Digital Collections Coordinator

Digital Collections Coordinator

13 May – 31 August

16 weeks

$14.50

The Terrace and District Museum Society is seeking a Digital Collections Coordinator for a sixteen-week summer position at Heritage Park Museum in Terrace, British Columbia, to input artifact and archival records in our new digital database, to oversee the museum’s social media, and to assist with the ongoing digitisation project, which will digitise and make accessible online a range of photographs and audio clips relating to northwestern BC. The student will also develop educational programming relating to our digital resources and to our 3D printer. The wage is $14.50 an hour. The position begins on 13 May and ends on 31 August.

Operated by the not-for-profit Terrace and District Museum Society, Heritage Park Museum is a community museum and heritage site consisting of authentic log buildings set up with displays showcasing various aspects of local history. Heritage Park Museum has a large collection of artifacts and archival material.

Terrace is located in Northwestern British Columbia, and is a vibrant community of approximately 12,000 people, with a regional population of approximately 18,000. We are located south of the Nass Valley, east of Prince Rupert, and north of Kitimat. We are two hours by air from Vancouver, and seven hours by driving from Prince George. Terrace is located in the traditional territory of the Kitselas and Kitsumkalum First Nations and is consequently rich in culture and history. The surrounding mountains, lakes, and rivers provide infinite opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, and swimming. Nearby cultural attractions include the Kitselas Canyon National Historic Site (15 km east of Terrace) and the Nisga’a Museum in Laxgalts’ap (approximately two hours’ drive north of Terrace). See www.visitterrace.com for further information. Alternatively, visit the local newspaper’s website to see the issues and events concerning Terrace residents at www.terracestandard.com.

The ideal candidate will be enthusiastic about digitisation, technology, museums, and/or local history. Students with demonstrated experience in digitisation and database work will be given priority, though all interested candidates are encouraged to apply. The Terrace and District Museum Society is 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.

Project & Job Objectives:
The Digital Collections Coordinator will work to digitise our collections records and to manage our social media, from a collections-based perspective. In addition, s/he will continue to upload audio and images to the ongoing museum digitisation project, which digitises and eventually makes accessible online a large collection of videos, interviews, and stories relating to regional history. The position will offer a student interested in digitisation the opportunity to work in digital conversion, to learn technical best practices, and to assist with an innovative project. The student will have access to a great deal of resources and support, and will develop specific career-related skills and experience that will assist in his or her eventual career. The Terrace and District Museum Society will benefit from an increasingly accessible records collection, and from assistance with a critical digitisation project that encourages widespread engagement with local history. The student’s work will contribute to the community by rendering archival records and oral histories more accessible and immediate. In addition, the student’s contribution to the digitisation project will help to promote a sense of Northwestern history, identity, and community by sharing unique archival materials from the Terrace area. The Digital Collections Coordinator’s development of programming related to digital resources such as audiovisual material will similarly allow for a deeper community engagement with history, and will encourage a broader digital and historical literacy across diverse groups.

Measurable Outcomes:
The measurable outcomes of the project include the updating of our digital database, the consistent and regular updating of our various social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram), and the management, organisation, and contextualisation of newly digitised records. The conscientious addition of a significant number of artifact and archival records to our digital database, an increase in social media followers or engagement, and accurate abstractions, metadata, and organisation of the newly digitised files will all be markers of success. Additionally, a sense of community engagement with our holdings and—eventually—online will indicate success. These outcomes will be achieved through the ongoing promotion of our digitisation projects. These outcomes will then be assessed based on online visitation statistics and feedback. Increased digital literacy as a result of educational programming relating to the digital assets which the student worked on will also be an important way for the community to understand the work Heritage Park Museum is undertaking. This digital literacy will be measured through feedback and surveys from the newly developed programming. Excitement about and curiosity in 3D printing will similarly be a reflection of the Digital Collections Coordinator’s work term. Finally, a common sense of the interactivity of Heritage Park Museum will demonstrate the overall success of the project.

Description of Tasks:
The Digital Collections Coordinator will upload records into our new digital database, manage the museum’s various social media feeds, and assist with the ongoing digitisation project. The student will update the database by entering paper records into our digital database. S/he will scan documents and photographs as needed. Throughout, the student will identify gaps in provenance and knowledge for further research. Whenever possible, the Digital Collections Coordinator will conduct such research to contribute to our understanding of our artifacts and archives. All new archival entries will be constructed according to Rules of Archival Description, and all new artifact records will be constructed according to Nomenclature 3.0. Wherever possible, existing entries will also be edited according to these standards.

