Museum without Walls Collection Strategist
Beginning salary: $25-30/hour; 25-40/hrs week
Open until Filled.
The Los Altos History Museum, located south of San Francisco on the Peninsula, operates a museum complex including two main buildings, one a historic 1905 house, the other a modern 3-story museum. We feature three-to-four changing history exhibits a year in each building, and have several permanent history exhibits on display. A collection of over 8,000 items, including three-dimensional, archaeological, and archival material is held in trust for the City of Los Altos by the Museum. We are blessed with a strong and active volunteer network that assists with many day-to-day operations, in addition to organizing special events throughout the year. The annual operating budget of over $500,000 is funded by individual donations, program fees, grants, bequests, membership, an active rental events program and gift store proceeds.
The Museum without Walls Collection Specialist, one of a small professional staff, reports to the Executive Director and also works closely with the Exhibition Curator and Collections, Oral History, and Website volunteer committees. As the staff person responsible for ensuring the information in the collection is accessible to staff, researchers, and the public, this position is critical to the central purpose of the Museum. This is a full-time, permanent position for someone experienced in databases and information management.
- Database Maintenance. Administers Past Perfect database to track collection assets, including artifacts and archival material. Ensures appropriate standards of data entry are employed by all users.
- Digital Production. Oversees the production of digital representations/photographs of the 3-D collection in a systematic and organized fashion. Supports ongoing efforts to scan archival and photographic material. Develops procedures for streamlining the documentation of the collection.
- Public Interfaces. Ensures public awareness of Museum’s collection content. Develops and creates digital interfaces to provide content to visitors and the public, including online portals, mobile apps, or in-house displays. In consultation with Curator, updates content as needed.
- Digital Asset Management. Provides images and other files to staff and vendors, including website team, at required resolution and other specifications. Supports digital displays both online and in Museum exhibitions. Upgrades digital assets to ensure ongoing availability. Works with Exhibition Curator as needed.
- Collection Policies: Assists the ED and Board in developing policies related to accessioning and deaccessioning collection material.
- Donation Processing. Catalogues incoming oral histories and collections and works with volunteers, students, and interns to inventory, store, and document assets.
- External Assets. Devises a mechanism for tracking information about external buildings, historic sites, and places that are of historic interest and maintains such information with the assistance of volunteers.
- Publication Work. As appropriate, seeks out and suggests publication outlets for information drawn from the collection. Provides content for such publications as needed.
- IT Support. Works with our IT provider to conduct backups and other system checks.
- Current Trends. Keeps abreast of current digital trends and industry best practices. Regularly conducts research and attends industry relevant workshops and trainings.
- Graphic Design. As available, provides graphic design support to Museum staff.
- Excellent database management, digital production, and organizational skills required;
- Strong understanding of visual media specifications; photography and/or graphic design skills a plus;
- Ability to work with a wide diversity of people, build consensus, and communicate clearly;
- Fluency with a range of computer software, such as: collection databases, esp. Past Perfect;
application tools such as Kiosk Pro and Google maps; Adobe creative suite; MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint); Apple ARKit; other online, cloud-based project management and collaboration tools;
- Commitment to transparency in public institutions and equal access to information.
Education and/or Experience:
- Collection management experience
- Previous experience developing web-based/online applications.
- Proven experience working with skilled volunteers
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in Library Sciences, Information
Technology, Museum Studies, Art History, or related field. Master’s degree preferred.
Physical Demands & Work Environment:
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand, sit, walk, reach with
hands and arms, and talk or hear. Must be able to lift 30 lbs. Must be able to perform repetitive motions
75% of the time. May require climbing a ladder and driving personal vehicle. Reasonable
accommodations may be made to enable persons with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
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