Photo Archivist

Athens, Ohio
Salary is commensurate with experience and education. Ohio University employees enjoy a liberal benefits package including 21 days annual vacation, generous insurance, and Ohio state employee or alternative retirement. The Libraries are committed to pro


Ohio University Libraries


Required Qualifications 

  • MLS/MLIS from an ALA-accredited institution at point of hire 

  • At least one year of relevant experience in a cultural heritage setting 

  • Working knowledge of archival theory and practice, and an understanding of inclusive practices in description, access, and digitization 

  • The ability to seamlessly manage multiple simultaneous projects and workflows 

  • The ability to work effectively both independently and collaboratively within a team environment 

  • Superior oral and written communication skills 

  • Creative problem-solving skills and leadership skills 

Preferred Qualifications 

  • Experience with and/or knowledge of photography collections 

  • Knowledge of digital image editing software and data management software 

  • Knowledge of metadata and description standards


The Environment 

Ohio University Libraries takes pride in providing outstanding service to all its clientele.  The Libraries is a member of the Association of Research Libraries, the Center for Research Libraries, and is a founding member of OhioLINK.  The Libraries facilities include the Vernon R. Alden Library, the Music and Dance Library, and the Southeast Ohio Regional Depository. 

The Documentary Photography Archives is part of the Libraries’ Arts and Archives, which includes the Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections, The Frederick and Kazuko Harris Fine Arts Library, and the Music and Dance Library.  The Photo Archivist will report to the Head of Arts and Archives.  The Lynn Johnson Collection, the cornerstone of the Documentary Photo Archive, is the collection of award-winning photojournalist Lynn Johnson (MA ’01), who across her career documented the lives of everyday people from across the globe in extraordinary circumstances. The Lynn Johnson Collection consists of nearly 2 million images from her early freelance and Pittsburgh Press work to assignments for National Geographic, LIFE, Sports Illustrated, and numerous other publications. 

Ohio University is a comprehensive, state-assisted institution that is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a Research University (high-research activity) institution.  Ohio University is in Athens, Ohio, a culturally rich, sustainability-focused community situated in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in the southeast corner of Ohio, seventy-five miles from Columbus, the state capital.  Athens is within a four-hour drive or less of Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Indianapolis.  With nearly 24,000 students on the Athens campus and 10,000 students on five regional campuses, the University offers a diverse, dynamic, and collegial atmosphere to students, faculty, and staff.



The Ohio University Libraries seeks a Photo Archivist to serve as curator for the Documentary Photo Archive, the cornerstone of which is the Lynn Johnson Collection.  The Photo Archivist will lead the Documentary Photo Archive to the next stage of its development and with a consultative mindset, engage with colleagues to curate photographs held in collections across the Ohio University Libraries’ Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections. The Photo Archivist will curate both analog and born-digital photographs across their lifecycle, from acquisition through arrangement and description, access, collections management and care, and long-term preservation.  The Photo Archivist will engage both broadly and deeply with photography collections in practice through research services, public services, and information and visual literacy instruction.  Wide-ranging collaboration with team members across the Libraries staff, and robust engagement with and outreach to the University community and the wider scholarly community and interested public are central to the work of the position.  



  • Research, arrange, and describe analog and digital photography collections inclusively and according to professional best practices and standards in order to make content more widely accessible. 

  • Plan and establish priorities and workflows, in collaboration with colleagues, for the digitization of portions of analog photography collections and the accession and processing of born digital photography collections.   

  • Engage in short and long-term collections management lifecycle planning for analog and born digital photography collections, including the care, conservation, and preservation of photography collections. 

  • Engage in public services and outreach, including to traditionally underserved populations/users, and teach information and visual literacy instruction, integrating photography collections into University teaching and learning 

  • Build and maintain positive relationships with stakeholders, such as the University community and members of the public, including donors. 

  • Research, respond to, and document complex photo permissions requests.   

  • Engage in professional development and service through research, publication, presentations, and participation in state, regional, and national professional associations as part of a continuing commitment to bring best practices and services to the Ohio University Libraries. 


Contact Information: 

Please apply online at 

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