Boston Children’s Museum is seeking a detail-oriented, self-motivated, and responsible individual to join our Collections Team. BCM has been a collecting institution since it first opened in 1913 and has a diverse collection of natural history specimens and humanities materials from around the world, as well as an Institutional Archive. Despite the Museum’s long history, over 100 years of records to be maintained and preserved, the archive was only established in 2015 and has been strategically processed and developed to make this rich resource more widely accessible and known both internally and externally.
The ideal candidate has knowledge and experience in handling paper records, books, and photographs, including those in delicate condition. Knowledge in arranging and describing archival collections and understands the principles of such arrangement, can implement best practices and standards in digital and non-digital archives and preservation strategies, in addition to having an affinity for critical thinking and problem solving.
The Archivist, reporting directly to the Curator of Collections, is responsible for the management of the Museum's Institutional Archives and will oversee archival processing and records management across the Museum. The Archivist will assist in maintaining policies and procedures to guide acquisition/deaccession, retention, preservation, and digitization efforts. Primary responsibilities include, but are not limited to, gaining intellectual control of archival materials including processing, cataloguing (using the PastPerfect database), rehousing, inventorying, and ongoing discovery; taking digital images and scans; developing finding aids; providing internal and external access for research use, including tracking rights and reproduction requests as needed; and promoting the archive as part of ongoing outreach efforts to expand awareness and use of this resource.
The Archivist plays a key role in supporting the institution through grant projects, exhibits and programs, and development needs. As part of the Collections Team, they will gain familiarity with the collection holdings, assist with general storage maintenance/upkeep, assist visitors and staff, and stay current with phone and email inquiries to the Collections Department. They will also work across all Museum departments to implement the records retention schedule for physical and digital records and assist with ongoing digital maintenance and developing strategies for long term digital preservation.
- Process, describe, and arrange archival collections with folder-level inventories and DACS finding aids
- Evaluate the general physical condition of archival materials and rehouse as needed, track materials in current or upcoming use
- Add/update archives content in the PastPerfect database
- Maintain archives policies and procedures for ongoing discovery, acquisition, deaccession, preservation, and digitization; Recommend updates to policies and procedures in keeping with best practices in the field
- Work with staff at all levels to implement the Museum's records retention policy and serve as a resource
- Participate and Support the Collections Board Committee meetings on-site or off-site as needed
- Respond to internal and external research requests
- Assist with maintenance and visitors in the Collections office/storage
- Supervise interns working on archival projects
- Support institutional and departmental initiatives, goals, and operations. Collaborate with Museum leadership to further the Museum’s mission, and to ensure a cohesive staff culture. Participate in required all-staff activities, discussions, meetings, and trainings.
- A minimum of bachelor’s degree required
- Some course work in Archival Studies, Records Management, Public History, Museum Studies or Historic Preservation or MA and MLS degree in progress preferred
- 1-3 years of demonstrated experience in arranging and describing archival collections, and or knowledgeable understanding of the principles of such arrangements
- Excellent Verbal and Written Communication skills
- Excellent PC skills with knowledge of Windows applications
- Working understanding of or experience with digitization and databases
Physical Demands: While performing the duties of this position the Archivist is required to sit, stand, and walk at varying intervals, sometimes for extended periods of time. Some work at low heights involved with shelving and retrieving files. Must be able to lift and carry 25 pounds.
Work Environment: Work environment may vary dependent upon physical location where work is performed (internally or externally, at a desk or in storage). General office environment with shared common office space and equipment as well as various on-site storage spaces.
Proximity to natural history specimens, textiles, and sacred and funerary Indigenous collection holdings (including potential pesticide use as part of preservation process). Other collection related hazards, such as sharp and heavy objects. The Archivist should not need to work with these materials directly.
Other Factors: Work schedule is typically Monday - Friday 9-5 with some flexibility as needed. Business casual dress code preferred for meetings and public-facing work; Attire appropriate for safety and comfort when working in storage spaces also recognized. Occasional weekend and evening hours may be required. Work may be performed both inside and outside of the Museum setting.
Boston Children’s Museum engages children and families in joyful discovery experiences that instill an appreciation of our world, develop foundational skills, and spark a lifelong love of learning.
Boston Children’s Museum is a welcoming, imaginative, child-centered learning environment that supports diverse families in nurturing their children’s creativity and curiosity. We promote the healthy development of all children so they will fulfil their potential and contribute to our collective well-being and future prosperity.
Creativity. Respect. Excellence. Accountability. Thoughtfulness. Equity.
Boston Children’s Museum is a curious, experimental, and creative learning organization. We have a child and family centered focus, welcoming and respecting all Museum audiences. We collaborate and show mutual respect and support for our colleagues. We recognize that each person has equal, intrinsic worth and deserves to be treated with dignity. We are a culture that innovates, changes, and pushes boundaries to keep the museum relevant. We are responsible to each other and strive to keep our commitments to our colleagues. We have a commitment to high ethical standards. We recognize the importance of work-life balance, respecting the importance of personal growth and family. We have an ongoing commitment to fairness in all aspects of the Museum and we embrace alternative ways of thinking.
HOW TO APPLY: Send a copy of your resume and letter of interest to email@example.com with the subject line: Archivist
Application Closing Date: December 15, 2021