Lead Photo Archivist – part-time, grant-funded staff
The Alice Austen House seeks an experienced and responsible Lead Photo Archivist to examine, assess and catalog the museum’s primary collection of Alice Austen’s photographs and related works on paper. The preferred candidate will be responsible for daily oversight of this term collections project including adherence to collections management protocol and will be supported in this endeavor by the Assistant Archivist. The culmination of this project will be a fully completed item level catalog of the museum’s photographic materials utilizing PastPerfect collections software, including identification of specific photographic process and item condition documentation. This position is project-based and grant-funded, and requires an availability to work on-site on Staten Island. The Lead Photo Archivist reports to the Executive Director.
Alice Austen (1866-1952) captured a changing New York City at the turn of the twentieth century. As an early American street photographer, Austen documented her life on Staten Island and went onto the streets of Manhattan to photograph the activities of immigrants and the working class. A vibrant cultural center, the Alice Austen House keeps the daring spirit of the early American photographer alive by presenting changing exhibitions of Alice Austen’s pioneering historic photographs and of contemporary photography, providing education programs for students, and offering a range of cultural programs for the public. A charming Victorian Gothic Cottage that was Alice’s home serves as the museum and is located in a lovely park on the shore of Staten Island near the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge with sweeping views of Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan. Alice Austen House is owned by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, operated by the Friends of Alice Austen House Inc 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and a member of Historic House Trust. The Alice Austen House is a New York City and National Landmark, on the Register of Historic Places and a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s distinctive group of Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios. Learn more at http://www.aliceausten.org
– Develop and implement project work plan and work on deadline
– Hire and train the Assistant Archivist to aid in project completion
– Review and assess the condition of the materials within the collection as well as identify and aid with medium identification
– Utilize PastPerfect to create an item level catalog from the existing box level collection
– Take a digital capture of each item to serve as a reference image within the database
– Problem solve when gaps in collections records exist; research images as necessary
– Bring project to completion within proposed timeframe having effectively catalogued the entirety of the museum’s collection of photographic materials and works on paper
– Assess and report on next steps for further cataloging work
– Minimum 3 years of professional archives experience
– MLS or MA degree, preferably in archives or museum-related field
– Experience with photographic collections in an archive setting required; a working knowledge of late 19th and early 20th century photographic materials highly desirable
– Self-driven and able to delegate project needs to the Assistant Archivist
– Meticulous attention to detail and an awareness of best practices protocol when engaging with collections materials
– Knowledge of accession records best practices and establishing standardized catalogue records
– Strong problem-solving and research abilities
– Must have a thorough understanding of collections management software; PastPerfect expertise preferred
– Fluency in photographic process identification desirable
Compensation: Competitive non-profit hourly rate.
25-30 hours per week for a 3 – 4 month period. Schedule flexible and negotiable between Tuesday – Friday, 9:30am – 5pm and/or Saturday – Sunday, 10:30am – 5pm.
Start date: Early June 2017.
To Apply: Email specific cover letter stating your interest and qualifications and your resume to the attention of Janice Monger, Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Lead Photo Archivist – [Your Last name, First name].” No phone calls. Receipt of application will be confirmed. Candidates will only be contacted if selected for an interview. Application deadline: May 31, 2017.
Friends of Alice Austen House, Inc is an equal opportunity employer.