WL W17 WL W16 Archival Digitization Student Assistant

UBC Vancouver Work Learn Program

University of British Columbia – Library, University Archives

Job Type – UBC Vancouver Work Learn Program

Number of Openings – 1

Job Description
The Archival Digitization Student Assistant will be working with University Archives department, which serves as UBC’s corporate memory by identifying, preserving and making available for use the University’s valuable text, photo and audio-visual archival materials. The Archives also coordinates the University-wide records management program which supports various departments by preserving evidence of past decisions and events; serves in a public relations capacity by disseminating information about UBC’s history; and supports academic research through the provision of reference services and specialized research tools.

The student will be primarily responsible for carrying out various small-scale digitization projects involving a variety of formats of archival materials housed in the University Archives.

This will involve:
• Capturing the original analog source material and the editing of the electronic surrogate. We anticipate that projects will include textual and photographic material as well as audio and video recordings.
• Editing the new electronic copy of the digitized object
• Participating in the development and entry of associated descriptive metadata (descriptive cataloguing).
• Determining the best way to carry-out assigned projects and managing timelines and project deadlines

In addition to the digitization activities the student may participate in basic arrangement and description of archival material and will carry out some clerical tasks associated with the operation of the University Archives.

Supervision for the position will be provided by Archives’ support staff while archivists in the unit will provide supervision and support for the development of the associated metadata. After receiving training it is anticipated that the student will be able to carry out these projects as assigned in a fairly independent manner. The student will be largely responsible for determining and reporting back as to how best to carry out the project and estimating the time necessary to complete the tasks.

Impact on the unit
One of University Archives’ primary goals is to continue to add to the volume of Archives’ unique online historical content. For the past several years, University Archives has put considerable efforts into digitizing a significant portion of the records that chronicle the history of UBC history in order to make them more fully accessible to users via the internet. The digitization projects undertaken by the student will make important contributions towards achieving our goal of creating enhanced online access to the various formats of holdings of the University Archives for students, faculty, researchers and community members to access.


Graduate student enrolled in Archival Studies or Library Science at UBC iSchool preferred
• Appreciation of the proper handling of archival material and an understanding of the nature of archival arrangement
• Knowledge of the development and application of standardized metadata.
• Previous experience with document and photographic scanning, file editing and PDF creation (preferred)
• Experience with a variety of computer operating systems and software packages (preferred)
• Experience with the digitization and/or editing of digital audio and video recordings.
• Openness to instruction and training
• Self-starter attitude, capable of working independently as well as part of a team
• Excellent attention to detail
• Other desirable attributes include good time management and creative problem-solving skills and dependability

University Diversity Statement

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.

Orientation & Training
Archives staff will provide the student with a comprehensive orientation in which we describe the full range of activities and objectives of the unit. This involves:
– An overview of the resources and materials held in the University Archives
– Training on best practices relating to the creation and provision of access to an extensive, online collection of digital resources.
– Overview of how the Archives fits into the University and the Library
– Training on the use of a variety of different scanning devises for both paper-based material and audio and video recordings and software for creating PDFs and editing digitized photographs and a/v materials.
– Training on the creation of standardized descriptive information (metadata) to be applied to the digital resources so that researchers are able to efficiently retrieve material.
– Health & Safety Orientation for the University Archives area

Mentoring and Feedback

• The student will be trained and mentored by the Archivists and Archives’ support staff
• The student will receive regular feedback from the Archivists and on-going support from the entire team
• Feedback can be bi-directional, and our department is also open to taking advantage of any ideas the student may have about new ways of doing things

Networking & Professional Growth

The student will gain very valuable and practical archival work experience through their work creating and editing new digital content and an appreciation for the development and application of clear and consistent metadata to facilitate retrieval. With an increasingly greater emphasis, within the Archival discipline, placed on the digitization of unique and rare materials this practical experience will be very beneficial as they look for future employment opportunities.
• The student will also gain practical work experience in an Archival / Library as well as experience working in an office setting
• This experience will complement any classroom experience the Archival or Library Science student is gaining through their studies.
• In terms of networking, the student will work closely with our Archivists who are very well connected in the BC and Canadian archival communities. This has been of great benefit to some of our previous students particularly when they have applied for professional archival and library positions after graduation. In addition there may be an opportunity to collaborate with other professionals and students working on digitization projects in Rare Books & Special Collections and Digital Initiatives.

Hours Per Week – 10

Salary / Wage – $16.16

Preferred Degrees/Disciplines – Arts/Social Sciences

Anticipated Start Date – September 1, 2017

Experience Level – Current Students in a Masters Program

* new and returning MAS and dual-programme students*

Applications can be submitted either through CareersOnline or directly to Erwin Wodarczak, erwin.wodarczak@ubc.ca

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