Collections Inventory Fellow – Detroit Historical Society

Reports to: Jeremy Dimick, Manager of Collections
Term Dates: May 7 – December 14, 2018

The Detroit Historical Society is pleased to offer a full-time fellowship with its Collections Department. This fellowship provides experiences related to several different aspects of museum collections management. DHS is currently in the process of completing a collection-wide inventory of our 250,000 objects. The completion of the inventory will maintain intellectual control of the collection, provide tools to better assess future collecting needs, and identify objects for possible deaccession. The fellow will act as the project lead, working with Society staff and volunteers towards the completion of the inventory.

The selected fellow will be immersed in the day-to-day operation of a large three-dimensional artifact collection and will be working to improve intellectual control from the ground up. The result will be a firsthand experience in collections management, daily work with Past Perfect - a widely used museum collection management system - volunteer management, and exposure to all of the skills necessary to work with and manage general museum collections.

This appointment will last approximately 6 months with the possibility of reappointment for another 6 month term. The schedule is flexible, but hours worked must be completed between 8am and 5pm Monday - Friday.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Locate physical placement of individual artifacts within museum collection storage;
  • Update and create PastPerfect database records on a daily basis;
  • Conduct limited research to assist in identifying unknown objects;
  • Label artifacts by a variety of means: sewing labels, painting, attaching tags etc.;
  • Regular work improving artifact storage conditions;
  • Utilize reference materials i.e. card catalogue and accession books, to identify unnumbered objects;
  • Assist with other collections projects as needed.

Required Skills and Abilities:

  • Intermediate computer skills;
  • Previous experience working with museum and archival collections including the use of PastPerfect Museum Software;
  • Strong organizational skills with attention to detail;
  • Ability to work on a tight schedule and meet deadlines;
  • Basic knowledge of Detroit history desired;
  • Ability to lift 15-20 lbs and comfort using step ladder;
  • Ability to sit for long periods of time at a computer and ability to stand for long periods of time in warehouse setting;
  • Result-oriented self-starter who can work independently and as part of a larger initiative.

Education, Training and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree or graduate-level studies required. Work experience may substitute graduate-level studies;
  • Concentration in the fields of history, anthropology, museum studies or similar preferred;
  • Preference will be given to candidates with museum collections experience in either a paid or volunteer capacity
  • Minimum G.P.A. of 3.0 is required (for currently enrolled students)

Interested candidates should forward a cover letter, current resume and letter of support from faculty supervisor by April 2, 2018 to:

Jeremy Dimick
Manager of Collections
Detroit Historical Society
5401 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI 48202

No phone calls, please.

Posted on the MMA website 2/26.

 The Michigan Museums Association is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Michigan Museums Association       313-334-7643       PO Box 5246, Cheboygan, MI 49721

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