Position Overview:

Provides centralized reference services for public access to all five Museum collections, assists with development of online collections access systems, and assists the curator of Hart Nautical Collections with collections processing, data management, exhibitions and public programs.


Principal Duties and Responsibilities (Essential Functions**):

Member of Collections staff team of 8 including 3 curators and collections manager. Provides coordinated reference assistance for collections inquiries and research visits. Works closely with collections team in planning and implementing collection database/website interface development to improve online accessibility of collections (60%). Administrative duties include management of database inquires function, overseeing visiting researchers (approximately 150 per year), processing inquiries (approximately 800 per year — which includes collections research, scanning, printing, correspondence, and managing payments and statistics). These reference duties require broad affinity with MIT history, science, technology, and design; skill using collections management database systems, web tools, imaging/printing software/hardware; and excellent teamwork ability.


Other duties include assisting the Hart curator with all phases of collections processing, exhibition/web content development, and supporting collections-based public programming (40%). Requires an appropriate knowledge of cataloging methods, use of collections databases/web access tools, imaging and printing software/hardware, collections preservation, preparing objects for exhibition and installation, research and writing. Also assists curator in supervising project archivists, interns and volunteers who are conducting related work. Occasional work in evenings and/or weekends for public programs and other duties as needed or required.


Supervision Received:

General supervision by the curator of the Hart Nautical Collections and occasional supervision by the collections manager.


Supervision Exercised:

Assists curator with supervision of temporary project staff, volunteers and interns. Interacts with general public, the MIT community and the MIT Museum staff.


Qualifications & Skills: 



B.A./B.S. in history of science/technology, history, or museum studies (M.A. an advantage), with background/interest in maritime history or nautical technology, and three years experience working in related museums or archives. Must have experience with collections databases (MIMSY preferred), web access systems, imaging software (Photoshop preferred) and printing/scanning hardware. Candidates are expected to have excellent writing, technical and interpersonal skills, be well organized and highly motivated to work in a team environment. Must be able to retrieve collection objects and document boxes weighing up to 35 lbs. from storage locations that require climbing steps. Deals with confidential information, requiring discretion and judgment.