Brown University

Job Description:

About Brown:

Brown University is a leading research university distinct for its student-centered learning and deep sense of purpose. Our students, faculty and staff are driven by the idea that their work will have an impact in the world.

Brown University offers a flexible work/life balance; summer hours, winter break and a comprehensive Benefits package including time off, annual paid holidays; benefits offerings including health, dental, vision, tuition assistance, retirement, wellness, employee discounts and more.  To learn about Brown University’s benefits, visit the University Human Resources web page here for further information.

About the Opportunity:

The Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology archival collections are comprised of more than 20,000 items of cultural and historical significance that enhance the research and interpretive value of ethnographic and archaeological collections, including photographs, manuscripts, ephemera, film, and digital media. These archives are focused on materials that directly relate to or accompany object acquisitions. In addition, HMA is the repository for multi-media archives of federal archaeological collections from Alaska created by Brown faculty. HMA also manages its own institutional records.

The HMA welcomes applications from candidates who meet many of the stated job requirements in the interest of fostering a diverse and inclusive pool of candidates.


The Archivist reports to the Collections Manager/Registrar. The Archivist manages the museum’s records and archives, including physical, digitized, and born digital holdings, to ensure proper arrangement, description, preservation, and access. The Archivist is knowledgeable about established standards and developments in the field, such as those promoted by The Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums and Society of American Archivists.

The Archivist processes, documents, and manages HMA’s multi-media archive under direction of the Collections Manager, seeking input of other senior staff as needed. They are responsible for arranging, inventorying, cataloging, housing, digitizing, and describing holdings according to current established standards and best practices. The Archivist communicates with interested stakeholders and coordinates and supervises archival visits for viewing or research.

The archivist performs and coordinates new archival production to current standards, including digitization of multiple types of media, including but not limited to HMA’s film and photographic archives. They work with the Collections Manager/Registrar to maintain records of ownership and transfer. They ensure the physical care and proper arrangement of the HMA’s archives and records collections, including by creating archival storage containers, ensuring sustainable digital archiving practices, and facilitating culturally-informed care and handling. They ensure access and discoverability by producing, updating, and disseminating finding aids, including coordinating with Rhode Island Archival and Manuscript Collections Online.

The role manages digital assets and rights and reproductions (such as photographic slides, prints, negatives, film, video, and ephemera). This includes coordinating, responding to, processing, tracking, and reporting on all image use requests. They produce prints or other surrogates of HMA archival holdings for use by HMA and external stakeholders. They may supervise one or more student staff. They may promote HMA’s archives and speak about their areas of expertise in teaching or public events. They may contribute to exhibits relating to archival holdings.

They contribute to defining HMA’s archival priorities and work with colleagues in Brown Libraries and other university centers to align goals and best practices and collaborate on projects. They manage and liaise with contractors performing work related to archival holdings. The role identifies and contributes to grant writing and grant-funded projects related to museum archival holdings.

The Archivist is encouraged to research and develop innovative ways to highlight the Museum’s media and archival collections and scholarship. They contribute specialized knowledge to strategic planning around the HMA’s records and archival holdings, including encouraging engagement, research, and teaching activities that utilize the archives and relating to the HMA’s upcoming move project. The Archivist also will assist the Collections Manager in the management of, and planning for, the HMA’s non-circulating reference library collection. Other duties as required.


Education and Experience

  • Master’s degree specializing in archival and/or library science or equivalent combination of education and experience. Coursework in archival standards and practices. Minimum 3 years of related professional full-time experience.
  • Experience working with historical or cultural archival collections, such as ethnographic, archaeological.
  • Working knowledge of metadata standards and relational collections management databases is required.
  • Working knowledge of rights and reproduction laws and policies is required.
  • Current knowledge of standards in the field, including ethics and practices of accessibility, diversity, and inclusion, is required.
  • Working knowledge of legislation relevant to anthropological collections (such as the Archaeological Resources Protection Act  and Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act) is preferred.
  • Knowledge of emerging digitization technologies and standards, such as 3D modeling, is preferred.
  • Grant writing and project management experience preferred

Job Competencies

  • Possess exceptional organization and attention to detail and communication skills. Required archival skills include computer literacy, archival and library digitization and metadata standards, safe archival storage standards and fabrication methods.
  • Analytical and writing skills relating to archival needs and reporting.
  • Familiarity with relational collections management systems.
  • Desired experience in development of policies and procedures and managing legacy collections.
  • Ability to manage multiple competing priorities.
  • Practical (creation of storage enclosure and rehousing)
  • Practices of Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion in museums and archives
  • Demonstrated ability to support a community of diverse perspectives and cultures in an inclusive environment including sensitivity to cultural protocols (such as surrounding Indigenous/indigenous, traditional, secret, sacred knowledge).

Salary Grade:


Additional Information: 

All offers of employment are contingent upon a successful criminal background check and education verification satisfactory to Brown.

Please submit a resume and cover letter when applying for this position.

This is a full-time staff position with no departmental affiliation. However, qualified candidates may apply for departmental affiliation as a lecturer if teaching.

Open until filled. For fullest consideration please submit within two weeks of the Brown University posting date.

This position is based on site at the HMA’s Collections Research Center in Bristol, RI, and will sometimes require travel to the Brown main campus in Providence, RI.

Annual training in “Hazardous Material Handling/disposal” is required.

Brown University cannot provide visa sponsorship for this position

Benefits of Working at Brown:

Information on the Benefits of Working at Brown can be found here.

Recruiting Start Date:


Job Posting Title:



Haffenreffer Museum


Grade 9

Worker Type:


Worker Sub-Type:


Time Type:

Full time

Scheduled Weekly Hours:


Position Work Location:

Hybrid Eligible

Submission Guidelines:

Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any staff position at Brown University you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.

Still Have Questions?

If you have any questions you may contact

EEO Statement:

Brown University is an E-Verify Employer.

As an EEO/AA employer, Brown University provides equal opportunity and prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation based upon a person’s race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other characteristic protected under applicable law, and caste, which is protected by our University policies.

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