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RSA seeks an Archivist

The Rhetoric Society of America (RSA) invites applications for its inaugural Archivist, a part-time, three-year renewable volunteer position with the capacity to shape historical memories of the organization and of the study of rhetoric and its histories. The Archivist will coordinate efforts to collect, organize, and make available documents and other materials related to the establishment and continued work of RSA, paying particular attention to collecting, engaging with, and representing diverse and historically marginalized perspectives within the organization. The Archivist will provide leadership within the RSA Archives Committee, to oversee the inauguration and maintenance of the archives in both digital and physically housed dimensions. In addition, they will develop and sustain relationships with potential contributors of archivable documents, publicize the archive’s holdings to RSA’s various constituencies and groups, and devise a plan for ongoing development. The Archivist is eligible for a continuing budget line of up to $1,000 per year for reimbursable expenses for archival activities (with the opportunity to apply for additional funds pending availability).

The Archivist, as a member of RSA’s administrative staff, will work directly with the RSA Executive Director, administrative officers/directors, and the RSA staff Administrator for Membership Services in fulfilling these responsibilities. The Archivist is also an ex officio member of the RSA Board of Directors and is expected to attend and report at Society Board meetings. A full description of the position and responsibilities can be found below.

All applications will be considered, but strong candidates will have a commitment to and experience with the principles and practices of diversity, equity, and inclusion--and an understanding of how they transfer to archival acquisition, design, and maintenance as well as other aspects of the position To apply, please submit a letter of application, CV, and the names and contact information for three references to Executive Director Leslie Dinauer (dinauer.rsa@gmail.com). Applications received by August 15 will receive full consideration, but the search will remain open until the position is filled. If you have questions or would like to learn more, please contact Pete Simonson at peter.simonson@colorado.edu.

Position Description: RSA Archivist

The Rhetoric Society of America’s Archivist will coordinate efforts to collect, organize, and make available documents and other materials that reflect and have helped to establish RSA as a scholarly organization devoted to advancing research, education, professional cooperation, and activism connected to the subject of rhetoric. Particular attention will be given to collecting and representing diverse and historically marginalized perspectives within the organization. The Archivist will also develop and sustain relationships with potential donors and donating institutions, publicize its holdings to RSA’s various constituencies and publics, and devise a plan for ongoing development.

The Archivist will, in conjunction with an Archives Committee, oversee the inauguration and maintenance of the archives in both digital and physically housed dimensions. Specifically, RSA’s inaugural Archivist will be responsible for the following:

  • chairing the Archives Committee;
  • selecting an institutional partner to serve as the home repository for RSA’s archives in both physical and digital dimensions;
  • developing and following relevant procedures for the solicitation and assessment of archival materials;
  • soliciting submissions to the archives and determining whether submitted items merit inclusion;
  • providing a formal summary report to the Archives Committee once every six months in the inaugural term; and finally,
  • devising an archival appraisal/records management plan that eases transitions among Committee members and future Archivists.

Thereafter, the Archivist will maintain the Society’s holdings as they grow and evolve. Sustaining duties beyond the initial three-year term may include the following:

  • providing leadership in continuing to develop the archives over time, working with the Archives Committee to solicit new historical materials (e.g., oral history interviews) as well as establishing and keeping up with what events should necessitate the collection of recent RSA documents (e.g., when a president’s term expires or someone rotates out of the Executive Committee); 
  • receiving and helping to process materials from RSA Committee chairs on an annual basis;
  • curating materials supplied by or created by other RSA members when they are relevant for inclusion in the archives (e.g., oral history projects);
  • advocating for the archives by communicating with RSA’s leadership and broader membership to publicize the existence and potential uses of the archives;
  • providing formal summary reports to the Archives Committee on a regular basis, no less than once per year;
  • maintaining an archival appraisal/records management plan that eases transitions among Committee members and future Archivists; and finally,
  • coordinating an audit of archival materials on an annual basis, revising as necessary for archive development.

The Archivist is a three-year renewable appointment and is eligible for a continuing budget line of up to $1,000 per year for reimbursable expenses for archival activities.

All applications will be considered, but strong candidates will have the following qualifications:

  • academic training and/or scholarly interest in one or more of several fields, including but not limited to archival science, library science, information science, history, rhetorical studies, and/or other relevant fields;
  • special coursework, training, or demonstrated experience in the construction and/or maintenance of archival collections, whether digital and/or physically housed;
  • conversant in digital and analogue archival management systems (e.g., Archivists’ Toolkit, Archon, ContentDM, Islandora, Omeka); 
  • ability to work in collaboration with others, to delegate and fulfill assigned tasks;
  • ability to manage work teams and meet project deadlines;
  • strong communication skills, both written and oral;
  • commitment to serving the RSA;
  • membership status upon appointment.

The Archivist, as a member of RSA’s administrative staff, will work directly with the RSA Executive Director, administrative officers/directors, and the RSA staff Administrator for Membership Services, in fulfilling these responsibilities. The Archivist is an ex officio member of the RSA Board of Directors and is expected to attend and report at Society Board meetings.  Proposals for significant changes in design or services will be presented to the Society Board for approval, with prior collaboration with and approval from the appropriate committee(s). 

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