Media Archivist - Continuing Appointment
York University Libraries



York University Libraries (YUL) seeks a dynamic and innovative individual with strong leadership potential to advance York University Libraries’ archival and special collections portfolio in support of the research community across campus and beyond in the area of media (film, sound recordings, audiovisual recordings and photography; in both digital and analogue form). This position is for an early or mid-career professional with some applied experience and/or expertise in the area of film and AV preservation.


York University champions new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Through cross-disciplinary programming, innovative course design, diverse experiential learning and a supportive community environment, our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 300,000 alumni. The Archives & Special Collections (ASC) is a growing and dynamic department of York University Libraries, and is located in the Scott Library on the Keele campus. Its archival holdings consists of more than eight kilometres of university records and private papers including an extensive collection of non-textual materials.

The successful candidate will report to the Head of the Archives & Special Collections Department (ASC), a Department that reports directly to the Dean of Libraries and which is situated in the new Research & Open Scholarship Division at York University Libraries. ASC provides leadership around the acquisition, discoverability, promotion, preservation, and use of archival holdings and special collections to support the curricular needs of York University, and provides unique and valuable resources for research by the University community and beyond. The Department is also responsible for recommending the retention of the University’s corporate records with enduring value, and responding to access requests involving corporate records transferred to the custody and control of the Libraries. York University has a long history of fostering expertise in documentary film and the media arts, and our archives, special collections and special media holdings reflect this ongoing legacy. In addition to working within the university archives, the successful candidate will also have strong reciprocal ties with librarians and staff located in the Sound and Moving Image Library, and fellow archivists and librarians engaged in digital preservation as well as collection development.


The Archivist works in a collaborative team environment and plays an important leadership role in the area of managing acquisitions of audiovisual materials and developing policy related to preservation, retention and migration plans in collaboration with others engaged in digital preservation work. Applied experience managing media archives  in both analogue and digital formats, and a capacity to contribute to digital preservation efforts and policy development would be the primary focus of this position. This position will include the professional execution of archival practices, including appraisal, arrangement, description, and physical processing of non-textual records of enduring value. Responsibilities include: facilitating access to archival records through various modes, in particular creating web-based descriptive finding aids; curating physical and virtual exhibits, and engaging in public events and outreach; providing reference support and instruction on archival literacy to students, staff, and faculty; providing expertise around copyright and privacy legislation as it applies to the use of archival media; employing standards and best practices to facilitate preservation and access; using project management strategies to effectively complete time-sensitive activities with a high degree of accuracy; assisting in managing university records in accordance with mandated retention schedules; liaising with colleagues, contributing to scholarly and professional knowledge by carrying out research, preparing presentations, publications, or other creative works, and participating in professional associations; actively participating in decision-making activities undertaken within the Libraries and the University through collegial contributions to committees and other groups.


York University Libraries pursues excellence in teaching by advancing the discovery, preservation, creation, and dissemination of knowledge through leadership, creativity and collaboration. All librarians and archivists advance this mission and as such this position will have teaching responsibilities in the subject areas of the humanities and fine arts.


Primary Qualifications

- Masters in archival studies from a graduate program conforming to the Association of Canadian Archivists’ Guidelines for the Development of a Two-Year Curriculum for a Master’s of Archival Studies; or MLIS (or equivalent) with a concentration in archival studies;

- Applied experience working in an archives, preferably working directly with non-textual media (film, sound recordings, audiovisual materials);

- Educational background or applied practice in a relevant area (cinema studies, music, dance, theatre, documentary filmmaking, video and recording arts, audio and film production, animation etc.);

- Awareness of best practices and emerging standards related to the preservation of analogue film, sound recordings, photographs and digital preservation standards of digital audiovisual material;

- Demonstrated experience in processing and providing access to archival records within an automated work environment, including working knowledge of the Rules for Archival Description. Experience working with AtoM an asset;

- Demonstrated leadership capacity and evidence of building effective working relationships with institutional and external colleagues, archival donors, and community stakeholders;

- Ability to work collegially and effectively with a diverse population of colleagues, faculty, staff, and students;

- Demonstrated knowledge of Canadian copyright and privacy legislation;

- Excellent organizational, analytical, interpersonal, and oral and written communication skills;

- Evidence or promise of research contributions in the form of publications or productions, professional development and/or active involvement in professional or scholarly organizations;

- Ability to provide input into collection development decisions in the area of streaming and licensing of audiovisual content;

- Demonstrated project management skills and ability to balance work priorities;

- Demonstrated ability to be flexible, creative, and to work effectively in a fluid institutional environment;

- Ability to undertake physical processing and handling of records, including the ability to lift a full bankers box (equivalent of 18 kg/40 lbs); and

- Fluency in French is a strong asset.


This is a continuing appointment at the Assistant Librarian/Archivist level starting from 1 July 2019. York offers a competitive salary commensurate with qualifications and an exceptional benefits package. All York University positions are subject to budgetary approval.


Librarians and Archivists at York University have academic status and are members of the York University Faculty Association bargaining unit (


York University has a policy on Accommodation in Employment for Persons with Disabilities and is committed to working towards a barrier-free workplace and to expanding the accessibility of the workplace to persons with disabilities. Candidates who require accommodation during the selection process are invited to contact Suzanne Dubeau at [log in to unmask].


York University is an Affirmative Action (AA) employer and strongly values diversity, including gender and sexual diversity, within its community. The AA Program, which applies to women, members of visible minorities (racialized groups), Aboriginal (Indigenous) people and persons with disabilities, can be found at or by calling the AA line at 416-736-5713. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens, permanent residents and Indigenous peoples in Canada will be given priority.


Applicants wishing to self-identify can do so by downloading, completing and submitting the forms found at: . Please select the “Affirmative Action & Self-Identification forms” tab under which forms pertaining to Work Status Declaration (citizenship) and AA can be found.


Consideration will be given to those who have followed non-traditional career paths or had career interruptions.


The deadline for receipt of completed applications is 4 March 2019.

Interviews will take place between 10-16 April 2019.


A letter of application with a current curriculum vitŠ and contact information for three references should be sent to:

Chair, Archivist Search Committee York University Libraries

516 Scott Library

4700 Keele St.

Toronto, ON M3J 1P3

Fax: (416) 736-5451

Email: [log in to unmask]




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