Temporary Digital Archives Specialist at MOHAI / Employment

April 28, 2023

Organization Name: MOHAI

Organization Location: Seattle, WA

Type: Employment

Fee: Free


Museum Vision and Mission:
MOHAI is treasured locally and respected nationally as a vibrant resource where history inspires us to build a better future. To serve our region, we bridge the past, present, and future by collecting, preserving, and sharing stories through compelling, innovative exhibits and community engagement.

Position Title: Temporary Digital Archives Specialist
Reports to: Library Collections Manager
Location: MOHAI Resource Center at Georgetown
Classification: Temporary, Non-Exempt, Part-time, Hourly
Schedule: Weekdays, approx. 20 hours per week
Rate of Pay: $22-$24 per hour
Employment Period: June – October, 2023 (exact start date flexible – maximum 300 hours total)

Position Description:
The Temporary Digital Archives Specialist will participate in a maximum 300-hour 4Culture-funded project to inventory MOHAI’s Sophie Frye Bass Library’s digital materials, primarily born-digital or digitized photographs, oral histories, or films. This inventory will primarily focus on entering descriptions into the Library’s collection management system and identifying materials with highest preservation concerns for future digital storage and migration priorities. The Digital Archives Specialist will have the opportunity to suggest materials to add to the online collection. This position reports to the Library Collections Manager and is a member of the Collections Resources department.

Key Responsibilities:
• Conduct an inventory of the Library’s digital media materials, from born-digital collections items to digital copies of materials, identifying various types of files in a variety of locations and noting duplicates.
• Assess materials for immediate preservation concerns, based on condition and informational value.
• Create a baseline understanding of digital preservation storage needs for the collection to assist in planning a digital preservation program.
• Generate basic metadata and catalog in collections database Proficio.
• Suggest items of high value to be added to MOHAI’s online collection (https://digitalcollections.lib.washington.edu/digital/collection/imlsmohai/search), based on the Library’s priority of telling stories of those under-represented in the historical narrative.
• Ensure that all interactions are culturally responsive, respectful, and based on a foundation of MOHAI’s commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility.
• Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications:
• Bachelor’s degree or equivalent museum work experience. Position may be suitable for current information sciences student nearing graduation or recent graduate; however, candidate must have required skills, as position is not an internship.
• Knowledge of digital file types and previous experience with digital archiving or preservation required. Experience with, or knowledge of, current best practices in digital preservation preferred.
• Experience analyzing materials for their content and assessing them based on pre-determined criteria.
• Experience working collaboratively with colleagues.
• Ability to communicate clearly both verbally and in writing.
• Good attention to detail in keeping track of workflow and in maintaining quality control.
• Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite; experience with library information systems or collections management databases preferred.
• Enthusiasm for MOHAI’s exhibits, programs, and mission.

Find yourself checking a lot of these boxes but doubting whether you should apply? If you meet some of the requirements and you share MOHAI’s values and support our mission, we encourage you to apply. As part of our ongoing commitment to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace, we’re invested in building teams with a wide variety of backgrounds, identities, and experiences.

Museum Overview:
For 70 years, MOHAI has been dedicated to enriching lives by preserving, sharing, and teaching the diverse history of Seattle, the Puget Sound region, and the nation. With a collection of over 4 million artifacts, photographs, oral histories, and archival items, and an expansive schedule of exhibits and programs, MOHAI is the region’s premier history center. MOHAI operates a dramatic and award-winning museum in Lake Union Park in Seattle’s vibrant South Lake Union neighborhood, and a Resource Center in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. MOHAI also hosts the Bezos Center for Innovation, focusing on the history and future of innovation in the Puget Sound region. MOHAI is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is an official affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. For more information, please visit www.mohai.org.

MOHAI’s research library, known as the Sophie Frye Bass Library, preserves and provides access to more than 4 million historic items, including photographs, manuscripts, maps, books, motion pictures, oral histories, and printed ephemera. Founded as the Seattle Historical Society in 1914, MOHAI began its collecting to tell the histories of the city’s founding families and major industries. Since the 1990s, the curatorial team has refined the museum’s collecting to tell more diverse and complete stories of our region. For the past twenty-five years, MOHAI has been digitizing its historic photographs to share through online collections and now digitizes a variety of audio and video materials, and beginning the mid-2010s, MOHAI has been collecting born-digital material.

To Apply:
Please email letter of interest, resume, and three references to Human.Resources@mohai.org.
No phone calls, please.

MOHAI is a 501(c)(3) organization and an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to building a team and an organizational culture that fosters inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility. We encourage candidates of color to apply.


Opportunity Website

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