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Visual AIDS seeks a Community Archivist to manage the growth of our archival collections and programs.

As we continue to invest in the growth and care of the Visual AIDS Archive, the Community Archivist will become a core staff position. This is a growing position that we intend to transition to a full-time role by 2025.

About the Visual AIDS Archive

The Visual AIDS Archive collects artwork documentation, personal papers, and records pertaining to the lives and work of artists living with HIV and AIDS, as well as those who have passed. The Archive was started in 1994 by Frank Moore and David Hirsh as a response to losing not only friends in the AIDS crisis but also the loss of art and materials that often followed. The Archive currently exists as artist folders that are made up of artwork documentation (mainly in the form of slide photographs taken by Visual AIDS volunteers during the 1990s), personal papers such as artist statements, CVs, press clippings, exhibition announcements, correspondence with Visual AIDS, and other objects related to the lives and work of these artists. In the spirit of community archives, our donations have come from artist members, estates, friends, and family members.

Since 2012, the Archive has also expanded online as the Visual AIDS Artist+ Registry. The online registry currently features digitized images and biographical information related to 347 artists from the physical archive, along with 418 other artists who have joined or been added digitally. The registry can be browsed at

Community Archivist

Part-Time (24 hours/week)
In-Person, New York, NY
Compensation: $25–30/hour, based on experience

Duties include:

Hands-on processing, arrangement, and description of existing collections

  • Complete folder-level description of Visual AIDS Artist Files (39 linear feet)

  • Publish a DACS-compliant finding aid for the Visual AIDS Artist Files in accordance with DHP grant requirements

  • Create a system for managing institutional records and arrange and describe unprocessed collections pertaining to Visual AIDS’ institutional history

  • Catalog and organize research library according to Library of Congress standards

Interface with community members

  • Work directly with Artist Members and estates to gather and update biographical information and add additional physical and/or digital materials to the archive and Visual AIDS website

  • Facilitate in-person and virtual research visits and field research questions in a timely manner

  • Assist in developing community surveys and other forms of community input to ensure accessibility and inclusivity

Develop and implement community-based archival policies and manage collections growth

  • Building on existing documents, further articulate plans for collection management and development that uphold Visual AIDS’ organizational values

  • Collaboratively envision strategies for the sustainable growth of our collections through new acquisitions, community engagement, and focused research projects

The Community Archivist should:

  • Be a people person who is comfortable communicating directly and empathetically with our broad and diverse constituency.

  • Have hands-on experience in processing archival collections and archival management, preferably in a community-based archive setting.

  • Hold a Library Science, Information Science, Art History, or related degree, or the equivalent experience and expertise.

  • Have a strong interest in learning about the intersections of AIDS activism, related cultural production, and contemporary and historic artistic communities. Previous work in the field of HIV and AIDS is not required. Interest and familiarity with downtown New York art histories of the 1980s and 90s is a plus.

  • Take the initiative in organizing and structuring their day-to-day work

  • Be able to work in-person at the Visual AIDS office in Chelsea for the majority of their hours

Commitment and Compensation: This is a part-time (24 hours per week) permanent position, primarily working in-person at the Visual AIDS office in Chelsea, New York. Compensation is $25–30/hr, based on experience. Benefits include 48 hours of paid time off per year and 40 hours of sick and safe leave per year.

To apply: Send a cover letter, résumé, and references as a single PDF file to by October 30.

We know there are great candidates who may not have all of the qualifications and experience listed above but possess intuitive knowledge or other transferable skills. If that’s you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself.

At Visual AIDS, we recognize that the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on Black lives continues to be ignored in conversations about both the past and the present of the epidemic. In recent years, we have worked to intentionally represent a greater number of artists of color in our archive and our programming more generally, and we recognize that there is much more to do.

Visual AIDS is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities to you without regard to race, creed, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status, age, veteran status, disability, HIV status, or genetic information.