The Digital Collections Coordinator will be responsible for managing the museum’s various social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram). At the beginning of the summer, the Digital Collections Coordinator will construct a short-term social media plan, laying out his or her broad plans to share collections-based updates. The plan will outline the idea of voice, the frequency of updates, and the museum’s intention and goals in using social media. Archival images, historical anecdotes, and insights gleaned from newly digitised material will be shared on these feeds. Advance scheduling 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 describing his or her process, or showcasing interesting stories they discover in the course of work.

The Digital Collections Coordinator will also upload and manage digital files intended for online publication. The Digital Collections Coordinator’s primary role in the digitisation project will be to construct historical context, create abstracts of the oral interviews, and manage and organise the digital files, which will include uploads to website. Description will be incorporated into metadata to allow for understanding and appropriate access, and to ensure the sustainability of the digital materials.

The student will develop educational programming for children, youth, adults, and seniors using the digital assets s/he is working with in other segments of the project and utilising our 3D printer. This could involve lectures on the scanned images and oral histories, how-to lessons in digitising family collections, or presentations of the audiovisual materials in the museum’s collections. The programming will also involve children, youth, adults, and seniors 3D printing objects from the museum’s collection.

Finally, the student will update a long-term digital management plan to ensure materials will be actively managed over the long term, and will remain relevant to researchers through regular reviews of visitation statistics and archival integrity.

Candidate Profile:
The ideal candidate will be enthusiastic about digitisation, technology, information management, digital databases, and/or local history. Students with demonstrated experience in digitisation or database work will be given priority, though all interested candidates are encouraged to apply. The Terrace and District Museum Society is especially interested in post-secondary students whose studies pertain to computer science, archival sciences, museum studies, and/or history. 

Advertisements for the position will make clear that applicants must be full-time students between 16 and 30 years of age who intend to return to school full time in the fall. To ensure candidates are eligible according to Young Canada Works, registration or proof of enrollment in full-time studies will be required following a job offer, and prior to the commencement of the work term. The Terrace and District Museum Society encourages applicants who identify themselves as members of the Government of Canada’s job equity groups (i.e. women, persons with disabilities, visible minorities, and Aboriginal peoples).

Applications should be addressed to Kelsey Wiebe, Curator, Heritage Park Museum. They may be emailed to curator@heritageparkmuseum.com. Applicants selected for interviews will be contacted to arrange either an in-person or telephone interview by the Curator, depending on availability.

Employability Skills to be gained (Marketable Skills):
The employability skills to be gained from this position include: 

– writing skills developed through media articles; 
– speaking skills developed through museum site tours and media interviews; 
– share information using a range of information and communications technologies: database entries, aloud (through media interviews), written (reports); 
– locate, gather, and organise information using appropriate technology and information systems: database entry, digitisation; 
– continuously monitor the success of a project or task and identify ways to improve: regular quality control checks; 
– access, analyze, and apply knowledge and skills from various disciplines: combination of archival sciences, digital databases, history, museum, and computer science standards; 
– readily use science, technology, and mathematics as ways to think, gain, and share knowledge, solve problems, and make decisions 
– recognize your own and other people’s good efforts: 
– set goals and priorities balancing work and personal life: will be important given the breadth of the projects; 
– be socially responsible and contribute to your community: work on a community heritage project to share cultural resources and information; 
– work independently and as part of a team: the digitisation project; Heritage Park Museum special events; 
– carry out multiple tasks or projects: balance many digitisation tasks; 
– be innovative and resourceful: identify and suggest alternative ways to achieve goals and get the job done; 
– cope with uncertainty: new pilot project—not necessarily straightforward; 
– identify and access learning sources and opportunities; 
– ensure that a team’s purpose and objectives are clear: assist the constant revision and reframing of project initiatives and objectives, as you progress on the project; 
– contribute to a team by sharing information and expertise: digitisation, database expertise; 
– develop a plan, seek feedback, test, revise, and implement: may be necessary to test for quality control and revise digitisation procedure accordingly; 
– work to agreed-upon quality standards and specifications: work toward digitisation best practices.

*** This position is contingent on funding from Young Canada Works in Heritage Organizations.