Collections Researcher

Job Posting: Collections Researcher at Heritage Park Museum

Summer Student Position (Seasonal)

Job Description: The Terrace and District Museum Society is seeking a Collections Researcher for a sixteen-week summer position at Heritage Park Museum in Terrace, British Columbia, to conduct research on our collections, to expand our knowledge of our artifacts and archival materials, to update the museum’s social media with photos from our collection, and to write collections-based articles for the local media and for our blog. The student will also digitise and rehouse archival materials, as needed. The Collections Researcher will fill in gaps left by early volunteers who recorded little about donated materials by contacting donors, researching in published histories, oral histories, and the local newspaper archives, and being historically creative. Throughout, the student will identify gaps in provenance and knowledge for further research. The Collections Researcher will conduct such research to contribute to our understanding of our artifacts and archives, and to enhance their long-term relevance to the community and to researchers.
The position will offer a student interested in research the opportunity to choose what interests them in a large, varied collection, to learn archival best practices, and to write evidence-based historical articles. The student will have access to a great deal of resources and support through the museum’s staff and partnering organisations, and will develop specific research-related skills and experience that will assist in his or her eventual career. The Terrace and District Museum Society will benefit from a better-described and understood records collection, and from wider engagement with local history through articles and posts. Researchers and the community will benefit from the long-term relevance of our collections, and from the highlighting of this material online and in the media. The student’s work will contribute to the community by expanding information on archival records and artifacts, ensuring their long-term significance within the community. In addition, the student’s posts and articles will help to promote a sense of Northwestern history, identity, and community by sharing unique information about the region gleaned from collections research.
The Collections Researcher will be responsible for uploading collections-based content the museum’s various social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram). Archival images, historical anecdotes, and insights gleaned from researching the museum collections will be shared on these feeds. HootSuite (the social media management software) will be utilised to ensure the consistency of our social media updates, even during the museum’s slow winter season. The student will also write regular blog posts showcasing interesting stories came across in the course of work. These posts will put special emphasis on First Nations history, as we work to incorporate more First Nations content within our museum and local history, in keeping with national goals of reconciliation.

Work Term: The job posting is for sixteen weeks, beginning on 1 May 2018 and ending 22 August 2018.

Ideal Candidate: We are looking for someone who is enthusiastic about digitisation, research, writing, museums, and/or local history. Students with demonstrated experience in research, writing, and/or database work will be given priority, though all interested candidates are encouraged to apply. We are especially interested in post-secondary students whose studies pertain to computer science, archival sciences, museums, and/or history. Applicants must be between 16 and 30 years of age, and must be full-time students intending to return to school full time in the fall.

Training and Orientation: An initial site orientation will occur during the first week of the Collections Researcher’s employment: s/he will be given an in-depth training tour of the museum’s eight historic buildings, two large artifact storage sheds, two replica buildings, and the organic heritage garden. The Curator will explain each exhibit, answer questions, and provide the Collections Researcher with a set of tour-script cue cards. The employee will also be provided with a training manual which encompasses tour scripts, historical information, and a copy of the museum’s mandate, strategic plan, collections policy, and digitisation policy. The Curator will review the scope and content of our collections and museum best practices to ensure s/he is accurate and confident in expanding our understanding and improving the description of the museum’s collections. Weekly review and planning meetings will allow for constant cooperation and discussion. The Curator will act as a mentor and advisor throughout the Collections Researcher’s sixteen-week work term. Because the shared office space at Heritage Park Museum is relatively small, the Curator and the Collections Researcher will have daily contact to discuss plans and projects.

Terms of Employment: The Collections Researcher will be employed by the Terrace and District Museum Society. His or her supervisor will be Heritage Park Museum’s Curator.

Reimbursement: The position is full time at 37.5 hours per week. The wage is $15.00 an hour, plus 4% vacation pay.

Deadline: Please send a resume and cover letter to Applicants selected for interviews will be contacted to arrange either an in-person or telephone interview by the Curator, depending on availability.


*** Please note: position contingent on funding from Young Canada Works in Heritage Organizations Jobs.