Special Collections Archivist II

POSTED ON 9/6/2020 AVAILABLE BEFORE 12/12/2021
J. Paul Getty Trust, The Hired Organization Address Los Angeles, CA Full Time

Job Posting for Special Collections Archivist II at J. Paul Getty Trust, The

Job Summary

The Getty Research Institute (GRI) seeks a motivated, collaborative and knowledgeable archivist to process and catalog special collections with an emphasis on archives related to modern and contemporary art, including the archives of artists, collectors, dealers and critics. Located at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, the Getty Research Institute is dedicated to furthering knowledge and advancing understanding of the visual arts and their histories. Serving an international community of scholars, the Research Library is one of the largest art and architecture libraries in the world, with holdings of more than one and one half million volumes. Special Collections include rare books and journals, rare photographs, prints and drawings dating from the 15th century to the present, architectural drawings and models, art multiples, film, audio and video recordings, digital content, and extensive archives and manuscript collections.


Reporting to the Manager of Special Collections Cataloging and Processing, the archivist will work closely with colleagues throughout the Research Institute, and may supervise interns, student workers and project staff. The archivist may also contribute to scholarly and social media activities related to special collections.

Major Job Responsibilities

  • Work independently on assigned projects to improve access to archives and other special collections
  • Survey collections and develop and implement processing plans
  • Arrange, process, and re-house collection materials
  • Create and enhance finding aids and bibliographic records based on current standards, best practices, research, and analysis
  • Identify conservation concerns and perform basic preservation practices
  • Maintain knowledge in standards, systems and specialized subjects
  • Test new processes and procedures
  • May lead or participate in group processing projects
  • May train and supervise others or revise the work of others
  • May answer reference questions
  • May research, write, present, and publish about collections and work activities
  • May contribute to outreach activities
  • Undertake special projects as assigned


  • Graduate degree in Library and Information Studies from an ALA-accredited library school, Art History, or a related discipline
  • Minimum 2 years of professional experience
  • Requires advanced subject, language, and/or technical expertise

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Demonstrated subject knowledge in art history, contemporary art preferred
  • Strong reading knowledge of at least one foreign language in the GRI’s collecting areas
  • Strong writing and communication skills
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively
  • Ability to work in team-based and collaborative environments
  • Ability to lift and move 40 pounds
  • Ability to climb ladders
  • Knowledge of standards such as DACS, EAD, MARC, and RDA preferred
  • Experience with ArchivesSpace or other collection management systems preferred
  • Familiarity with digital materials management and transformation preferred
  • Must have means of transportation to work sites at both the Getty Center in Brentwood and the Getty’s off-site facility in Valencia, approximately 30 miles to the north

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