Digital Art Preservation: An annotated bibliography

This past Fall, I took a course in my MLIS program (Wayne State University) called Digital Curation and Preservation. As the title states, this course focused on the curation lifecycle and preservation processes for born-digital materials. Some of the work we did was directly related to libraries, but I also ended up learning techniques and practices for best preserving my own digital files (e.g. digital photos). The final project for this class had each student creating an annotated bibliography on a topic related to digital preservation, either solo or with a group. I chose to focus on digital art preservation and more specifically on articles that discussed documentation practices related to digital art preservation.

I wanted to share my annotated bibliography for anyone who may be interested in doing some reading on digital art preservation. It got me thinking about best practices for creating metadata and documentation that would best assist with the recreation of digital artworks in the future, past their own technological obsolescence. I was also interested in thinking about the contention that can exist between an artist and an institution (e.g. museum) in regards to preservation. Some artworks weren’t meant to last forever and their ephemerality is part of the artists’ intention. My bibliography isn’t even close to being an exhaustive list of resources related to the topic, but in what I read, I noticed a lack of connection between digital preservation as viewed through a librarian/information science lens and digital preservation as approached by those working directly in art institutions, like museums and galleries. I found it pretty interesting to think about and want to further explore these thoughts in the future.

Preventing Lost (Art) History: Problems and Practices of Documentation in Digital Art Preservation

Archives Practicum-Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

Overview

The Archives Practicum program is designed for new archivists with an interest in artistic, multimedia, and/or corporate records. This hands-on experience allows new professionals to work closely with Banff Centre’s Archivist. The Archivist will work with and mentor the participant in an area of interest such as digitization and digital archiving, arrangement and description, or reference and outreach. The participant will also receive a general overview of the activities of an Archives and Records Management Centre, with introductions to all key aspects of archival work.

What does the program offer?

The program offers an introduction to working in an archive, and particularly one with large artistic, multimedia, and digital holdings. Practical experience may involve working on accessioning and describing records of the Banff New Media Institute (BNMI) , or identifying and implementing best practices regarding preservation and digitization of audio-visual materials. These projects will provide practical experience in the main areas of archival work. Learning opportunities may also arise through attendance at lectures, workshops, and events related to arts programming at Banff Centre. Participants will also have the opportunity to work on personal research activities as outlined in their learning objectives and project proposal.

Who should apply?

Practicum placements are appropriate for recent graduates of Master of Archival studies programs or Master in Library and Information Science programs, with an interest in archival work. This is an opportunity for a new professional to gain experience and expand and develop their career and capabilities. This program requires a full-time commitment.

A peek inside the art inventory project at the Boston Public Library

At the Boston Public Library, we’re undertaking an item-level inventory of over 320,000 original art works. That’s a lot of art:

Item by item, we are developing descriptive metadata for each object in the Print Collection using content and vocabulary standards defined by the project. One of the ways we help to preserve the materials is to (carefully!) remove prints from old mats. Here’s a quick look at how we un-mat:

1. Observe the print trapped in its sad old mat.IMG_2152

 

2. Open the window mat and tell the print that you love it and it’s going to be okay.IMG_2153

 

3. With a very sharp knife, carefully cut along the adhesive hinges.IMG_2155

 

4. Set the print free! Well, actually, put it in an acid-free folder and label it. Include any ephemera that may have been lurking beneath.IMG_2157

Assistant Archivist at Glenstone

TITLE

Assistant Archivist

ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION Glenstone is an art museum located on more than 200 acres of rolling hills and unspoiled woodland in Potomac, Maryland. Conceived by founders Mitchell and Emily Rales on their deeply held belief that art is essential to life, it has already become one of the finest collections of modern and contemporary art in the world. In addition to the current museum, when its new museum building opens to the public in 2018, Glenstone will become the largest private museum in America welcoming 100,000 visitors every year free of charge. By thoughtfully integrating the power of art, the energy of architecture and the serenity of landscape, Glenstone is both a distinctive idea and a unique place.

Glenstone is proud to foster a professional environment in which people can do interesting, fulfilling and enjoyable work. Not only do its founders develop and oversee all acquisitions and exhibitions, but Emily Rales also serves as director of the Museum and curator of the collection. This provides all associates an unusually high degree of access and interaction with the spirit and vision of Glenstone. To work at Glenstone is to be a part of something bigger, something more meaningful, and something truly special. It is a chance to do a job to the highest standard, with the resources and support available to a founder-led and endowed organization. It is an invitation to be engaged, challenged and stimulated, to help fulfill a powerful mission, and to contribute to a noble purpose.

