Job Announcement: Collections and Digitization Assistant – Letterform Archive

News

Oct 14, 2021

Job Announcement: Collections and Digitization Assistant

Letterform Archive seeks a Collections and Digitization Assistant to support the Archive’s digitization projects and Collections team.

We’re hiring!

Do you love good design? Do you believe the world needs a little more inspiration these days? Would you like to help make this happen?

Reporting to the Digitization Librarian, the Collections and Digitization Assistant works primarily on digitization projects, image file management, collections retrieval and reshelving. This role will also assist other collection projects including reference enquiries, visit hosting and support, and cataloging as needed.

About Us

Letterform Archive is a nonprofit center for inspiration, education, and community. We offer hands-on access to a curated collection of over 75,000 items related to lettering, typography, calligraphy, and graphic design. Every year, we welcome thousands of visitors from across the world, including students, practitioners, and design admirers from every creative background.

In addition to hosting visits and public events, the Archive serves a global community through social media, an online archive featuring state-of-the-art photography, and a book program that draws from the collection as well as publishes new work from its contributors. We offer courses and workshops in type design, calligraphy, and typography. We also curate exhibitions of our holdings and organize lectures by visiting artists and designers.

As a close-knit team of typophiles, lettering lovers, graphic design fans, and book arts enthusiasts, everyone at the Archive — regardless of role — helps in some way to promote the collection, offering tours, assisting at events, and engaging with the design community at large.

Responsibilities

Digitization (50%)
Assist the Digitization Librarian with systematic digitization of the collection, including object handling, set-up, staging, and capture. Assists with publishing and editorial photography as necessary. Organizes and labels image files with established naming conventions. Processes image files according to LfA practices, including occasional retouching and quality control of completed work. Uploads images to designated Server or S3 Cloud, and uploads images to OA (Online Archive). Ensures accuracy and completion of image files from outside vendors, and assists with managing OA image files. Coordinates communications with outside photography vendors.

Shelving and retrieval (30%)
Ensure well organized collection storage areas. Support the retrieval and re-shelving of all materials pulled for digitization projects and regular visits (introductory, research, and groups/classes). Help identify items in need of protective enclosures or repair treatments. Facilitate the staging of materials for photographic workflows.

Cataloging (10%)
Catalog and classify, assign subject and genre headings, and ensure data quality in accordance with Letterform Archive standards and user needs. Update photography and metadata spreadsheets for Online Archive uploads. Training provided.

Programming & Outreach (5%)
Host introductory and research visits for individuals and groups: present on materials and publicize Archive programs, services and merchandise.

Support the Librarian on collection projects which may include: curating the Reading Room pop-up, assisting on exhibition preparations (in-house and external), collection shifts, processing new collections, etc.

On a project basis, prepare and deliver lectures for programs like the LfA Salon Series or the Archive’s Type History class for CCA MFA students; research and write articles to support the Archive’s blog; and help curate and write (copy and captions) for exhibitions.

Be prepared to share the ways guests can have an impact on the sustainability of the Archive through time, money, or evangelism.

Collaborate with other teams on other tasks as assigned.

Team-Wide (5%)
Complete assigned readings and participate in all-team meetings.

Physical Demands

The Collections and Digitization Assistant will regularly be required to perform desk-based computer tasks, including using a computer screen for long periods of time, typing, and making phone calls.

They may also be frequently be required to move items weighing up to 25 pounds; push and maneuver a fully-loaded book truck weighing up to 60 pounds.

The Archive will provide reasonable accommodations to an employee with a disability who requires accommodations to perform the essential functions of their job.

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

To ensure the health and safety of the Archive’s community, all newly hired employees of Letterform Archive are required to be fully-vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment, absent qualifying exemptions for medical, religious, or other reasons in accordance with all applicable laws.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Intermediate knowledge of digital camera equipment
  • Intermediate knowledge of lighting equipment and light-modifying techniques
  • Intermediate knowledge of digital capture, digital media, and image manipulation software
  • 2+ years experience in a similar role or comparable skills
  • Proficient with Google Workspace, macOS, Adobe Photoshop, Bridge, and Adobe InDesign
  • Experience handling fragile archival materials

Ideal Qualifications

In addition to the minimum qualifications above, an ideal candidate would have some or all of the following qualifications as well:

  • Experience with PhaseOne camera systems and Capture One software
  • Experience producing photography for high quality print production
  • 1+ years experience working in archive, museum or similar environment
  • Experience using Canon Image Pro-Graf Printers (or similar models)

Ideal Characteristics

We value candidates whose skills and lived experience have prepared them to understand and uphold our core values of collaboration, hospitality, creativity, humility, and accessibility. The ideal candidate is also:

  • Exceptional organizational and time management skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Detail oriented
  • Curious and eager to learn

Belonging, Dignity, & Justice

Letterform Archive believes strongly in building a workplace that provides for everyone to reach their full potential and thrive as both workers and people.

To help achieve that goal, the Archive seeks to build a culture where:

  • our team members have a sense of belonging by feeling physically, emotionally and psychologically safe;
  • the inherent dignity of each person is upheld; and
  • our policies are rooted in justice by being restorative in nature and practice.

Belonging, dignity, and justice also means centering the voices and experiences of marginalized people and we encourage all qualified candidates to apply, including: women; Black, Indigenous, and people of color; folks who are trans or nonbinary; people who are queer, lesbian, gay, or bisexual; Autistic and neurodivergent people; folks with visible or invisible disabilities; anyone from a historically marginalized group or anyone at the intersection of any these groups.

Location

This role works out of Letterform Archive’s offices in San Francisco, California. This is not a remote position.

Compensation and Benefits

This is a full-time, non-exempt position. The pay rate is between $20 and $22 per hour depending on candidate experience and qualifications.

Letterform Archive offers benefits to all full-time employees including:

  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage with subsidized dependent coverage
  • Three weeks of Paid Time Off each year
  • 10 paid holidays per year
  • Sick leave
  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
  • 401(k) retirement plan
  • Pre-tax commuter benefit
  • Annual professional development budget
  • Waived tuition to Archive workshops
  • Complimentary Archive membership

You will be surrounded by — and able to interact with — beautiful, meaningful materials from the Archive’s collection, as well as a diverse and dynamic community of those who love letters and design. Your colleagues will be 16 people who are passionate about the organization and eager to share their enthusiasm through their work.

How to Apply

Please apply by submitting a résumé and a cover letter explaining your interest in this position at letterformarchive.org/careers by Sunday, November 14, 2021.

You may address your cover letter to the “hiring committee” and it should be no more than one page. The most effective cover letters explain your interest in the Archive and this position, and make clear how your qualifications match this role’s responsibilities.

Letterform Archive is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need assistance applying or have questions about accommodation during the hiring process, please email hr@letterformarchive.org.