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Starting pay rate: $15.25 / hour

Federal Work Study preferred.

Position Description

Special Collections and Archives (SCA) at Cline Library organizes, cares for, and provides public access to unique archival and primary source materials, including historic documents, photographs, sound recordings, moving images, and born-digital materials. SCA is responsible for two different groups of material: the Colorado Plateau Archives, which encompasses archival collections pertaining to the human and natural history of the Colorado Plateau region, and the Northern Arizona University Archives, which include the permanent historical records of Northern Arizona University (NAU).  

Student Assistants are invaluable members of the SCA team. If you are interested in the information professions, cultural heritage, and/or working in galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAMs) and looking for rewarding on-campus work as part of a supportive team, we encourage you to apply.

SCA Student Assistants communicate with their supervisor(s) and peers to successfully manage long-term projects as well as complete shorter-term tasks. Through collaborative work with SCA staff, they gain knowledge of potential career paths in the cultural heritage and information professions through hands-on skill development. Student Assistants learn specialized archival processing and preservation techniques to safely organize, handle, store, and retrieve archival materials. They utilize appropriate technologies to inventory and track collections material through detailed data entry work. They may also use appropriate dedicated hardware such as scanners and software such as digital asset management systems to digitize archival materials for online access. Finally, Student Assistants support SCA staff in respectfully and equitably meeting the needs of diverse users, including NAU and CCC faculty, students, community members, and SCA’s cultural heritage partners.

Please note that Special Collections & Archives’ current operating hours are 8 AM – 5 PM, Monday through Thursday, and 8 AM – 4 PM on Friday. All applicants for the Student Assistant position must be able to work 10-15 hours a week during SCA’s normal operating hours.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Must be an active NAU student (i.e. enrolled in classes and degree- or certification-seeking).
  • Interest in learning specialized library and archival skills and developing professionally on the job.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Effective written and verbal communication and active listening skills.
  • Proactively seeks guidance and support from supervisors and peers to accomplish work tasks correctly and in a timely manner.
  • Comfort with working independently on solo tasks or in a team environment to coordinate project-based work.
  • Reliable, highly detail-oriented, and well-organized.
  • Academic background in History, Museum Studies, Comparative Cultural Studies, Communication Studies, Journalism, Applied Indigenous Studies, Native American Studies, Ethnic Studies, Anthropology, or similar fields.
  • Willingness to learn about and abide by departmental and professional best practices, including the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials.
  • Able to maintain confidentiality regarding sensitive information such as donor information.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Communicates effectively with supervisor(s) in writing (email) and in person regarding work tasks; seeks supervisor(s) feedback to successfully complete work tasks or to ask questions regarding archival procedures; actively seeks supervisor feedback on work quality and work tasks.
  • Demonstrates dependability in accomplishing work tasks in a timely and efficient measure; communicates in advance about scheduling and schedule changes; participates in supervisory, project, and team meetings.
  • Learns about the cultures and communities documented in the archival collections held by SCA; keeps an open mind to new ways of thinking and different cultural perspectives.
  • Inventories archival collections material using dedicated software tools such as Excel spreadsheets and Google Sheets; gathers, summarizes and analyzes information about archival collections material; ensures that information and data collected meets SCA’s needs and standards.
  • Performs specialized preservation and conservation techniques (e.g. rehousing using archival supplies) for irreplaceable archival material.
  • Properly handles fragile textual, photographic, moving image, audio, born-digital, and/or 3D items during processing, storage, and retrieval.
  • Safely and accurately retrieves and shelves published and archival material from SCA’s collections storage areas; assists SCA staff in safely moving collections material within or between SCA’s storage environments.
  • May use specialized technologies (both hardware and software) to digitize textual, photographic, sound recording, and moving image material for online access via the Colorado Plateau Digital Collections.
  • May coordinate shared work tasks with other project or team members; may be asked to train new student employees or other team members on work processes.

Special Collections and Archives (SCA) values the diversity of the people it hires and serves. Diversity in (SCA) means fostering a workplace in which individual differences are recognized, appreciated, respected and responded to in ways that fully develop and utilize each person’s talents and strengths.

Application Instructions

You must submit a complete application in Handshake to be considered for this position. Your application must include:

  1. Your current resume, highlighting your academic background and relevant previous work experience.
  2. A completed NAU Student Employment application and availability form uploaded as your "Other Document." The form is attached to this position and must be filled out completely with clear availability.
  3. A 1 to 2 page original cover letter (see tips at in your own words that answers the following questions and demonstrates that you have read and understood the job description:
  • What interests you most about working in Special Collections and Archives?
  • How does this position relate to your academic coursework at NAU?
  • How do your abilities and experience lend themselves to this position? Please address specific Preferred Qualifications for the position, listed above.
  • What skills and experience do you hope to gain from working in this position?

Your application will be considered only if all components are submitted according to the above instructions.