Archivist (Fixed-Term)

Company Name: 

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco


50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118

Job Description: 

The Corporation of the Fine Arts Museums (COFAM) is seeking an experienced, innovative, and detail-oriented Archivist to organize, process, preserve, and make accessible archival material related to our institutional history, primarily our collections and exhibitions. The Archivist position is a three year, grant funded role. This new position is part of an ongoing priority to meaningfully interpret and expand access to the Museums' history and to our commitment in making FAMSF a more diverse, accessible, and inclusive institution.

The Archivist will be skilled in processing archival material and interpreting museum documentation, collaborating with a wide range of art museum professionals, and developing policies and procedures based on best practices. 

In collaboration with the Head of Library & Archives, the Archivist will be a key staff member in the implementation of ArchivesSpace, which will be taking place in conjunction with the Museums' transition to TMS and the launch of its corresponding Fellows program. This will include defining best practices in the creation of policies and procedures for the organization, processing, preservation, and access of the decentralized FAMSF archival holdings. The Archivist will also be responsible for processing the decentralized FAMSF archival holdings, which will include retrieving, reviewing, sorting, arranging, rehousing, cataloging, documenting, publishing, and returning items to shelf.

Position Details:

This is a full time, 40 hour per week position with an annual salary of $60,000. This position includes a generous benefits package. This role is grant funded for a fixed-term of three years.

Typical duties and responsibilities:

  1. Assist with the implementation of ArchivesSpace, which will include developing policies and procedures based on best practices for the organization, processing, preservation, and access of the FAMSF archival collections, and preparing finding aids.
  2. Process the decentralized FAMSF archival holdings, which will include retrieving, reviewing, sorting, arranging, rehousing, cataloging, documenting, publishing, and returning to shelf.
  3. Employ basic preservation methods for various materials including paper, photographs, and negatives.
  4. Provide support for records retention as it relates to archival materials.
  5. Provide support for research inquiries from FAMSF staff, fellows, interns, and the public.
  6. Provide support for institutional research projects as appropriate.

Minimum Qualifications:

Education and Training:

  • ALA-accredited Master's Degree in Library and/or Information Science with emphasis in Archives.
  • Undergraduate degree in Art History or related discipline.

Work Experience:  

  • Minimum of three years of experience processing archival collections within a museum, historical society, or related cultural heritage institution. 
  • Experience using archival cataloging standards including EAD and DACS.
  • Experience using ArchivesSpace and preparing finding aids, preferably for the Online Archive of California (OAC).
  • Experience implementing and upholding policies and procedures for archives.
  • Experience with space planning for archives.
  • Experience working with digital collections.

Skills and Abilities:  


  • Experienced understanding of best practices for museum archives.
  • Deep understanding of the preservation needs for the various analog materials found in archival collections (paper, photographs, negatives, scrapbooks, etc.).
  • Demonstrated understanding of records management for museums.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of digitization processes and digital preservation.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, prioritize tasks, and meet deadlines.
  • Demonstrated ability to cultivate relationships and work collaboratively across multiple departments.
  • Excellent interpersonal, analytical, and oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to be flexible and responsive to an evolving work environment.
  • Ability to visually inspect work and carry out physical maneuvers that will include lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, kneeling, climbing, balancing, stooping, crouching, and reaching. 
  • Ability to lift boxes weighing up to 40 pounds.


  • Experience establishing an archives and/or records management program within a museum.
  • Experience with an oral history program.
  • Experience supervising interns and volunteers.
  • Experience with TMS.
  • Experience with Piction.

Application Information: 

Applications are due March 14, 2021. To apply, please complete the online application, including a resume and cover letter describing your interest and qualifications. If you have any questions about this program or the application process, email us at


The Corporation of the Fine Arts Museums is an equal opportunity employer and we welcome applications from those who contribute to our diversity. COFAM is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in all phases of employment in accordance with all federal, state, and local laws. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

COFAM is the Corporation of Fine Arts Museums and is the privately funded non-profit corporation which supports the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, a department of the City and County of San Francisco.

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are the city's largest public arts institutions and comprise the de Young and the Legion of Honor museums. The de Young, designed by Herzog & de Meuron and located in Golden Gate Park, showcases American art from the 17th through the 21st centuries, international contemporary art, textiles and costumes, and art from the Americas, the Pacific, and Africa. The Legion of Honor displays a collection of over 4,000 years of ancient and European art including Auguste Rodin's The Thinker and houses the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts in a Beaux-Arts style building overlooking Lincoln Park and the Golden Gate Bridge.