University Archivist

The Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries invites applications and nominations for the position of University Archivist. The University Archivist will provide leadership in the acquisition, preservation, access, and understanding of historical and permanent records of the university, including Virginia Commonwealth University and VCU Health. The University Archivist will promote the use of the university’s historical resources through instruction, exhibits, presentations, publications, and other outreach activities. The successful candidate will join a culturally and academically diverse faculty of the highest caliber.

Located in culturally diverse, historic, and dynamic Richmond, Virginia, convenient to the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the recreation destinations of the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Commonwealth University is one of Virginia's largest universities and among the nation's leading research institutions. VCU Libraries, one of Virginia’s outstanding research library systems, advances the University’s teaching, research, service, and patient care mission with comprehensive digital and print collections and nationally recognized innovation in its facilities, advanced media and technology resources for its community. In February 2018, the Association of College and Research Libraries recognized VCU Libraries with the ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award.

Diversity and Inclusion

VCU’s commitment to diversity is one of the institution’s unique strengths. Our student body is one of the most diverse in Virginia in terms of race and ethnicity and socioeconomic status, and one of the four themes of our Quest 2025 Strategic Plan is “Diversity driving excellence.”  The United States Department of Education has designated VCU as a minority serving institution effective July 1, 2022.  VCU is committed to building an increasingly diverse faculty and leadership team, and is actively engaged in partnerships with diverse communities in the Richmond metro area. VCU Libraries is purposeful in our efforts to advance diversity and inclusion and expects that the University Archivist will be a leader in fostering a welcoming atmosphere for all members of the VCU community. The successful candidate will receive support for research, service, and professional development and will have ample opportunity to pursue diversity and inclusion-related opportunities in those areas.


Reporting to the Head, Special Collections and Archives, the University Archivist will maintain, develop, implement policy for, and provide leadership for the University Archives, which is the official repository for the records of Virginia Commonwealth University. The University Archivist will develop and maintain strong relationships with the university community to ensure permanent records, regardless of format, are transferred to University Archives to preserve the institutions’ history and document the diverse perspectives and experiences found at VCU. This position will work closely with the Special Collections and Archives processing team to ensure that materials are processed and made available to the public. In addition, the University Archivist will be responsible for promoting collections through campus outreach and programming; providing reference services, and collaborating with researchers, donors, and the campus community to increase engagement, awareness, and use of university archives. 

The University Archivist will:

  • Continue to implement the VCU University Archives Policy and work collaboratively with the VCU Records Management Office to advocate for the timely transfer of permanent records to the University Archives in accordance with the Virginia Public Records Act and the Commonwealth of Virginia Retention Schedules. 
  • Provide expertise to campus offices in identifying records of historical value and preserving the designated permanent records of the university in all formats.
  • Appraise, acquire, arrange, describe, preserve, and provide access to records of enduring and historical value in all formats according to professional standards and best practices.
  • Actively seek out and document diverse voices and communities across the university and the university’s history.
  • Initiate and coordinate outreach programming to promote the university archives through instruction, physical and online exhibits, presentations, tours, and other outreach activities in collaboration with university faculty.
  • Provide specialized reference service to users of the University Archives collections.
  • Assist in the preservation of digital materials according to digital preservation standards.
  • Oversee Special Collections and Archives personnel assigned to process University Archives.
  • Assist in managing and building oral history collections.

The University Archivist is expected to be active professionally and to contribute to developments in the field.  Faculty within the VCU Libraries are evaluated and promoted on the basis of job performance, scholarship, and service.


Required Qualifications:

  • ALA-accredited graduate degree or accredited graduate degree in another appropriate discipline.
  • Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU. 
  • Experience working with archival or institutional records in a research library, higher education, or records management setting.
  • Experience working with born-digital material and preservation of digital formats.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated experience arranging and describing analog, digital, and/or hybrid archival collections and managing legacy electronic records and born-digital materials.
  • Experience collaborating and working with campus and community groups.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and collaboratively within and across organizational and community boundaries in a diverse and evolving organization with a wide variety of users.
  • Demonstrated project management skills and the ability to manage multiple priorities.
  • Experience using ArchivesSpace or similar archival management software.
  • Certification from the Academy of Certified Archivists and/or course work from the  Society of American Archivists’ Digital Archives Specialist curriculum.
  • Awareness of current and emerging issues, trends, standards, and best practices in the archives field.
  • Knowledge or expertise in the ethical and legal issues specific to archival access to records from public educational institutions such as the Freedom of Information Act or the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Candidates need not meet preferred qualifications to be fully considered. We value many individual and unique skills that would strengthen the VCU Libraries and our teams.


