New England's Hidden Histories Project Director
|Location:||Massachusetts, United States|
The Congregational Library & Archives seeks an energetic Project Director for its signature New England’s Hidden Histories (NEHH) program. Funded by a Humanities Collections and Reference Resources grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, NEHH digitizes, transcribes, and makes freely available in CLA’s digital archive extant seventeenth- and eighteenth-century church records from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine as well as supporting ecclesiastical documents—diaries, synod records, sermons, and the papers of everyday adherents.
CLA has been working with churches, museums, libraries, and local cultural institutions since 2005 to make endangered and previously unavailable Congregational church records accessible through preservation, digitization, and transcription. NEHH has increased access to hidden, fragile, or difficult to reach materials and brought to light the stories of individuals and communities, including the underrepresented voices of African Americans, Native Americans, and women in early New England congregations. In March 2022, CLA launched a new digital archive containing NEHH records. The archive currently has 182 collections containing nearly 4,400 digital objects and more than 104,000 digital images. This approach also has the advantage of bringing widely dispersed materials into a single digital archive where enhanced metadata and transcription allow the documents and collections to “communicate” with and inform one another.
More information on the NEHH Project can be found here: https://www.congregationallibrary.org/nehh/main
Reporting to CLA’s Executive Director, the Hidden Histories Project Director is responsible for managing the strategic direction and day-to-day operations of the New England Hidden Histories (NEHH) project. This involves supervision of the project’s Director of Transcription and coordination of the NEHH-related work of other CLA staff members. The position has overall responsibility for project management, including acquisition of church records, content development, transcription, and outreach and publicity. In conjunction with CLA’s Executive Director, the Hidden Histories Project Director will develop and implement a short-term (three years) and long-term plan within the context of CLA’s mission and program objectives, including a plan to optimize future grant support, revive the NEHH Advisory Committee, and foster ongoing and new partnerships with cultural institutions, churches, historical libraries, and other key stakeholders.
Working closely with, and under the leadership and supervision of, CLA’s Executive Director, the Hidden Histories Project Director will be responsible for the following.
- Project Management
- Coordinate program activities
- Organize meetings of and seek guidance from the NEHH Advisory Committee
- Complete all required grant reporting
- Monitor project spending
- Work in partnership with CLA’s Director of Development to research grant sources and create grant proposals, identify and cultivate potential donors, and maintain relationships with existing donors
- Acquisition of Church Records
- Identify historically significant documents to target for potential acquisition and/or digitization
- Contact and work with local churches, museums, historical societies, and other organizations holding records
- Coordinate loans, transfers of records, and completion of gift agreements
- Digitization and Content Development
- Prioritize collections to be digitized, including material in CLA’s collections or held by other institutions
- Approve final images in conjunction with CLA archival staff
- Monitor content development and provide final approval
- Identify important themes and hidden voices within the collection
- Supervise NEHH’s Director of Transcription, who is responsible for managing the day-to-day transcription work
- Prioritize documents for transcription
- Identify documents requiring professional services and contract with professional transcribers
- Identify documents for volunteers, who will work with the Director of Transcription
- Finalize all proofreading
- Outreach and Publicity
- Establish and maintain working relationships with other repositories holding seventeenth- and eighteenth-century church records, and, when possible, arrange for sharing of digital texts
- Establish and maintain relationships with genealogists and genealogical societies
- Maintain an e-mailing list of scholars, students, pastors, church historians, repositories, local historical societies, and others interested in regular project updates
- Coordinate with CLA’s Communication Manager to develop social and print media publicity
- Write blog posts and articles about NEHH and specific documents in the collection and digital archive
- In consultation with the Board of Directors’ Program Committee, organize panels, roundtables, talks, workshops, and other events at CLA as well as other organizations
- Speak at events sponsored by CLA and other organizations
- Participate in planning for upcoming anniversaries (2026 – 250th of Declaration of Independence; 2030 – 400th founding of Boston)
Qualifications and Experience
While no candidate will possess every quality outlined for this position, the successful candidate will bring many of the following professional qualifications, experiences, and personal attributes.
- Master’s degree in history, public history, American Studies, religious studies, digital humanities or other relevant field. PhD preferred
- Knowledge of Congregational history, North American colonial history (1620-1820), and/or African American, Native American, and women’s history
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Strong project management skills
- Evidence of successful securing of grants
- Previous experience working with or in galleries, libraries, archives, or museums preferred
The Project Director must live in New England, have a personal vehicle, and be able to travel across all six New England states as needed. In consultation with the Executive Director, the Project Director may work from home, at CLA’s office, or some combination of both.
The salary range for this position is $60,000 to $70,000 annually, commensurate with experience.
CLA provides a generous package of benefits, including medical and dental insurance (80% and 75% employer contribution for individual and family coverage, respectively), short-term and long-term disability insurance, and 403(b) matching contributions up to 3%. Also, significant paid time off is offered (twelve holidays, two personal days, twenty vacation days, and ten sick days). CLA also provides a monthly stipend for a MBTA pass for those who live in metro Boston.
About the Congregational Library & Archives
The Congregational Library & Archives (CLA) is an independent research library located in Boston, Massachusetts. Established in 1853, CLA is a repository for some 225,000 books, pamphlets, periodicals, and manuscripts documenting the development and growth of the Congregational tradition in the United States as well as Canada and Great Britain. Its rare book collections include an unusually large and rich collection of first- and second-generation Puritan works. Its archival collection of institutional records and personal papers from denominational, missionary, and social service agencies extends over 2,017 linear feet.
CLA’s mission is to foster deeper understanding of the spiritual, intellectual, cultural, and civic dimensions of the Congregational story and its ongoing relevance in the 21st century by collecting and sharing materials and by actively engaging with, among others, scholars and the general public. To carry out this mission, CLA preserves and makes available materials pertaining to Congregationalism, the history of which has been interwoven with the development of North America and the United States since the seventeenth century. CLA’s library and archives holds a rich collection of historical materials, which have significance not only for church history, but also for social and political history and genealogy. It provides free access to the collections, including online through New England’s Hidden Histories. CLA offers educational programs, including exhibits, author talks, and book discussion groups for a broad range of audiences
Applicants are required to submit a resume and cover letter that describes how your qualifications and experience match CLA’s needs and mission. Send to Marty Walz at firstname.lastname@example.org by September 1, 2022. Please include “NEHH Project Director” in the subject line.
CLA encourages and welcomes diversity throughout the organization. CLA does not discriminate and protects against harassment based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by law. CLA employs people based on ability, experience, education, and character.
CLA’s policy applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, hiring, retention, promotion, compensation and benefits, working conditions, performance evaluation, professional development, disciplinary action, and termination.
|Primary Category:||American History / Studies