We are incredibly proud of what Glenstone offers to those who create, appreciate, study, and otherwise participate in the world of art; and we are equally proud of what Glenstone offers to those who choose to join us in doing so. There is no better time than now to become a part of Glenstone.

DESCRIPTION Position Overview

Reporting to the Chief Archivist/Librarian, the Assistant Archivist will serve as part of a dynamic team in managing and preserving Glenstone’s archival assets. The Assistant Archivist will work in collaboration with the Library and Archives team to ensure long-term access to the institutional records.

Desired Attributes & Characteristics

The ideal candidate will possess flexibility, excellent communication skills, will be a problem solver, and be personally and professionally motivated by collaborating with a variety of associates. Desired characteristics also include a strong work ethic, as well as an attention to detail, and focus on deadlines. In addition, we are looking for someone that can embrace Glenstone’s core value of ‘continuous improvement’ through an interest in professional development to advance their knowledge and expertise to surpass our previous best efforts.

POSITION REQUIREMENTS Key Responsibilities

  • Assist in the establishment, implementation, and regular evaluation of policies regarding the accessioning, processing, and preservation of archival content in accordance with best professional practices
  • Manage the ingestion, storage, and access of digital assets, including professional video and high-resolution photography
  • Coordinate the use of archival content through a variety of mission-critical workflows, such as rights and reproduction, video production, staff research, and communications
  • Maintain statistics on outreach activities, reference requests, project work, storage conditions, and the overall growth of the archives
  • Assist in the formulation and administration of an institution-wide records management program to encompass both physical and digital records
  • Supervise interns and project workers
  • Respond to reference requests from Glenstone associates

Required Skills & Experience

  • ALA-accredited master’s degree in Library and Information Science with a concentration in archives and Records Management, Digital Curation, or related discipline.
  • Familiarity with professional metadata schema and content standards concerning the management of archival collections and digital assets, such as DACS, Dublin Core, PBCore, VRA Core, EXIF, IPTC, XMP, and PREMIS
  • Demonstrated experience writing, implementing, and assessing policies and workflows concerning the management of physical and digital collections
  • Strong technical ability to learn new software, evaluate information systems, and implement innovative strategies for preserving and cataloging archival content
  • Strong interpersonal and proactive ability to advocate archival policies, ensure compliance with best practices, and liaise with diverse stakeholders

Preferred Qualifications

  • Knowledge of modern art and architecture and/or background in museum archives
  • Experience with CollectiveAccess, or similar collections management system, for the management of archival collections and digital assets
  • Experience processing and cataloging specialized formats, including architectural records, audiovisual tapes, and ephemera
  • Experience supervising interns and/or student workers
  • Knowledge of professional video production and photography practices
  • Experience with the Adobe Creative Cloud, particularly Adobe Premiere, Adobe Bridge, and Adobe Photoshop

Salary & Benefits

Associates are crucial to achieving Glenstone’s mission and we offer a competitive salary commensurate with experience. We also provide a total benefits package that helps you manage your health, protect your income, and prepare for your future. To promote collaboration and show appreciation to associates, Glenstone provides a weekly staff lunch, on-site health and wellness classes and volunteer opportunities.

Benefits include medical, dental, and vision insurance; life, long-term and short-term disability and AD&D insurance, a Flexible Spending Account (FSA); a 401(k) retirement account with a matching contribution; an Employee Assistance Program (EAP); and tuition reimbursement.

FULL-TIME/PART-TIME Full-Time
SEASONAL
EXEMPT/NON-EXEMPT Non-Exempt
EOE STATEMENT We are an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

Full Description (PDF): Assistant Archivist Postion Posting

To Apply: https://recruiting.myapps.paychex.com/appone/MainInfoReq.asp?R_ID=1576081

Job Posting: Processing Archivist/Collections Manager, Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Research & Scholars offices, Washington, D.C.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is seeking a Processing Archivist/Collections Manager to process the Joseph Cornell Study Center “archives.” This is a temporary, privately-funded position, not to exceed three years. All work will take place in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Research & Scholars offices, located in Washington, D.C.

