Student Assistant for the Digital Media Archive

Title: Student Assistant for the Digital Medial Archive
Division / Dept : Library C & A - Tech Serv - Metadata
Reports to: Metadata Analyst Librarian
Work Schedule: 15 hours per week

Student positions at the University of Chicago Library are available only to University of Chicago students.

General Summary:

The Student Assistant is responsible for helping to enhance the metadata for recordings in the University of Chicago’s Digital Media Archive (DMA). The DMA is an archive of over 21,000 linguistic and ethnomusicological recordings in analog and digital form, including anthropological field recordings and pedagogical language materials, comprising 1995 separate collections. The DMA Student Metadata Assistant will review descriptive and rights metadata for DMA collections and their component items; where necessary, they will revise metadata describing the content (linguistic and genre-related) of recordings in accordance with standards of description that have been established for archive. Whenever problems or questions arise, they will consult with the Metadata Assistant for the DMA and/or the Metadata Analyst Librarian to resolve these. The position is renewable for Spring Quarter 2021 (and beyond). All work shall be done remotely during Winter Quarter 2021; health conditions permitting, at least some of the work in later quarters can be done onsite

Specific duties will include:

  • Review metadata records within a Filemaker database environment for completeness and accuracy
  • Where appropriate, convert free-text descriptions of the genre and content of DMA recordings into structured metadata entries using local and OLAC (Online Linguistic Archive Community) controlled vocabularies.
  • Communicate with the DMA Metadata Assistant, Metadata Analyst Librarian and members of the library staff to resolve ambiguous details or missing data in current metadata.
  • Where appropriate, align information about sound files duplicated on different analog sound media.
  • Where appropriate, add cross-references to resources in other digital collections to records for individual items.


  • Enrollment as an undergraduate or graduate student at the University of Chicago
  • Strong attentiveness to detail and ability to concentrate
  • Ability to learn, understand, and work with controlled vocabularies
  • Proficiency in working with Excel spreadsheets
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • A background in linguistics or philology preferred

Hours and Schedule:

  • Approximately 15 hours per week
  • This position is work-study eligible, but not required

Wage: $19.00 per hour

Start Date: Week of January 25, 2021

To Apply:

Interested candidates should send a resume and cover letter highlighting interest in the position and relevant background experience to Thomas M. Dousa (, Metadata Analyst Librarian, and apply online via our Library Student Employment Application. This position will remain open until filled.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, protected veteran status, or status as an individual with disability.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity / Disabled / Veterans Employer.

Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process may contact Human Resources at Library HR with their request.