Digitization Conservation Technician Position – Corestaff Services, Bowie, MD

Digitization Conservation Technician

Corestaff Services is seeking a qualified candidate for the position of Digitization Conservation Technician at a Museum facility located in Bowie, MD.  This position is on a government contract, with present funding through September 30, 2020 and the possibility of an extension through September 30, 2021.  

Duties and Responsibilities:

Project Management: Develops systems for tracking conservation projects within the digitization program. Works with the digitization project team to determine timeline, project supply needs, and budget details. 

Conservation: Assesses condition of collection items slated for digitization for conservation treatment and tests for possible adverse reactions to treatment protocols, such as for solubility. Performs the full range of preservation and conservation activities. Laboratory treatments follow approved treatment proposals and under supervision of the appropriate conservator. Prepares and writes treatment reports. Provides for full conservation documentation of the artifact and its treatment through written reports, photographs, and, where appropriate, diagrams and graphs.  Assures collection items are housed and supported to insure safe handling during digitization. Follows established Museum Conservation procedures and best practices as defined by the American Institute for Conservation. Safeguards and ensures the physical security of all Museum holdings by maintaining general housekeeping standards, careful handling of delicate materials, and attention to detail.

Laboratory Management: Responsible for the maintenance of the digital conservation laboratory area. Assists in developing, improving, and implementing laboratory maintenance and safety procedures.  May be required to perform maintenance on laboratory equipment and alert the Chief Conservator when specialized maintenance is needed. Maintains conservation digital image records. Follows established protocols for filing and retrieving visual images.  May work directly with Technical Services to develop and ensure system compatibility of digital records with the museum network. Follows data structures that foster efficient retrieval of information. Assures that digital images are saved in an appropriate format according to Conservation and Museum guidelines.  

Collections Reproduction: Coordinates with responsible collections management staff and/or curatorial staff to identify and prepare Museum’s holdings that are in a wide range of media formats for duplication. Assists with preparing and organizing digitization or migration projects. Prepares documentation, tracks and arranges shipments and retrieval of materials, and verifies and reshelves items.

Collections Retrieval and Return: Coordinates with responsible collections management staff for retrieval and return of collections. Tracks materials while in the Conservation Suite and stage in conservation treatment, housing, and preparation for digitization. Alerts digitization team in a timely manner when collections are ready for return.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in Conservation of paper-based and/or bound materials.
  • Broad knowledge of conservation and preservation theories, practices, methods, techniques, and standards to participate in and independently perform work for the preventive care, conservation laboratory treatment, and handling of museum collections.
  • Expert ability to work with delicate or fragile materials, including manual dexterity and visual acuity. Must possess the ability to recognize dangerous or deteriorating situation which may threaten the safety of collections and the knowledge of proper corrective procedures and preventive conservation measures. 
  • Broad experience in the use of digital photography for documentation of conservation treatments and use of Adobe Creative Cloud, Lightroom, or equivalent for image processing and working with image files.
  • Broad knowledge of Museum practices, principles, and standards as well as of specialized museum work related to the collection and the procedures, methods and problem-solving used in the management of the collection and operation of the museum.
  • Experience using computer technology including word processing and collections databases, such as Emu. 
  • Familiarity of digitization techniques as it relates to document collections. 

Additional Information:

The incumbent in this position works under the direction of the Chief Conservator of the Conservation Branch. This Branch of the Museum is responsible for the physical conservation and preservation treatment and care of the Museum’s collections.

The incumbent plans and carries out the work independently, requesting assistance from responsible conservation staff, digitization team staff, and/or collections management staff when projects call for substantial departures from established styles or formats or from customary methods. The incumbent reports directly to the Chief Conservator and is given a high degree of independence in managing conservation digitization projects. Completed work is reviewed for soundness of judgement, adequacy of presentation, and completeness.

Guidelines include the American Institute for Conservation Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice and USHMM policies and procedures.  Guidelines also include federal regulations as they dictate procurement of supplies. Further guidelines and instructions are provided by the supervisor.  The incumbent is expected to interpret, adapt, and select available guidelines and may propose guidelines for new or unique situations as well as make independent searches for information when no guidelines are readily available.

The incumbent uses good judgment in fulfilling tasks from simple to complex and in the design and development of techniques, processes and procedures for assigned projects.  Effectively manages several projects at one time in order to insure continuing progress of the digitization program. Makes determinations regarding appropriate supports and design of enclosures for collections materials. Understands the need for appropriate handling instructions and guidelines for a variety of materials composing the artifacts in the museum and makes adjustments for their mounting, housing, in order to facilitate digitization. The incumbent makes accurate and complex calculations regarding such things as amount of material needed to construct mounts, supports and housings. The work involves the wide range of preservation and conservation procedures and the documentation thereof. Some techniques require very precise skill and involve complicated procedures and infinite patience. The incumbent makes decisions necessary to work out details of final treatments based on several alternatives. The incumbent may also contribute suggestions for improving various systems currently in use.

Further Information: 

This is a full-time contract position with benefits, including ten paid federal holidays, paid vacation and paid sick leave, Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant health insurance and 401(k). There is no company sponsored relocation. 

Corestaff Services is a nationwide professional staffing services firm, specializing in administrative/clerical, information technology, library/museum, records management and human resources placements.   

Corestaff Services is an Equal Opportunity Employment Employer. People from racial minority groups, veterans and the disabled are strongly encouraged to apply. 

For consideration submit your resume to contracts@corestaff.com

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