Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Internship Opportunity

Paid Summer 2016 Internship for Graduate Student - The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives
 
Met Archives
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives holdings are primarily textual documents related to the Met's institutional history, collection, and past exhibitions, dating from 1870 through the twentieth century. The intern's responsibilities will include archival processing of Museum records, reference assistance to Museum staff and non-staff scholars, and historical research. The ideal candidate will be enrolled in a graduate program in library/information science or archives management. In addition to developing practical work skills through this departmental placement, the intern will participate in MuSe (Museum Seminars) and interact directly with the Museum's diverse audience by conducting a gallery talk based on their area of expertise.
 
MuSe
Join a vibrant community of students at The Met this summer!  The Museum Seminar (MuSe) Internship Program awards paid summer and long-term internships to students interested in a career in the arts and fields related to the Met’s many departments. In addition to developing skills through internship projects within museum departments, interns participate in a weekly seminar series and interact directly with the Museum's visitors by leading public tours in the galleries.
 
Eligibility
This internship is open to individuals who are currently enrolled in a master's program or who have graduated from a master's programwithin one year of the application deadline. PhD candidates are not eligible to apply, but may be eligible for one of several Museum Fellowships. The Met strongly encourages applications from students who are members of groups underrepresented in careers related to museums and the visual arts.
 
 
DEADLINE: January 31, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. (EST)Please note: your recommendation letters must be submitted by this application deadline. We will not accept applications or recommendations after the deadline. 
 
For further information regarding The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives visit http://libmma.org/portal/museum-archives/.
 
The Metropolitan Museum of Art provides equal opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, mental or physical disability, pregnancy, alienage or citizenship status, marital status or domestic partner status, genetic information, genetic predisposition or carrier status, gender identity, HIV status, military status, and any other category protected by law in all employment decisions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, compensation, training and apprenticeship, promotion, upgrading, demotion, downgrading, transfer, lay-off and termination, and all other terms and conditions of employment.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Distinguished Service Award Announcement

Do you know a MARAC member who has made a difference in the lives and successes of others? If so, please consider nominating him/her for MARAC's Distinguished Service Award.

This award recognizes members who have made significant contributions to MARAC and to the archival profession.

Significant contributions to MARAC include the following:
  • Service as an officer, caucus representative, committee member or chair, and as a frequent session or workshop instructor
Significant contributions to the archival profession include the following:
  • Service as a member of the board or committee or section of a national or international archival organization
  • Writing books or journal articles in the field
  • Serving as a professor or as a workshop presenter
  • Contributing to a State Historical Records Advisory Board
  • Reviewing applications for granting agencies
Please note that service to MARAC is weighted more heavily than service to the profession as a whole.

To nominate a member, you must submit the following:
  • A nomination form
  • The nominee’s resume or curriculum vitae
  • A letter detailing why the nominee should receive the award
  • A second letter of support
The Committee strongly recommends providing multiple letters of support.

Nominations may be sent at any time via email or regular post. The official deadline is January 29, 2016. All nominations must be received by this date.

For more information on the award and the nomination process, please visit the MARAC website: http://www.marac.info/distinguished-service-award

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Description in a place between Archives and Libraries

By Lesley Parilla

I am a cataloger whose records might create user confusion, for materials that have description meeting minimal archival standards. Yet I would argue that the records I create clarify more than they might confuse.  The cataloging system was created by archivists and librarians rethinking how to apply traditional and developing descriptive schema. The resulting “confusion” entices users to ask staff questions and find resources they would likely miss if my records didn’t exist.  In library school I thought of the approach as “record duplication”, but now understand it as “data reuse.” As information specialists, librarians and archivists strive to enable users to find and utilize the resources we manage, whatever their format.  The online environment has changed how users expect to interact with records; items in a library or archives are no longer constrained to one type of system because of format or department.  Professionals are actively working to overcome these challenges in online platforms such as Digital Public Library of America.  But how do we address searchability when archives create records for a collection, while libraries and museums create record for the item?

I recently posted a question on a professional listserv if anyone had experience with archival collections that had collection record and item level records available online--e.g. a finding aid and individual library style records.  I received two responses.  One from a librarian who created finding aids and item level MARC records in their Integrated Library System (ILS).  The other respondent was concerned that the mix of records would most likely cause confusion since there is usually the expectation of one record per item, and in archives, one record per collection. 

Information professionals have been duplicating portions of description for searchability for decades.  Many archives have a policy to create a MARC collection record and link it to a finding aid, which ideally uses Encoded Archival Description (EAD).  A collection can thus have 2 records online (one in MARC and one in EAD), to assure description is available in more locations. 

But what if we took it a step farther and created item level records for the box list in the finding aid?  Would these records cause user confusion? I would say the risk is worth it.  I’ve seen the benefits for the last three years with Smithsonian’s Field Book Project which creates item level records for materials that have online finding aids.  I go through collections in order to catalog one type of material—scientific field notes.  These item level records have available alongside the collection level records and finding aids online in Smithsonian’s Collections Search Center since 2012.  Because they are item level, Field Book Project can to contribute them to well-known online platforms like Internet Archive, Digital Public Library of America, and Biodiversity Heritage Library.  Since the records went live, Smithsonian Institution Archives has seen a significant rise in the number reference questions and digitization requests for these materials.

The records might be confusing.  However, the confusion induces users to look more closely at the content and ask questions.  The statistics argue that users have benefited by finding pertinent content than if the records had not been available.  Confusion can actually spark questions, when a user recognizes the possibility of useful content.  It might be a bit of a “Google effect”, but users have been conditioned by the internet to accept mixed results, if it means they may find more useful content.

At face value the records may confuse, but we as information professionals can assure they are well-constructed, and that additional description is only used when necessary.  Collection-level as well as item-level records provide a powerful mix of description and access to users, especially when they don’t even know they need our content.  

Lesley Parilla
Cataloger, Field Book Project

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Candidates Needed for 2016 Election

The 2016 MARAC election is only a few months away, and the Nominations and Elections
Committee is looking for a few great people to fill the following positions:

  • Delaware Caucus Representative: 1 candidate
  • New Jersey Caucus Representative: 2 candidates
  • New York Caucus Representative: 1 candidate
  • Nominations and Elections Committee: 1 candidate

The deadline for nominations for the positions listed above has been extended to December 4.

Additionally, with the passage of the revision to the MARAC bylaws, we are seeking candidates
for the following new positions:

  • Chair Elect: 1 candidate
  • Awards Committee Chair: 1 candidate
  • Scholarship Committee: 10 candidates

The deadline for nominations for the new positions listed above is December 18.

If you are interested in running for any of these positions, or if you would like to nominate a
colleague, please contact any member of the Nominations and Elections Committee.


Best wishes,
The 2015-2016 Nominations and Elections Committee

Cindy Bendroth (cbendroth@pa.gov)
Rebecca Goldman (rebgold@gmail.com)
Susan Kline (susan.m.kline@gmail.com)
Christie Lutz (christie.lutz@rutgers.edu)
Charlotte Sturm, Chair (charlotte.sturm@gmail.com)