Job Announcements


Editor in Chief, The Adams Papers


The Massachusetts Historical Society seeks an Editor in Chief for the Adams Papers documentary editing project. Responsible for all facets of the Adams Papers project, the Editor in Chief will play an active role in editing volumes as well as overseeing fundraising and development, personnel, and outreach. He/she will report to the President of the Society. The successful candidate will have a PhD and an established record in documentary editing. Required skills include editorial management and grants administration experience, knowledge of the early American republic, and familiarity with evolving trends in the digital humanities. Preference will be given to candidates who have both a PhD in history with a specialty in the early American republic and previous experience managing a documentary editing project. Applications, including a cover letter, a CV, and three references, will be accepted by Email (send to: All questions or nominations should be directed to the attention of the Chair of the Search Committee, Frederick D. Ballou, (via Email to: Review of applications will begin after September 15, 2014 and continue until the position is filled.


The Editor in Chief is the senior member of the Adams Papers editorial project and is charged with overseeing the publication of edited volumes of the papers of the Adams family, spanning the mid-eighteenth to the late-nineteenth centuries. The edition is currently producing books in two series, Papers of John Adams and Adams Family Correspondence, which are published under the Belknap Press imprint of Harvard University Press. The Editor in Chief is responsible both for maintaining the quality of volumes in the Adams Papers series and for the administration of the project. The job requires attention to the project’s size, scope, resources, organization, and digital applications, and the Editor in Chief must be adept at large-scale planning and setting priorities. She/he also represents the project to scholarly audiences and to the general public and is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with external partners.

Working with a small team of colleagues, the Editor in Chief takes an active role in editing the Adams Papers. She/he is responsible for creating a cooperative and collegial work environment and supervises the project staff by assigning responsibilities, monitoring the quality of work, and assuring its timely completion. She/he also organizes searches to fill staff vacancies and nominates candidates for appointment to the President of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

The Editor in Chief is responsible for securing the project’s funding from public and private sources and for maintaining good relations with funders. She/he oversees expenditures, prepares the annual budget, and submits it for approval to the Adams Papers Administrative Committee and the Massachusetts Historical Society Board of Trustees.

The Editor in Chief is an employee of the Massachusetts Historical Society, subject to its policies and procedures. She/he reports to the President of the Massachusetts Historical Society.




Executive Assistant to the President

The MHS seeks an Executive Assistant to the President. This position provides administrative support and ensures the smooth operation of the President’s office. The Executive Assistant must be able to anticipate needs and devise good systems to manage multiple projects at once. S/he should organized and detail-oriented. The candidate should have excellent verbal communications skills and be comfortable in social situations. The candidate will participate in the planning, staffing, and follow-up of various events held at the Society throughout the year. 

The Executive Assistant will report to the President, who also serves as the head of the Development Department, and will assist the Development Department as needed. 

Responsibilities will include:

  • Maintaining the President’s calendar, scheduling and organizing meetings, booking travel, screening phone calls, performing light accounting, and carrying out routine errands
  • Supporting the Board of Trustees, Council of Overseers, and Board Committees for meetings, which entails ordering food, sending reminders, collecting RSVPs, preparing and mailing information packets, and taking minutes
  • Preforming clerical and administrative duties including but not limited to filing, photocopying, sorting mail, preparing outgoing mail, procuring office supplies, and preparing and editing correspondence.
  • Assisting the President and Development Department with a variety of special projects and other duties as deemed necessary
  • Acting as a liaison between staff members and the President
  • Representing the President’s office to the external constituencies of the organization 


  • BA or equivalent experience required
  • At least 5 years experience as Executive or Administrative Assistant, preferably in a foundation or nonprofit setting.  Specific experience administering Boards and Board Committees and supporting fundraising will be a strong plus.
  • Superior verbal and written communication skills and ability to multi-task are essential.  
  • Applicants must have significant experience with MS Outlook, Word, and Excel; Raiser’s Edge or other fundraising database experience a plus.  
  • Accuracy, meticulous attention to details, and the ability to relate well to other staff, volunteers, and donors are essential. 

Position is full-time and may require some evening and weekend hours. The MHS offers excellent health, dental, and vacation benefits, as well as a competitive salary.  Please e-mail cover letter, resume, and three references with “Assistant to the President Job Search” in the subject line to: or mail to: Assistant to the President Job Search, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St., Boston MA 02215.

Position is available immediately.

About the Massachusetts Historical Society:
The MHS is an independent research library founded in 1791 for the purpose of collecting, preserving, and disseminating sources for the study of American history.

Note:  Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.

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