Project Archivist Opportunity with ACOR Photo Archive Project

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Project Archivist Opportunity

International professional opportunity for a graduate student or recent graduate in Library and/or Archival Sciences

About ACOR

The American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR) is an American non-profit overseas research center in Amman, Jordan. Our mission is to promote the study, teaching, and increased knowledge of ancient and modern area studies in Jordan and the surrounding region, particularly related to archaeology and cultural heritage. See for complete details about ACOR and the Amman facility, which includes a library, a hostel for scholars, and research facilities.

About the Opportunity

In 2016, ACOR was awarded a grant by the U.S. Department of Education to digitize and make available to the public a substantial collection of historical photographs of Jordan and the Middle East. Read more about the ACOR Photographic Archive Project or view a lecture about ACOR’s archival digitization efforts here.

We are currently seeking a Project Archivist with an interest in photographic archives to join us for the Spring 2019 semester (5 months) for a 30 hours per week paid internship. Round trip international airfare, accommodation (room and half-board at the ACOR facility in Amman), and a stipend of $1400 per month are provided to the qualified candidate. The successful candidate must secure their own health and emergency evacuation insurance. Placement date is negotiable, but will preferably be January to May 2019 with the possibility for an extension in summer.

This internship is appropriate for advanced students or recent graduates in library and information science, with a preference for those specializing in archives, museums, or cultural resource management.

ACOR anticipates continuing to offer this internship to one archivist per semester for the duration of the project funding (through September 2020), so we are also open to applications for future semesters. This is an excellent opportunity to gain international experience and to travel and live in a safe environment in the Middle East.

About the Work

Working directly with the senior ACOR Library staff (Library Director and Archivist) as well as the project coordinator, the Project Archivist will be responsible for the processing (i.e. describing, cataloging, numbering/filing, digitizing, and physical care and maintenance) of the ACOR photographic collections. The Project Archivist will also oversee the work of one or more archival technicians/interns to ensure appropriate photographic digitization standards are met, and consult regularly with project staff for assistance in describing and cataloging archival material to be uploaded onto ACOR Photo archive’s digital collection management system, Starchive.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Process and arrange new and existing photo collections according to established project guidelines to prepare them for digitization.
  • Weed and curate photographic collections according to established project guidelines.
  • Scan, upload, and process images with appropriate metadata in ACOR’s digital collection management system (Starchive by Digital ReLab). Monitor digitized items for quality control and adherence to digitization standards.
  • Administrate Starchive collection management platform, adding new data fields and platform features as necessary, monitoring newly entered data for consistency, and acting as liaison with Digital ReLab for resolving technical issues with the platform.
  • Maintain order and arrangement of the physical collections, ensuring they are properly stored in archival-safe storage boxes, folders, etc. Monitor the condition of the photo archives collections and make recommendations for their preservation.
  • Maintain and update the archive’s Instagram feed and contribute photos from the archive to ACOR’s Facebook and other social media sites.
  • Each Project Archivist will select one of ACOR’s smaller collections to digitize, process, and research for the creation of a digital photo exhibit.
  • Work with ACOR staff members in identifying archival materials for use in public exhibitions, lectures, presentations, and other programs.


  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field
  • A recent or current graduate student in Library and Information Science, Archives and Records Management, Digital Humanities, Public History or another related degree program
  • Coursework in metadata standards, archives and records management, digital curation, digital preservation, and/or digital libraries
  • Working knowledge of archival standards and practices, including metadata and digital imaging standards
  • Working knowledge of proper care and handling of photos, slides, negatives, and other paper-based materials

Desired Skills

  • High level of computer/technical skills, including Microsoft Office (particularly Excel), working with collaborative/shared document environments like Google Docs, digital photography apps (Adobe Photoshop and/or Lightroom), and a basic understanding of database administration
  • Self-directed and independent, with the ability to work in a multi-cultural and multi-lingual team environment (English is the primary language at ACOR).
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent organizational skills with a high attention to detail
  • Knowledge of the geography and history of Jordan and the Middle East is helpful but not required
  • Knowledge of Arabic language is helpful but not required

To Apply:

Please send a current CV, a list of three references, and cover letter addressed to Dr. Barbara A. Porter, ACOR Director, to Applications are due by October 15, 2018.

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