Media Collection Cataloger – National Museum of African American History and Culture – Washington, DC

Job Posting: Media Collection Cataloger for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture
How to Apply
Interested candidates should submit a brief cover letter, current CV, and three references, compiled in a single PDF and appended to an email addressed to forsbergw@si.edu<mailto:forsbergw@si.edu>. Questions about the position may be directed to Walter Forsberg, Media Archivist, National Museum of African American History and Culture, via email: forsbergw@si.edu<mailto:forsbergw@si.edu>. The deadline for applications is COB December 22, 2015.
Scope of Work
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) needs 2000 hours of professional, non-personal, work-for-hire services, to catalog media collection, and other museum collection, items; to create, enhance, and correct existing records in the museum’s collection information system, The Museum System (TMS); to teach other contractors and staff how to catalog media collection items and create, enhance, and correct TMS records, according to NMAAHC standards; to assist staff and other contractors with accessing TMS records; and to assist with a variety of media preservation and digitization projects between about January 31, 2016 through December 31, 2016. The project will take place over the period of performance, at NMAAHC facilities in Landover, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.
Qualifications and Specific Tasks
The contractor shall have experience with, or knowledge of all, or most of, the following:

*   African American History and Culture;
*   Cataloging and creating and enhancing digital records for historical and cultural material, with strengths in cataloging and creating records for a wide range of media object types;
*   Best practices for, and experience with, handling a wide variety of analog media collection object types;
*   Ability to visually recognize different audiovisual formats used in the production and distribution of film, television, video, and audio production, including but not limited to:

*   Film: 35mm, 16mm, 8mm, Super 8mm;
*   Video: 2” Quad, ½”open reel, ¾” U-matic, VHS, Betacam, Digibeta, MiniDV;
*   Audio: 2”/1”/ ¼” open reel tape, vinyl/shellac/acetate discs,  audio cassette tapes, DAT tapes, CDs and CD-Rs;

*   Motion picture analog and digital production and post-production workflows;
*   Identification of the risks and presence of decomposition in analog film, video and audio material (i.e. vinegar syndrome, sticky shed syndrome, etc.);
*   The history of analog still photography, ability to recognize its various negative formats and printing methods, including but not limited to:

*   Daguerreotypes, albumen prints, ambrotypes, tintypes, cartes-de-visites, silver gelatin formats, collodian processes, glass-negatives, glass slides, slide photography, paper-based photography prints, and the corollary wide-range of color processing chemistries associated with each;

*   Awareness of the risks and presence of decomposition in silver-based positive and negative still photographic images is preferable;
*   Working with and creating records using a collection information system within a museum or archive setting, preferably The Museum System (TMS);
*   Working with and creating assets in a Digital Asset Management Systems (DAMS) within a museum or archive setting;
*   Creating crosswalks to map metadata between information systems, specifically TMS to a DAMS;
*   Various metadata schemas for describing media materials for both discovery and preservation purposes, including but not limited to: PBCore, PREMIS, METS, MARC, DublinCore, IPTC;
*   Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel;
*   Experience crosswalking metadata crosswalk between content management systems and XML-based schemas and delivery formats.
The contractor shall follow NMAAHC guidelines provided by the COTR and do the following:

*   Document and catalog media collection items, and other types of collection objects, as assigned;
*   Ascertain metadata for objects and collections of objects, including but not limited to: reference numbers, object titles, object names, accession and constituent data, materials, dimensions, and dates of production or use;
*   Enter the Subject Types, Object Types, and Medium/Material into new, outdated, or incomplete TMS records using the thesaurus functions in TMS and the guidelines provided by the COTR;
*   Write a brief physical description of the object or collection for the Description field of the TMS record; write contextual notes for the Notes field of the TMS record; record bibliographic references in TMS; and perform other tasks associated with completing a standard NMAAHC TMS object record;
*   Record this information on Collection Intake Forms provided by the COTR and/or enter or transfer the information into TMS;
*   Photograph or scan objects and name image files according to guidelines provided by the COTR;
*   View, and research information and provenance detail about, all media content and formats as assigned by the COTR;
*   Create related media records and image links in TMS and in the museum’s Digital Asset Management System (DAMS);
*   Transfer metadata from TMS records to image files and related DAMS records;
*   When essential cataloging information about collection items is unreliable and/or insufficient, the contractor shall work with the COTR, Media Preservation and Digitization Assistants, Registrar staff, DigiTeam staff, curators, and archivists, as needed, to perform additional research on collection items to verify and/or augment cataloging information;
*   Teach other contractors and NMAAHC staff how to catalog objects and how to create, enhance, and correct TMS records according to NMAAHC guidelines;
*   Assist other contractors and NMAAHC staff by creating or providing TMS lists and reports;
*   Assist with a variety of digitization projects;
*   Assist with re-housing of collection materials, as needed;
*   Work with NMAAHC contractors, staff, donors and sellers of collection materials to fulfill his or her assignments;
*   Check in regularly with the COTR to obtain assignments;
*   Assist with inventories and cataloging of collection objects by ascertaining data from accession files and other documents for objects and collections of objects, including but not limited to reference numbers, titles or names, accession and constituent data, materials, and dates of production or use and by recording this information on Excel Collection Intake Forms provided by the COTR and/or entering or transferring the information into TMS;
*   Assist with re-housing of collection materials;
*   Assist with on-site item-level inventory projects, as needed;
*   Create and update TMS Constituent Records;
*   Attend monthly team meetings;
*   Notify the COTR of any problem or situation that impedes completion of any assignment;
*   Notify COTR when not available for work or with changes in schedule;
*   Maintain professional attitude when communicating and working with Smithsonian staff;
*   Be diligent, thorough, meticulous, and consistent in following object handling, cataloging, and data entry guidelines;
*   Work with NMAAHC Collections staff and donors to fulfill his or her assignments as the COTR deems appropriate

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