Photograph and Audiovisual Curator


Photograph and Audiovisual Curator (full-time)


Lincoln, NE United States

Application Date

December 01, 2022

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History Nebraska is seeking an inclusive and adaptable archives professional to serve as Curator of Photograph and Audiovisual Collections. As a member of the curatorial team, this position is accountable for:
• refining the photography, moving images, and sound recordings collections to represent the full diverse scope of Nebraska’s history;
• developing and maintaining relationships to increase equity within History Nebraska’s holdings;
• arranging, describing, and providing access to History Nebraska’s photo and AV holdings
• promoting and providing access to the collections, especially in support of agency goals and initiatives; and
• supporting the physical management, care and preservation of collections.

The Photograph and Audiovisual Curator will work independently and with colleagues and external stakeholders to manage projects and further partnerships, exhibits, and funding benefiting these collections. History Nebraska has adopted an “Active Collections” approach to collections use and management, and is focused on making collections available to our audiences in new ways.

Pay range for position is $21.061-$31.046/hour, pay rate may be commensurate with education and/or experience within fiscal constraints, if approved.

History Nebraska is a statewide educational institution connecting people to the past through our library and research center, museum, conservation facility, interpretive sites, and the state archeology and historic preservation offices. History Nebraska preserves and interprets our state’s past, contributes to the education of its citizens, and uses the tools of history to shape a better future for all Nebraskans. History Nebraska’s goal is to be the most engaging and relevant state historical society in the nation.

Our four core values are:
• We Do It Better Every Time. We are always looking to improve. When we fail, we know why and learn from it.
• We Have Each Other’s Back. We work in groups. We candidly support one another for the betterment of the organization.
• We Own It. If we say we are going to do something, we do our best to get it done.
• We Are Curious. We never stop learning and we encourage curiosity in others.

Examples of Work

• Seeks out, evaluates and recommends potential acquisitions and deaccessions of photographic, moving image, and audio materials according to their relevance to the agency’s mission, Collections Plan, and significance to Nebraska history, in accordance with the Collections Management Policy.
• Participates in projects and outreach to build and maintain effective relationships in diverse communities and promote collections access and development.
o Collaborates to ensure the agency can accommodate visitors with physical or cognitive disabilities and other diverse needs.
• Appraises and accessions new acquisitions, develops and implements processing plans, arranges and describes records, and creates DACS-compliant finding aids and catalog records according to national and departmental standards.
• Communicates effectively with internal and external audiences, guiding researchers, consulting with other historical organizations, and facilitating cross-departmental communication and cooperation.
• Promotes and provides access to photographic and audiovisual collections as an institutional authority and spokesperson on specific aspects of Nebraska’s history and sound and visual activities through innovative exhibitions, programming, and other promotional activities.
o Collaborates to ensure context, identification, text and other interpretive materials are accurate and reflect current historiographic perspectives.
• Develops, coordinates and participates in projects that promote the collection and support institutional goals and initiatives, including setting priorities for photography and audiovisual digitization and collaborating with the digital curation team, as well as preparing funding proposals to advance collections goals.
• Supports the physical management, care, preservation, digitization of and access to collections, providing guidance and support in general collections management activities such as inventories, movement, housing, treatment, and handling.
o Communicates standards of collections management, care, and preservation to internal and external parties in all collections activities and use.
• Contributes to a positive work attitude and inclusive environment by working cooperatively with others and conducting oneself as a team player.
• Performs other related duties as apparent or assigned.

Qualifications / Requirements

Masters of Library Science or a Masters of Library and Information Systems from an American Library Association Accredited Library School, plus one year of relevant experience. Experience can be substituted for education on a year for year basis.

• Three or more years of practical collection experience in an archive, museum, historical society, special collections library, or community organization, ideally arranging and describing records and providing reference services.
• Knowledge of archival theory and national standards for archival description and metadata creation.
• Demonstrated experience in project management.
• Experience with issues related to repatriation or deaccessioning collections.
• Active involvement in a professional association.
• Ability to obtain comprehensive subject area expertise.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

• Demonstrated ability to properly handle, arrange, and describe collections including photographs, moving images, and sound recordings in a variety of formats.
• Knowledge and understanding of the history and use of photographic, moving image, and sound recording processes, formats, equipment, and digitization.
• Expertise sufficient to appraise material for acquisition, deaccession, or loan.
• General knowledge of American history and ability and willingness to learn Nebraska history and the history of:
o the multiple racial, ethnic, and cultural groups within the state;
o the multiple Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and other gender and sexual minority communities within Nebraska; and
o the multiple physical, cognitive, and emotional disability communities within Nebraska.
• Demonstrated ability to build partnerships and work effectively and inclusively with diverse people and groups both internally and externally.
• Demonstrated participation in learning or professional development opportunities that increased awareness of cultural competence/intelligence/agility.
• Ability to communicate and work effectively and inclusively with diverse and varied people and groups in writing, by phone, and in person.
• Demonstrated ability to engage audiences in public presentations including lectures, classroom presentations, tours, or other venues.
• Demonstrated ability to operate archival management systems such as ArchiveSpace, Google Workspace, and Microsoft Outlook.
• Demonstrated ability to take initiative and to work both independently and as a member of a team.
• Ability, flexibility, and willingness to occasionally work a varied schedule, including evenings and weekends.
• Ability and willingness to maintain electronic and written records and to complete assigned reports.
• Ability to lift and carry up to 30 lbs.

**History Nebraska collects, preserves, and opens to all, the histories we share. We believe a diverse and inclusive workforce is an essential element in making Nebraska’s rich history available to everyone. History Nebraska is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We strongly encourage and welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds. Our work is meaningful and challenging, and we believe diverse perspectives will make it better.