Background

The Joseph Cornell Study Center is comprised of approximately 320 linear feet of the artist’s source materials and studio effects, dating from the 18th to the 20th century (approximately 226 record carton boxes).  Included are handwritten and typed manuscripts, correspondence, newspaper clippings, maps, photographs, postcards, prints, theater playbills, stamps; and assorted dime store trinkets and other found objects, such as bird’s nests, ceramic figurines, clay pipes, cordial glasses, costume jewelry, marbles, shells, children’s toys and board games. The collection also includes the artist’s personal library (over 3,000 titles ranging from rare eighteenth century French texts to Little Golden Books from the 1950s) and hundreds of record albums.

Duties and responsibilities of the position

The incumbent will be chiefly responsible for:

— Processing: survey, organize, arrange and describe the collection according to archival and/or museum standards and best practices

— Cataloging: create inventories and detailed DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard)-compliant finding aid and encode that finding aid according to EAD (Encoded Archival Description) standard for electronic finding aids, using Archivists’ Toolkit or ArchivesSpace software

— Preservation: follow best practices for the handling and storage of fragile materials, identify items within the collection that may require additional professional conservation work

— Reference: may help respond to incoming queries for information about the collection

Top Candidates will have:

— Knowledge of art history, especially American, 20th century art

— Education or experience in Library Science or Archives Management

— At least 3 years’ experience processing archival or special collections

— Knowledge of archival best practices and standards, such as EAD and DACS

— Familiarity with Archivists’ Toolkit or ArchivesSpace

— Ability to communicate orally and in writing in a clear, objective and efficient manner

Preference will be given to prospective candidates with prior experience processing artists’ papers and a knowledge of art history, especially American or 20th century art.

Salary & Benefits

This is a temporary position, not to exceed 3 years.

Salary starting at $54,972 per year.  Benefits include health insurance, holidays and leave accrual.

How to Apply

Send cover letter and resume detailing relevant experience to: Christine Hennessey, Chief, Research & Scholars Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Send by email to: HennesseyC@si.edu with subject line: Cornell Study Center

Or Fax application to: 202-633-8373.

Review of applications begins March 1, 2017.  Position open until filled.

The Smithsonian is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Sponsored Project Archivist, University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, Applications due May 1st

The University of Colorado Boulder Libraries and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) seek candidates with archival and disciplinary experience to manage the digitization of NSIDC’s historical print glacier photograph collection. Funded by a grant from the Council on Library & Information Resources Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives Program, the position is an 18 month lecturer appointment to begin as soon as May 2016.

The Project Archivist (PA) will work with librarians, archivists, scientists, graduate students, a project consultant, and a vendor to manage the digitization of approximately 9,000 historical images of glaciated regions. Digitization work will be outsourced, and a significant amount of the project will involve assigning technical and descriptive metadata to the images. The PA will work with staff in the Libraries and NSIDC to make the images available in the University of Colorado Digital Library (https://content.cu.edu/digitallibrary/) and the NSIDC Glacier Photograph Database (http://nsidc.org/data/glacier_photo/search/).

This is an opportunity to contribute to a one-of-a-kind project that will provide access to priceless images of the earth’s frozen regions. It will require enthusiasm, attention to detail, problem solving, and the ability to see the larger concept of how users may access and use these images.

The salary is $52,000.  Benefits include university group health care plans.

Responsibilities include:

1)      Preparing images for digitization. This will require detailed inventorying and careful handling of images that range in size from 4”x5” to 10”x15” and date back to the 1850s.
2)      Working with vendor to ensure quality digital images that meet researcher needs and Federal Agency Digitization Guideline Initiative (FADGI) criteria.
3)      Providing descriptive and technical metadata to each item and publishing in two online databases. Each image will need to be consulted for metadata, and some may need to be researched for geospatial information (graduate students will assist with geospatial information).
4)      Communicating effectively with project stakeholders, solving problems and making decisions both collaboratively and independently.
5)      Attending conferences (with some financial support) and assisting in generating awareness of the collection.

Requirements

Please address each of these qualifications in your application materials:

  • An ALA-accredited Master’s of Library and/or Information Science or equivalent education or work experience.
  • Demonstrated interest, enthusiasm, and/or knowledge of topics in fields such as geology, glaciology, climatology, environmental science, history of exploration and/or photography, land management and national parks, and related disciplines.
  • Ability to see “the big picture” of how metadata enables discovery.
  • Demonstrated experience or education in archival practices.
  • Experience with metadata standards (e.g., Dublin Core, MODS, METS, MARC, EAD).
  • Experience working on complex projects with many stakeholders.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Ability to work and solve problems both independently and collaboratively.

