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Museum Specialist

The Presidio Trust is seeking two Museum Specialists to join the Interpretation Office of the Visitor Engagement Department. The Presidio of San Francisco, formerly a 1,491 acre Army post, is now a new kind of national park with a richly layered history; natural landscapes with wildlife and native plants; historic former military homes and buildings animated by 3,000 residents and 200 organizations; and some of the most iconic views of the San Francisco Bay. The park offers a welcoming mix of visitor experiences, including museums, art, archaeological sites, a panoramic network of trails, and diverse recreation opportunities. The Visitor Engagement Department provides welcoming and meaningful opportunities for all to enjoy their national park.

 

The Museum Specialists support all aspects of curatorial operations in the Interpretation Office, including collections care and management (50%); and exhibition development, maintenance, and evaluation (50%). Collections include both permanent archaeological collections and borrowed museum objects, with post-contact archaeological materials making up the majority of the collections. Exhibitions include both permanent and temporary installations that explore the Presidio's heritage and legacy.

 

Our ideal candidate is creative and collaborative, working with a highly skilled team of professionals to preserve the integrity of the Presidio National Historic Landmark District, to create new knowledge about it through original research, and to bring alive the historic and natural assets of the Presidio through interpretation. You are organized and detail-oriented, supporting both the collections and exhibition aspects of curatorial work. You are visitor centric in your approach, an exceptional communicator, and you know how to bring partners together to produce and care for exhibitions and collections representing the Presidio's heritage and legacy.

 

Applications received by Friday, May 31 will receive first consideration. We are planning to hold interviews beginning the week of June 17, make a job offer the week of July 1, and set a work start date the week of July 22.

 

Responsibilities

  • Provide collections care, including identification, handling, cleaning, cataloging, labeling, condition reporting, and storing objects in the collections. Make recommendations for conservation treatments. Conduct inventories and process uncatalogued collections material. Collaborate with archaeological staff to provide curatorial support for new acquisitions.
  • Create records documenting collections transactions (accessions, outgoing and incoming loans) in accordance with established policy and guidelines. Maintain other collections information such as artifact catalogs, identification references, conservation treatments, lender and shipper files, and insurance documentation. Maintain collections database to facilitate access to and use of the collections. Assist with the development of collections procedural manuals and collections management reporting.
  • Conduct research on collections. Assemble collection materials for use in research projects, educational programs, exhibitions, and other purposes. Serve as a team member on collections committees and participate in committee activities evaluating and reviewing plans for access, use, and loan of collections items.
  • Implement preventative conservation and technical care procedures for collections storage and exhibition galleries at the Officers' Club campus and other heritage sites, including curatorial cleaning and maintenance, environmental and IPM monitoring, and object handling and relocation. Work with facility and IPM staff to ensure proper collections environment is maintained and address concerns. Maintain inventory of curatorial furniture, equipment, and supplies.
  • Participate in the exhibition development process, including idea generation and concept development, content development, design development, fabrication and installation of exhibitions. Assist with curatorial community engagement efforts. Conduct background research and archival research, assemble bibliographies, and compile research briefs. Contribute to preparation of exhibition text (writing and editing); selection, development, and installation of objects, images, and multimedia; development and prototyping of interactives; all for use in communicating information in exhibitions.
  • Create and maintain exhibition documentation such as research briefs, object lists, permissions, design files, and punch lists. Maintain content management database to facilitate access to exhibition resources for research and interpretation. Negotiate rights management in association with images used in exhibition, in accordance with the lender and/or owner's permissions or usage rights policy.
  • Conduct evaluation research on museum exhibitions and other media-based interpretive elements, including front-end, formative, and summative evaluation. Apply evaluation methodology through data collection, transcription, and digitization. Conduct analysis of multiple data sources and synthesize findings in professional reports.
  • Assist with the development of exhibition procedural manuals. Maintain the Trust's General Facility Report to provide comprehensive facility information for potential lenders to exhibitions at the Officers' Club and other heritage sites. Contribute to the preparation of supplemental exhibition materials, including print collateral, web content, and docent education aides.
  • Perform interpersonal interpretation, including gallery-based interpretation, tours, and special presentations. Collaborate with volunteers and interns in interpreting the Presidio's heritage in a digestible format. Provide accessible information to Trust staff and the public about ongoing curatorial activities pertinent to the park's cultural resources and interpretive themes. Provide instruction and training on exhibitions and collections for staff, interns, and volunteers.

 

Required

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited university in museum studies, anthropology, material culture studies, art history, history, or a related discipline with specialized training in museology.
  • At least one year of relevant work experience comparable in scope and responsibility, such as, a combination of experience in collections management principles and procedures used in the physical care and record keeping of collections objects; and experience in exhibition development and evaluation principles and procedures used in the creation and assessment of visitor-centered museum and interpretive experiences.
  • Positive, professional demeanor. Ability to form and maintain successful working relationships and work cooperatively with many departments and with community members. Strong organizational skills and meticulous attention to detail. Ability to work simultaneously on multiple projects. Demonstrated creativity and flexibility.
  • Skill in oral and written communication in order to ensure that documentation is well written, easily understood, and pertinent information is shared effectively, and that oral presentations are informative, clear, and convey the intended message.
  • Strong computer and data management skills, including familiarity with and ability to use various types of cross-platform relational database and digital media software currently being used within the profession for collections management and exhibition development. Ability to learn additional software used in the fields of museology, archaeology, and history. Competency with Microsoft Office applications is required.

 

Desired

  • Passion for parks; strong desire to work for the Presidio Trust
  • Familiarity with Re:discovery software
  • Experience working with basic hand tools
  • Graphic design, video production, and audiovisual editing skills

 

About the Visitor Engagement Team

The Visitor Engagement Department is dedicated to welcoming and sharing the Presidio with people of all ages and backgrounds. They provide visitor services, education, interpretation, and community programming. Within the department, the Interpretation Office preserves the integrity of the Presidio National Historic Landmark District, creates new knowledge through original research, and brings alive the historic and natural assets of the Presidio through  interpretation.

 

Background Investigation

The Presidio Trust has identified this position as subject to a standard employment background investigation, which shall consist of a review of applicable county, state and Federal criminal and civil records. An individual's granting of a background investigation and resulting report is voluntary, however, employment is contingent upon the successful completion of the investigation. The Trust may refuse to hire an individual, rescind an offer of employment, or review and terminate the employment of a current employee who does not successfully complete a background investigation.