Media Preservation Contractor, Smithsonian’s NMAAHC

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture plans to hire a media preservation contractor for one year to assist with the processing, inspection, and digitization of its media collections. We are currently seeking resumes and cover letters from qualified applicants.

The contractor should have the competency, skills, and experience to perform the tasks listed, below. Interested parties should send PDFs of both a CV, and cover letter, to forsbergw[at] with “NMAAHC Media Preservation Contractor” in the subject line.

Walter Forsberg, Media Archivist
National Museum of African American History and Culture

The contractor shall have experience with:

  • Moving image preservation best practices and technology;
  • Archival film inspection and handling of 16mm and 35mm;
  • Analog video digitization workflows including transfer monitoring and quality control;
  • Database approaches for employing moving image technical and descriptive metadata schemas and field standards;
  • Moving image collections inventorying and processing;
  • Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, a museum collection information system (preferably The Museum System (TMS)), ffmpeg, Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, Media Express;
  • Working with a museum collections management team.

The contractor shall do the following:

  • Inspect analog film and videotape elements to evaluate physical condition and perform minor repair conservation activities as needed;
  • Identify, analyze, and differentiate between multiple instantiations and versions of the same work across different formats;
  • Create and edit cataloging records, and conservation documentation and reporting;
  • Perform preliminary rights and provenance research;
  • Assist NMAAHC staff with digital reformatting of analog videotape collections;
  • Transcode digital video derivatives using ffmpeg and/or other NLE video software;
  • Perform collections inventorying;
  • Modify, or update records in the DAMS and TMS;
  • Tag assets with metadata for the Enterprise Digital Asset Network (EDAN);
  • Assist in liaising with outside vendors;
  • Assist in management of digital assets, including uploading digitized assets into DAMS;
  • Work closely with the Museum’s collection management, curatorial, and digitization staff, contractors, volunteers, and interns on the Museum’s digitization initiatives;
  • Notify supervisory staff of any problem or situation that impedes completion of any assignment;
  • Notify supervisory staff when not available for work or with changes in schedule;
  • Maintain professional attitude in communicating and working with Smithsonian staff;
  • Be diligent, thorough, meticulous, and consistent in following NMAAHC guidelines.

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