Desirable Qualifications

Evidence of any of the following will enhance a candidacy:

  • Experience managing digital projects, particularly those involving historical photographs.
  • Significant experience developing metadata for digital objects.
  • A bachelor’s or master’s degree in earth or environmental sciences.
  • Certification from the Academy of Certified Archivists.
  • Experience working with earth or environmental scientists.

Application Process: 

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. It is recommended that applications be submitted by May 1, 2016 in order to receive full consideration.  Application must be made online at CU Careers (posting 04684) and must include a letter of application specifically addressing qualifications for the position; CV or resume; and names with postal addresses, email, and telephone numbers of three references. Questions may be directed to Dylan Wiersma, Search Coordinator, at Dylan.Wiersma@Colorado.EDU.

Direct Link for Posting: https://cu.taleo.net/careersection/2/jobdetail.ftl?job=04684&lang=en&sns_id=mailto#.Vwa67RaSbuo.mailto

The candidate selected for this position must be able to meet eligibility requirements to work in the United States at the time the appointment is scheduled to begin. The University of Colorado Boulder is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to building a diverse workforce. We encourage applications from women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans. Alternative formats of this ad can be provided upon request for individuals with disabilities by contacting the ADA Coordinator at hr-ada@colorado.edu. In addition, the University of Colorado Boulder is committed to providing a safe and productive learning and living community. To achieve that goal, we conduct background investigations for all final applicants being considered for employment. Background investigations include reference checks, a criminal history record check, and, when appropriate, a financial and/or motor vehicle history.

A Compendium of Archivists Talk About Their First Professional Publishing Experience

The SNAP Roundtable blog just published a great roundup of mid-career archivists discussing their routes to publication, all through grad-school term papers or essay awards. As I’ve written about this previously, obviously I feel like these perspectives are good to have.

https://snaproundtable.wordpress.com/2015/12/17/on-the-job-training-publishing/

Conversation with Claire Kennedy: Librarians in the Art Studio

Claire Kennedy

Following her thought-provoking talk at ARLIS, “Artist in the Library: A Case Study”, in which she touched on the underexplored applications of LIS training in a studio environment, we wanted to follow up with Claire Kennedy, formerly the Librarian and Archivist for John Baldessari, to discuss further.

First, can you briefly discuss your current position and some of your main day-to-day responsibilities and priorities?

Actually my current position is Gallery Archivist at L.A. Louver Gallery in Venice, California. I was just hired, as of a month ago. Before this recent change, I worked for the artist John Baldessari as his full-time Librarian and Archivist.

What is your educational background?

I have a degree in Anthropology and an MLIS degree, both from UCLA. In between my two degrees I spent about six years working and taking a few classes here and there. I would recommend to anyone interested in diversifying their training to look into taking a class in something like project management.

Did you “hack” your library degree in order to prepare you for working directly with artists?

No, I didn’t. My background is in rare books and manuscripts. I worked in Special Collections libraries at UCLA, the Huntington and with private book dealers and collectors before working for John. I think the best thing you can do while in an MLIS program is to take all the technology classes you can. Take UX design, or web development if you can. Take archiving classes if you want to be a librarian and take cataloging if you are training to be an archivist.

Can you talk a little bit about ways that you draw on the more conventional aspects of your LIS education? And what are some things you’ve had to learn on your own?

I think the most conventional skills I have used working for John were cataloging books, applying preservation knowledge to re-housing paper-based and photographic archival materials, record retention scheduling and the research skills I picked up in my degree program and working in libraries. As far as the skills I had to learn on my own, I had to learn about how to track auctions, gather provenance information, become familiar with the production and exhibition schedules of an art studio and the needs of John’s production staff. In the private world, you learn how to assess and serve the needs and priorities of your employer. In the MLIS program, it is sometimes taken for granted that everyone will eventually be working in a Public or University library setting. Its too bad that the private working world isn’t discussed more.

What would you consider the most rewarding parts of your job, and what are your biggest challenges as an information professional in a nontraditional environment?

I think the biggest challenge was learning how to communicate the needs of the archive and library to people who aren’t also librarians. I had spent most of my career around like-minded library staff who understood perfectly where I was coming from when I spoke about bone-folders and bindings. When I was the only MLIS working amongst artists, I discovered that I had to learn how to communicate more clearly about the needs of the minutiae of the library and archive. Initially I was out of my comfort zone.

What is a typical day like for you?

