Special Collections Archivist II (Accessioning Archivist)

Job Family
Regular Full-Time
Position Status
Getty Center
Workplace Type
Hiring Pay Scale
$66,868 - $88,604 Annually
Commensurate with experience and internal equity
Research Institute - 0420-Special Collections Management
Requisition Number
ERRP Eligible

Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion at Getty

Getty believes diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion are essential to our excellence and to the execution of our mission. The Getty community values differences in the pursuit of inquiry and knowledge, mutual understanding, respect, trust, transparency, and cooperation. We are committed to creating a diverse and welcoming workplace that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve and includes individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Individuals of color, women, LGBTQIA+, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Job Summary

The Getty Research Institute (GRI) seeks a motivated and knowledgeable archivist to work in partnership to accession both newly acquired and legacy archival collections with an emphasis on materials related to modern and contemporary art.  While the core work of the position will be to accession incoming archives, the successful candidate will also apply professional standards and best practices to arrange, re-house, and describe small to medium-sized mixed-format archives of artists, curators, collectors, dealers, educators, and scholars, in order to promote collection discovery, access, preservation, and use.


 The position will focus primarily on archival accessioning, to ensure physical and intellectual control over incoming acquisitions over 3 linear feet.  Tasks would involve coordinating with the GRI Registrars, surveying collections, stabilizing unprocessed material, writing processing plans, performing basic conservation interventions, identifying more significant conservation concerns, transforming vendor-provided inventories and descriptive tools for finding aids and bibliographic records, and creating collection-level descriptions for discovery. The Accessioning Archivist will also review legacy unprocessed collections to ensure they have been appropriately stabilized, to assess if any additional processing is necessary to provide access, and to iteratively enhance description, as necessary. Working closely with Reading Room and Reference staff, this position would reply to requests for access to unprocessed collections by reviewing the material and engaging in just-in-time stabilization and description tasks to facilitate use without disrupting the original order and context of the unprocessed collection. The Accessioning Archivist will log at-risk media, and coordinate with the AV Conservator and Digital Projects Manager to plan for outsourced reformatting of at-risk media, particularly motion picture film. The position will also work under the guidance of the Digital Archivist to help accession born-digital materials received with archival collections.


 Reporting to the Manager of Special Collections Cataloging and Processing, the accessioning archivist will work closely with colleagues throughout the Research Institute and may supervise interns and project staff. The archivist may also contribute to scholarly and social media activities related to special collections.


 Located at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, the Getty Research Institute is dedicated to furthering knowledge and advancing awareness of the visual arts and their histories. Serving an international community of scholars and the interested public, the Getty Library is one of the most significant art and architecture libraries in the world, with holdings of more than 1.5 million volumes and digital resources. Special Collections include rare books and journals, rare photographs, prints, and drawings dating from the 15th century to the present, architectural drawings and models, art multiples, film, audio and video recordings, digital content, and extensive archives and manuscript collections.

Major Job Responsibilities

  • Following registration by the Registrar's Office, establish baseline administrative, physical, and intellectual control over hybrid (physical and digital) collections
  • Survey collections and develop and implement processing plans.
  • Identify conservation concerns and perform basic preservation practices.
  • Create baseline descriptions for accessioned collections.
  • Coordinate with the Special Collections Reading Room and Special Collections Reference staff.
  • Work under little to no supervision on assigned projects to improve access to archives and other special collections.
  • Arrange, process, and re-house collection materials.
  • Create and enhance finding aids and bibliographic records based on current standards, best practices, research, and evaluation.
  • Maintain knowledge of standards, systems, and specialized subjects
  • Assist in ongoing development, refinement, and documentation of processes and procedures.
  • May participate in digitization-on-demand activities.
  • May participate in group processing projects.
  • May train and supervise others or revise the work of others.
  • May answer reference questions.
  • May research, write, present, and publish collections and work activities.
  • May contribute to outreach activities.
  • Undertake special projects as assigned.


  • Graduate degree in Library and Information Studies with a specialty in Archives, or a related discipline or certification
  • Minimum of two years of related professional experience in accessioning or archival processing
  • May require related supervisory experience and/or project management experience

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Demonstrated experience accessioning archival collections.
  • Strong writing and communication skills
  • Ability to work both under little to no supervision and in partnership in team-based environments.
  • Subject knowledge in art history, and contemporary art preferred
  • Experience with ArchivesSpace or other collection management systems
  • Ability to learn new software. Familiarity with born-digital tools, to generate digital manifests and verify fixity, preferred.
  • Knowledge of standards such as DACS, EAD, MARC, and RDA preferred.
  • Familiarity with digital materials management and transformation preferred.
  • Ability to lift and move 40 pounds.
  • Ability to climb ladders.
  • Reading knowledge of at least one foreign language in the GRI’s collecting areas preferred
  • Must have means of transportation to work sites at both the Getty Center in Brentwood and the Getty’s off-site facility in Valencia, approximately 30 miles to the north.

Benefits and Perks

Here are just some examples that Getty offers/provides for full-time employees:

  • Medical, Dental and Vision insurance coverage, starting on date of hire. Getty pays 75%-95% of the premium, depending on the plan selected.
  • 403(b) Employee Investment retirement plan – with up to 5% Getty Match
  • Getty contribution of 6%, on behalf of employee, to 401(a) retirement account
  • Educational Assistance and professional development
  • Paid Vacation, Sick and Personal Days
  • 12 Paid Holidays
  • Many positions have bi-weekly Off-Fridays
  • On-Site Fitness Center at Getty Center
  • Community service opportunities

To learn more about our comprehensive benefits and long list of perks, go to Getty HR.  

Equal Opportunity Employer

We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, citizenship or immigration status, color, disability, ethnicity, familial status, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other protected status.

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