Position Title: Digital Curator (Temporary Assignment — May and June 2013)
For further information, contact: Tim Garrity, Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, (207) 276-9323.
The mission of the Mount Desert Island Historical Society is to keep, discover, and celebrate the history of Mount Desert Island. To advance that mission, the society seeks to make its collections freely available to the public and to provide a portal where researchers can discover the history of the island. To accomplish these tasks, we want to make improvements in the contents, appearance, and functionality of our website. As a first step we are recruiting a digital architect and curator for a short term assignment, May 6 to June 28, 2013.
The primary objective of the internship is to review, make recommendations, and implement improvements to the society’s website, www.mdihistory.org. The tasks include the following, in order of priority:
1. Improve the appearance, content, and navigability of the society’s website, so that visitors will encounter a more interesting and dynamic page that better reflects the society’s mission, activities, work, and resources.
2. Envision and assess what work is necessary to make improvements to the architecture of the MDI Cultural History Project. In addition, make recommendations regarding management of the database and metadata. This archival collection is rich in content. For instance, it contains over 7,000 gravestone inscriptions, a key to almost any historical or genealogical research project of island history. However, this valuable trove of information is structured so that it is not a fully searchable relational database. This database should be searchable and consistent with high standards of internet-based research.
3. Provide a structure and format and develop a process for making past issues of the Society’s annual magazine, Chebacco, available and searchable on the web. Similarly, provide a structure and methodology for adding future publications to the website, so that in the future, volunteers can add additional content.
4. Assess and make recommendations towards making the society’s digital catalog available on the web. Currently we have over 35,000 items that are cataloged in PastPerfect, a common museum catalog software (www.museumsoftware.com). At the Mount Desert Island Historical Society, this electronic catalog currently is used to record the accession of artifacts, photos, archival records, and library resources. Metadata for each item (to varying degrees of compliance) include a description and image or photograph, the location, the date of acquisition, the donor, catalog and acquisition numbers, assessment of the item’s condition, and other information.
5. Assess the feasibility of adding other electronic databases, such as genealogical databases – many created by private individuals – in a coherent and sustainable form. Perhaps these databases should be uploaded into a standardized format that will accommodate future additions. Assess whether this material should be made available via Ancestry.com or some other subscription service, such as Omeka,
6. Create a smartphone application that will let visitors to Mount Desert Island know about society locations, exhibits, and activities.
7. Make recommendations for future work. These recommendations may be used as the basis of grant proposals to secure funding for work to improve the society’s electronic resources based on the assessment of appropriate next steps.
Facilities and Accommodations: The Mount Desert Island Historical Society has two campus sites: the Old School House and Museum and the Somesville Museum. Both facilities are equipped with wifi access, and in May and June, are very pleasant places to work.
Housing will be provided without charge at Le Petit Chateau, a cottage on the shore of Salisbury Cove near Bar Harbor.