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Project Archivist/Collections Specialist

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Chicago History Museum
Chicago, IL, US

POSITION PURPOSE: To assist Collections and Curatorial staff in the inventorying, processing, and ethical cataloging of community religious history collections, with an initial focus on indigenous materials in the collection. This position is part of a multi-year grant project for the museum to:

Build CHM’s capacity to interpret the role of religion in Chicago’s history through community-centered collecting and oral history initiatives.
Provide the public with ongoing accurate and authentic illustrations of the central role of religion in shaping Chicago history and culture. Use exhibitions, public programs, digital platforms and publications to engage broad audiences with this history.

POSITION STATUS: Part-time, temporary project position (20 hours/week for one year, with option to renew for a second year pending performance assessment and mutual agreement)


  • Inventory and process community religious history collections, with an initial focus on indigenous materials, including assessing condition and re-housing as needed.
  • Research and identify objects in need of ethical cataloging.
  • Update and create catalog records using best practices for reparative language
  • Collaborate with staff to build on indigenous community and other community relationships in an effort to improve documentation and representation of these collections.
  • Create and/or update object records on the collections management system, TMS.
  • Create EAD encoded finding aid and catalog record content for upload to online public access system
  • Maintain collection records related to all materials processed.
  • Create and/or update electronic inventories for tracking processing status.
  • Prepare progress reports.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned.
REPORTABILITY:   Reports to the Head of Collections

WORKING RELATIONSHIPS: The Project Archivist/Collections Specialist works with the Senior Collection Manager, Curator of Religious Community History, Archivists and Collection Managers, Curators, Rights and Reproductions staff, and Registration staff.


  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Current enrollment in or recent graduate of MLIS or comparable Master’s program (e.g. public history, history, museum studies, anthropology, archaeology), with a minimum of two semesters of collections or archival coursework.
  • Knowledge of standard collection management, documentation, and preservation practices and procedures.
  • Familiarity working with tribal governments and community members, or the willingness to learn.
  • Experience handling, documenting, and researching 3-dimensional object collections, specifically Native American collections.
  • Familiarity with data and cataloging standards for archives, libraries, and/or museums
  • Experience conducting historical or archival research
  • Strong critical and analytical thinking skills
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines
  • Strong organizational and interpersonal skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Data entry experience
  • Ability to lift 50 lbs
  • Commitment to the mission, values, and programs of the Chicago History Museum

  • Identify as member of diverse racial or ethnic communities (BIPOC) or other groups who have been historically excluded from the cultural record.
  • Familiarity with Chicago-area history and community religious history.
  • Experience handling, documenting, and researching 3-dimensional object collections, specifically Native American  collections.
  • Experience processing, handling, and/or researching archival collections in a museum, archive, or library setting, particularly with large collections.
  • Experience working with collection management systems, databases, and data standards.

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Employer: Chicago History Museum (@ChicagoMuseum)
Location: Chicago, IL, US
Posted Date: 20/05/2021
Expiry Date: 20/09/2021
Type: Part-Time
Categories: Librarian / Information Professional / Archivist
Ref: DN-JB-417
Added by: DAM News Administrator
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