Student Jobs in Special Collections & University Archives at UMD!

Do you want pursue a career as a librarian or archivist? Do you love libraries and “old stuff”? Are you detail-oriented and organized? Are you looking for a job on campus with great colleagues? Good news,  Special Collections and University Archives is hiring student assistants!

IMG_0790Student assistants in Special Collections and University Archives at UMD experience a wide variety of public and behind-the-scenes elements of the special collection library/archival field.  They work closely with curators and library staff to make accessible some of the University’s most valuable research collections. And working in Special Collections and University Archives is also a lot of fun!

Our collections cover a wide variety of subjects/formats, including literary manuscripts and rare books, UMD history, labor history, the state of Maryland and other historical collections, mass media and culture, and women’s history. Student assistants get hands on experience working with unique materials like photographs from the Baltimore News American and the Diamondback, audio-visual materials from NPR, paper records of the AFL-CIO, 17th and 18th century French pamphlets, and much more!

Student assistant responsibilities may include the following:

  • Retrieving and shelving special collection materials and providing assistance to researchers in the Maryland Room, the reading room for Special Collections and University Archives.
  • Staffing the Hornbake welcome desk.
  • Processing Special Collections materials, including book, archival, and/or digital collections.
  • Contributing to special projects, social media, events, and exhibits.

We are looking for reliable and enthusiastic students who have an ability to learn quickly, with excellent written and verbal communication skills, a passion for history and cultural heritage, and a willingness to work both independently and collaboratively with students and staff, with minimal supervision. Efficiency in computer programs such as Word or Excel are required. Students must also be able to lift archival boxes and books for retrievals. Experience in an archives/special collection library or doing historical research is helpful but not essential.

We hire student assistants throughout the year, both graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged to apply.  Applicants must be able to maintain a consistent schedule of at least 15 hours per week. Shifts are available from 9:00am – 5:00pm Monday – Friday, with extended hours available during the Fall and Spring semesters on Wednesday nights and Sundays 1pm-6pm.

These are hourly positions only; not graduate assistantships. The University of Maryland is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

To inquire about open student positions in Special Collections and University Archives, contact Amber Kohl at amberk@umd.edu.

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Letters to Mother: A Brother’s Reunion

Originally called Armistice Day, November 11, 1919, was reserved as a day of remembrance for the one-year anniversary of the end of the Great War.  Observed since 1926 and celebrated as a national holiday since 1938, now known as Veterans Day, honors all military personnel who have served the United States.  This year, America celebrated the 99th anniversary of the day that ended the “War to End All Wars.”  Accessible at the University of Maryland Special Collections, the Milton Reckord papers – which includes letters, photographs, newspaper clippings, awards, and memorabilia – affords an opportunity to compare the correspondence of two of Harford County’s very own “doughboys” from Maryland, General Milton Atchinson Reckord, and his younger brother, Colonel Leland Tell Reckord.

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The Labor Movement and Film, Part 2: “For the Union Makes Us Strong”

Let’s continue on the journey of exploring the Labor History Collections films that are featured in the “For Liberty, Justice, and Equality: Unions Making History in America” exhibit! In part 1 of this blog series, we looked at Leading the Way: Black Trade Unions in South Africa, Pay Equality, To Dream, and Solidarity Day. All four of these films explored various events from history that correlate to the social justice topics that are discussed in the displays. Though the topics may be different, the films help viewers understand how social justice issues and the labor movement are intertwined and how historical events resonate today.

The film Toxic Earth explores the alliance between the labor and environmental justice movements. Today, environmental topics are always in the news and are being discussed in political debates. The ability to watch this discussion transform within the context of the labor movement can help us see how we have gotten to the point of the conversation we are in today.

“Today’s environment is the one we will earn and choose by organizing and working on the issues of occupational and environmental health. By demanding “Right To Know” laws, controls on acid rain, strict regulations, and enforcement of standards. The alternative is leaving life and death decisions in the hands of polluting corporations, relaying on lax and inadequate government supervision. Our greatest strength is in working together.”

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The Labor Movement and Film, Part 1: “For the Union Makes Us Strong”

There are many films that allow you to actually see and hear events from history at University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives. For the Labor History Archives exhibit, “For Liberty, Justice, and Equality: Unions Making History in America,” the labor history archives team wanted you to have the ability to experience these historical events. We are showcasing eight video clips that visitors can enjoy within the gallery space and are easily accessible on an iPad. The films that we chose touch on a variety of topics that correlate to the displays. Many of the films that we are showcasing probably have not been seen since they originally aired. Since we were able to digitize these original copies, they will be preserved and easily accessible to everyone online.

Film Ipad

Erin Berry looking through all eight clips that are easy viewable on an iPad in the Hornbake Library gallery.

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Curator’s Choice: Favorite Item in the Labor History Exhibit

For the past year I have helped co-curate the Labor History Collections exhibit, “For Liberty, Justice, and Equality: Unions Making History in America.” It has been an exciting and rewarding experience that has taught me so much about the vast history of the labor movement. One of the displays that I designed and installed was “Labor, Recreation, and Rest: The Movement for the Eight-Hour Day”. While looking through the vast Labor History Collections here at University of Maryland, Special Collections and University Archives, I came upon a very odd and fragile document. At first I did not know the significance, only that it was House Resolution 8357 and was approved by President Harrison on August 1, 1892.

H.R. 8357, 1892

House Resolution 8537, the first federal resolution for the eight-hour workday.

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The Armed Services Editions: Books for Soldiers in World War II

Between 1943 and 1947, the Council on Books in Wartime shipped nearly 123 million books to American soldiers. Not just any books, but specially designed Armed Services Editions were lightweight paperbacks designed to easily fit in a soldier’s pocket. The 1,227 unique titles in the series were selected to appeal to a wide variety of interests, including literary classics, contemporary bestsellers, and various works of nonfiction. Continue reading

Join us for an Open House

Join staff from Special Collections and University Archives for our annual Open House. Explore treasures from our collections, mix and mingle with your colleagues and get a behind the scenes peak at what we do. Light fare will be served including sushi, tea and cookies.

Thursday, November 16th
3:00-5:00pm
Hornbake Library North, Gordon W. Prange Reading Room, 4th floor

We hope to see you there.

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