Salary commensurate with experience, not less than $70,000 annually. This is a full-time, non-tenured faculty position. 12-month faculty benefits apply, including 24 vacation days annually and choice of retirement and annuity plans.   Relocation assistance is available.  Librarians are provided a generous professional development allowance.  For more information about benefits, see the Faculty Benefits page. 


Initial interviews will be conducted virtually. We anticipate inviting finalists to campus. 

Learn about the position in an online information session

We are hosting information sessions for interested applicants in advance of the June 23, 2023 review date. Please consider joining one of these sessions to learn more about the position, meet the supervisor (Chrystal Carpenter), and get answers to your questions about the position.

Join one of our info sessions via Zoom:

Wednesday, June 7, 2023, Noon-1:00 pm Eastern

Friday June 16, 2023, 3:00 pm-4:00 pm Eastern

The attendee list for each Zoom session will be hidden and those asking questions may do so anonymously. Live captioning will be provided. To attend a session, please complete the confidential form to receive a Zoom link.

Questions? Please contact Chrystal Carpenter,

Virginia Commonwealth University and the VCU Libraries

As one of only 71 public universities with academic medical centers to be designated by the Carnegie Foundation as “Community Engaged” with “Very High Research Activity,” Virginia Commonwealth University ranks among Virginia’s largest research universities, enrolling over 29,000 students. Located in the heart of Richmond, VCU offers 44 doctoral, 68 masters, 3 professional, and 71 baccalaureate degree programs. Thirty-four of VCU's graduate and professional programs are ranked by U.S. News & World Report as among the best in the nation, with 26 programs ranking in the top 50 and sculpture and nurse anesthesia ranked number one. Over 2,400 faculty comprise the University's teaching force. Research strengths at the University include health and life sciences, education, engineering, social work, behavioral sciences, public affairs, advertising and design, and the fine arts. Sponsored research funding totals over $363 million, placing VCU among the top 100 research institutions in the United States.  

Libraries at Virginia Commonwealth University, including the James Branch Cabell Library on the Monroe Park Campus and the Health Sciences Library on the MCV Campus, employ over 60 professionals and 64 staff with annual expenditures exceeding $22 million. VCU also operates academic programs in Doha, Qatar, supported by a library there, and in various locations throughout the U.S. and the world. The VCU Libraries is a member of the Association of Research Libraries, the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries, Center for Research Libraries, Coalition for Networked Information, National Digital Stewardship Alliance, Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, and the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA), a statewide networking consortium for shared access to electronic and print resources, as well as a Resource Library in the Network of the National Library of Medicine, among others.  The VCU Libraries uses the following packages for its system architecture: Alma, Primo, Islandora, Digital Commons, ArchivesSpace, ILLiad, and Omeka. 

The Monroe Park Campus of VCU is located in Richmond's Fan District, a large, residential neighborhood of townhouses, shops, and cafes. The campus is home to most of the University’s undergraduate and many of its graduate programs, including the School of the Arts, the Colleges of Humanities and Sciences, and Engineering and the Schools of Business, Education, and Social Work. The School of Social Work also offers the Masters of Social Work at the Northern Virginia Campus in Alexandria, Virginia. In addition, VCU’s Qatar campus in the Middle East offers degree programs through the School of the Arts.  

The MCV Campus, located in historic Court End near state and local government and financial centers, is home to the VCU Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy; VCU College of Health Professions; the Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research; and VCU Health. VCU Health includes VCU Medical Center, a Magnet Recognized hospital with 812 inpatient beds, outpatient clinics, a Level 1 trauma center, and over 800 physicians in 200 specialty areas, many of national and international renown, as well as the Children’s Hospital at VCU and Massey Cancer Center, Virginia's first NCI-designated cancer center. In addition to multidisciplinary centers for cancer, cardiology, neurosurgery, and transplantation, VCU Health offers virtually every form of contemporary medical service. 

For more information about the VCU Libraries, please visit our home page at Review of applications will begin June 23, 2023 and will continue until the position is filled. To apply, go to VCU Careers, complete the application and submit a cover letter, CV/resume, and the names, email addresses, addresses, and telephone numbers of three professional references.  Applicants are requested to submit a Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion providing your career aspirations and contributions toward promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Virginia Commonwealth University is an urban research institution with a richly diverse university community and commitment to multicultural opportunities. Virginia Commonwealth University is an equal opportunity affirmative action university providing access to education and employment without regard to age, race, color, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, veteran’s status, political affiliation or disability.

Apply at VCUJobs