Sound Archive Librarian, Archive of Recorded Sound

Job Location Braun Music Center
Job Category Library

Classification: Assistant Librarian or Associate Librarian. This 
position is double posted at the 3P1/3P2 levels. Compensation and rank 
will be based on relevant qualifications and experience.

Appointment Date: As soon as possible.

Responsible to: Head Librarian, Music Library and Archive of Recorded Sound

The Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources 
(SULAIR) invite applications and nominations for the Sound Archives 
Librarian. This is an Academic Staff continuing appointment. Applicants 
should apply via: Please supply a cover 
letter, a complete statement of qualifications, a full resume of 
including education and relevant experience, and the names and addresses 
of three references with knowledge of one’s professional qualifications 
for this position.

The person in this position has a wide variety of responsibilities for 
providing access to materials, assisting the public in use of the 
collection, transferring archival recordings to digital form for patron 
use, preserving the Archive’s physical collections, and supervising 
staff and student assistants. The librarian will actively manage the 
collection of historical recordings acquired by the Archive. The 
position provides an opportunity for exploring and implementing creative 
solutions to providing access to large numbers of recordings and an 
equally creative approach to public service in one of the world’s most 
important sound archives at a leading research institution.

Specific Responsibilities:

* Using existing and emerging metadata schemas (MODS, Dublin Core, MARC, 
etc.), together with traditional cataloging standards (RDA, LCSH), 
techniques and EAD archival finding aids, supports creation, 
organization, and maintenance of various forms of metadata to facilitate 
discovery and access to historical audio recordings, in their original 
and digitized formats as appropriate.

Collaborates with Music and ARS staff to evaluate, select and apply 
metadata schemas and techniques, standards, data elements and thesauri 
to provide description and access to audio recordings. Actively pursues 
innovative discovery techniques as they emerge and adapts them to local 

Responsible for associated authority work and quality control as defined 
for particular schemas and according to local procedures. Searches 
authority files, creates and updates name, name-uniform title and series 
authority records.

Answers reference questions from patrons regarding the ARS collections 
and related public service duties.

Digitizes individual audio recordings for preservation, personal 
research, or class use. Maintains audio room in Archive of Recorded 
Sound. In collaboration with technicians and expert partners, keeps 
software up to date, and performs routine maintenance & repair. Manages 
scheduling of use of audio room. Supervises operations manager in audio 
room tasks.

Collaborates with Media Preservation lab to create discovery/content 
metadata for digitized audio collections and to manage digitization 

Maintains the ARS website by revising and writing new text using Drupal.

Supervises the Operations Manager and student assistants in the Archive 
of Recorded Sound.

Oversees inventory control of ARS collections performed by the 
operations manager and student assistants including barcoding, shelving, 
and paging materials to and from remote storage.

Assists the Head Librarian in the review and assessment of gift 
collections as necessary.

Assists the Head Librarian in conducting tours, class and public 
presentations, and other outreach activities.

Assists in the preparation and writing of grant proposals.

MLS/MLIS degree from an ALA-accredited graduate school is required or 
work in progress toward the degree.

B.A. in music or equivalent or work in progress toward the degree is 
required with demonstrated subject knowledge of music history and 
theory. A graduate degree in music is highly desirable.

Knowledge of reference materials and research tools in music and audio 
recordings; knowledge of audio recording history; and knowledge of 
discography is required.

Knowledge of audio archives principles and practices is required. At 
least 2 years of experience working in a sound archive is required.

Theoretical and practical knowledge of current cataloging/metadata 
procedures and principles as defined in RDA, MARC21, Dublin Core, MODS, 
METS, DACS, and EAD. Ability to provide mapping between different 
metadata standards in a dynamic environment. Knowledge of XML and XSLT. 
Ability to rapidly learn and implement new cataloging procedures, 
principles, schemas and relevant thesauri or ontologies, as required.

Experience with Sirsi Symphony, Archivists’ Toolkit, and Drupal is 
desired. The ability to learn these systems rapidly is required.

Theoretical and practical knowledge of digitization principles and 
practices or the ability to rapidly learn audio digitization, preferably 
with specific experience in media digitization and with audio equipment. 
Proficiency with WaveLab or other audio digitization applications 
desirable. Basic knowledge of audio preservation best practices.

High level of proficiency using PC-based applications (Windows, word 
processing, spreadsheets) and other computer applications (email, 
Internet); high level competency kept up to date through continuous 

Ability to manage staff positions and student assistants. Excellent 
written and verbal communication skills.

Sound working knowledge of at least one modern European language, 
German, French or Italian strongly preferred; working knowledge of other 
European languages


The libraries of Stanford University consist of over nine million 
volumes and over 400 staff members and include the University Libraries 
system and five “coordinate” (school or institution) libraries. The 
Stanford University Libraries consist of a main research library (Green 
Library) and twelve research branch libraries serving the sciences, 
social sciences and humanities.

The Archive of Recorded Sound was established in 1958 and is one of the 
largest sound archives in the United States. It was one of the first 
major collections devoted to the acquisition, preservation, and 
dissemination of historically and artistically significant sound 
recordings. The Archive’s holdings number over 350,000 ranging from 
early cylinder recordings to the latest digital files and includes a 
comprehensive reference collection on recording history and discography. 
The staff of the Archive work closely with the staff of the Music 
Library which together consists of 4 FTE professional staff and 4 FTE 
support staff plus student assistants.

The Archive of Recorded Sound is part of the Collections and Services 
Program that report to the Assistant University Librarians for Public 
Services and Collection Development.

Stanford is committed to the principles of diversity and encourages 
applications from women, members of ethnic minorities, and individuals 
with disabilities.

Jerry McBride
Head Librarian
Music Library and Archive of Recorded Sound
President, Music Library Association

Braun Music Center, Room 104
Stanford University
541 Lasuen Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-3076

650-384-9817 (mobile)
650-725-1145 (fax)