Working for John, I purchased and cataloged books, documented artwork in the database, created condition reports for artwork coming in and going out of the studio, performed research for outside reference inquiries, I tracked auctions and processed reproduction requests. There were always new tasks and projects popping up every day. Sometimes I wore multiple hats, where I was helping the production manager move large artwork around the studio, or running errands to lend a hand. We all worked together in the studio to get the job done.

During your talk in Fort Worth, you alluded to the fact that artists often have a need for people with LIS training, but they’re either not aware of the field or not able to articulate their needs using LIS language, so the two communities aren’t connected.

In your opinion, what is the impact of those jobs being filled by people who lack LIS training?

I think that LIS training is essential to perform the meticulous, detail oriented work that we are asked to do. Database management, creating and tracking inventories, cataloging books and other objects, performing research, maintaining any type of project schedule, etc. I believe there are “archivists” and “librarians” out there hired to do this kind of work who don’t have the training, skills and experience we do. As a result, I suspect there are some messes being made. Ultimately we are experts at preserving things and making them retrievable. In a world where there is so much being produced, digitally and physically, our skillset is an incredible asset. All we need to do is promote ourselves! How can we do this? Let’s work together to make ourselves invaluable!

Is there a community of information professionals who work with practicing artists? And how can interested ArLiSNAPers (and others) get involved?

That’s a great question! I don’t think so. I could be wrong, but I am not familiar with any group in Los Angeles. As the Southern California Chapter Chair, along with the chapter’s Vice-Chair Ben Lee Ritchie Handler, I want to reach out to all the archivists and librarians (professional or not) to form a network. We can all help each other, put together show-and-tells as well as workshops.

Do you have any advice for bridging the awareness gap between the two communities?

To be honest, I recommend joining your local ARLIS chapter and being very proactive! Cold email anyone who is working in creative spaces in your area and set up a visit for your chapter. Ask to interview local artists for your local chapter’s blog or website. Start communicating with a local gallery and offer your contact information in case any of the artists they represent need any assistance with their archive or documenting their work. Go to art gallery openings and start meeting people. Build your own resources.

Do you have any tips for job-seekers on how to approach artists about their information and content management needs?

I guess I answered this question above. But my biggest piece of advice is to put yourself out there. Email artists and tell them what you can do for them.

Curator Special Collections/Assistant Librarian — Miami University

The Miami University Libraries seeks an enthusiastic, knowledgeable, proactive and service-oriented librarian for the Walter Havighurst Special Collections. Reporting to the Head of Special Collections and Archives, the Curator of Special Collections/Assistant Librarian will foster engagement with the collections, develop relationships with researchers, promote the collections among academic faculty, coordinate instruction in the use of departmental primary resources and participate broadly in departmental services and outreach.

A graduate degree in library or information science from an ALA-accredited institution; formal coursework or training in rare books, special collections librarianship, and/or history of the book; ability to meet the Miami University criteria for advancement and promotion of librarians as outlined in the Libraries Appointment, Rank and Promotion System (LARPS); training and/or experience providing reference or research assistance in an academic library; training and/or experience providing instruction in primary resources, special collections and/or archives; ability to work effectively in a customer service oriented environment; ability to work effectively as a team member to produce targeted outcomes; ability to work independently and prioritize work to ensure that goals are realized; demonstrated strength in written and verbal communication in English.

For more information or to apply for the position, please see www.miamiujobs.com/applicants/Central?quickFind=54077

Paid digital archive intern

Artist seeks paid digital archive Intern, deadline Nov 30

Seeking PAID DIGITAL ARCHIVE INTERN to Begin January 2015

Whitney Biennial artist seeks paid digital archive Intern to assist with reorganizing and managing five (5) 2 TB external drives containing video, audio, image and text files. The reorganization of 20 years of digital data is intended for two different purposes: (1) as “active storage” in the artist’s studio, and (2) as the digital addition to her non-digital “Collected Papers” already archived at a major academic institution.

The successful candidate will have:

-knowledge of Information and Library Science management systems

-coursework in the management of born-digital records preferred

-high comfort level in learning new technologies

-discretion when dealing with confidential or sensitive information

-accuracy and attention to detail

Our studio is located in Lower Manhattan. We anticipate the paid intern chosen will work a total of 12-16 hours per week, with flexible afternoon and early evening hours to be arranged. The post will begin in January 2015.

Please email resume and cover letter highlighting any relevant work experience and coursework to: lorraineogradystudio@gmail.com  attn: Sur, Studio Manager.

We will accept applications until midnight, November 30. On December 9 will begin contacting suitable candidates to arrange in-person interviews.

Our goal is to reach a final decision no later than December 21.