Job Announcements

Library Assistant (Part-time)

Posted 11/13/2014

The Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) seeks a part-time library assistant (up to 21 hours per week) to greet visitors and provide services to researchers who make use of the Society’s collections in the MHS library.    

The MHS is an independent research library that collects, preserves, and makes accessible manuscripts and other materials that promote the study of the history of our nation—a mission that has remained constant since 1791. The MHS holds more than 3,600 manuscript collections, as well as extensive collections of early American imprints, newspapers, maps, printed ephemera, photographs, engravings, and other research materials.

The library is staffed Monday through Friday 8:45 AM to 4:45 PM and Saturday 8:45 AM to 4:00 PM. The ideal candidate would have a flexible schedule including Saturday availability.  

Duties: The library assistant works as part of the reference team and reports to the Reference Librarian. Duties include staffing the library reception area, answering telephone and email reference queries, monitoring the reading room, and assisting the reference staff with various library tasks. The library assistant greets, authorizes, and directs all researchers entering the library; explains MHS library policies and procedures; and directs incoming telephone calls for the MHS as a whole. The library assistant spends the majority of their time interacting directly with the public. This position is essential in promoting the Society’s public image and in maintaining the security of the collections.

Requirements: The successful candidate will have a Bachelor’s degree; a demonstrated interest in American history, with strong interest in Early American or Massachusetts/New England history preferred; proficiency with Microsoft Office applications; strong research skills; excellent written and verbal communication skills; strong planning and organization skills with ability to prioritize and multi-task; the ability to work well in a team environment; and experience working with a diverse public in a customer service or similar position.

Coursework in Library and Information Science, and/or familiarity with archival principles, user-end functions of an integrated library system (Voyager), and providing reference assistance, as well as previous experience working in a library, museum, or other historical organization are preferred.

This position requires the ability to lift boxes weighing up to forty pounds and to transport materials loaded onto wheeled carts. 

Salary: $14.00/hour.

Application procedure:  Please send an application by email (preferred) or postal mail, including a cover letter, brief resume, and three references to Anna Clutterbuck-Cook, at or Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215

Applications must be received by 9am, 1 December 2014 to be considered.


Editor in Chief, The Adams Papers


The Massachusetts Historical Society seeks an Editor in Chief for the Adams Papers documentary editing project. Responsible for all facets of the Adams Papers project, the Editor in Chief will play an active role in editing volumes as well as overseeing fundraising and development, personnel, and outreach. He/she will report to the President of the Society. The successful candidate will have a PhD and an established record in documentary editing. Required skills include editorial management and grants administration experience, knowledge of the early American republic, and familiarity with evolving trends in the digital humanities. Preference will be given to candidates who have both a PhD in history with a specialty in the early American republic and previous experience managing a documentary editing project. Applications, including a cover letter, a CV, and three references, will be accepted by Email (send to: All questions or nominations should be directed to the attention of the Chair of the Search Committee, Frederick D. Ballou, (via Email to: Review of applications will begin after September 15, 2014 and continue until the position is filled.


The Editor in Chief is the senior member of the Adams Papers editorial project and is charged with overseeing the publication of edited volumes of the papers of the Adams family, spanning the mid-eighteenth to the late-nineteenth centuries. The edition is currently producing books in two series, Papers of John Adams and Adams Family Correspondence, which are published under the Belknap Press imprint of Harvard University Press. The Editor in Chief is responsible both for maintaining the quality of volumes in the Adams Papers series and for the administration of the project. The job requires attention to the project’s size, scope, resources, organization, and digital applications, and the Editor in Chief must be adept at large-scale planning and setting priorities. She/he also represents the project to scholarly audiences and to the general public and is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with external partners.

Working with a small team of colleagues, the Editor in Chief takes an active role in editing the Adams Papers. She/he is responsible for creating a cooperative and collegial work environment and supervises the project staff by assigning responsibilities, monitoring the quality of work, and assuring its timely completion. She/he also organizes searches to fill staff vacancies and nominates candidates for appointment to the President of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

The Editor in Chief is responsible for securing the project’s funding from public and private sources and for maintaining good relations with funders. She/he oversees expenditures, prepares the annual budget, and submits it for approval to the Adams Papers Administrative Committee and the Massachusetts Historical Society Board of Trustees.

The Editor in Chief is an employee of the Massachusetts Historical Society, subject to its policies and procedures. She/he reports to the President of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

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