Archival Researcher

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The Position

Retro Report is looking for a freelance archival researcher to join our newsroom. You will report to the Archival Producer and work closely with a team of producers to find the best archival assets to enhance our reporting and storytelling. This position is for five days a week and based in New York. There may be an opportunity for a full-time staff position at a later date.

In this role you will source archival material for a variety of projects, mostly for short digital documentaries. You will work closely with reporters and producers to research and coordinate archival material.

Retro Report is a non-profit. Their mission is to educate the public with a more complete picture of today through discussion of history. We aim to have the following impact: ensuring we are shining a light and reporting on topics most important to the communities we serve, engaging in conversations on the topics we cover - nationally and locally, influencing journalists to add more history and historical context to their work and finally providing teachers and professors with tools to engage students to think critically using history.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Search for archival stills, footage, headlines and audio.
  • Multitask. You will be doing archival research for several different projects at the same time and at all phases of production.
  • Log and manage archival material using different database programs.
  • Coordinate with Post Production to load screeners and masters during tight turnarounds.
  • Fact check archival.
  • Create archival deliverables: visual cue sheets and compiling legal and financial paperwork.
  • Make cold calls to find archival from individuals, news stations, newspapers and organizations.


  • Knowledge and familiarity with editorial archives, newspapers, news networks and libraries.
  • Working knowledge of copyright is critical.
  • Confidence in working with different film formats, stills, scanning and cataloging.
  • Openness to learning new database programs.
  • Experience with EDL’s, archival deliverables and visual cue sheets.
  • Flexibility in working on productions with different timeframes: Turn around can range from 1 week for digital shorts to 6-12 months for longer investigative pieces.
  • Some licensing experience is necessary as it informs archival research. Most licensing will be handled by the Archival Producer.
  • Excellent project management skills and attention to detail.
  • Familiarity with Retro Report.

Retro Report is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to diversity and building an inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds and ages.