty, and offers 69 doctoral degrees as well as professional degrees in dentistry, medicine, pharmacy and law. Library collections include over 6.5 million volumes. The Library is a member of the Association of Research Libraries and the Center for Research Libraries. Together with the libraries at Duke University, North Carolina Central University, and North Carolina State University, the members of the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN) provide services and collections to their students, faculty, and staff in support of the education, research, and service missions of the universities.

The University Library invests proudly in its employees, strives to create a diverse environment of respect and collaboration, and encourages vision and innovation.


The Triangle region is one of the most desirable places to live and work in North America and offers its residents a wide array of recreational, cultural, and intellectual activities. The mountains or the seashore are less than half day's drive from Chapel Hill.

The University of North Carolina is an equal opportunity employer and is strongly committed to the diversity of our faculty and staff.


This is a twelve-month fixed-term appointment. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience. Standard state benefits of annual leave, sick leave, and State or optional retirement plan. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, librarians enjoy the benefit of academic status and are represented on the faculty council.


Review of applications will begin on March 31, 2011. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, but preference will be given to applications received by the begin review date.


Please visit and complete the online application. Please include a letter of application, a resume and the name, mailing address, email address, and telephone number of three professional references. Additionally, please indicate in your cover letter where you first learned of this position.