Project Cataloger & Metadata Specialist

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Created: July 7, 2016


The P. T. Barnum Digital Collection Project seeks an enthusiastic, collaborative, and creative cataloger and metadata expert to perform original cataloging and metadata creation for special collections and museum objects in a variety of formats (print and manuscript materials, artifacts, etc.) as part of a comprehensive digitization project supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The archives and artifacts are in the collections of The Barnum Museum and the Bridgeport Public Library's History Center, both located in downtown Bridgeport, Connecticut. A primary goal of the project is to create catalog records and metadata for approximately 200 artifacts, 125 photographs, 325 manuscript items, and 440 print material items as these materials are digitized. Collection materials date from circa 1830 to circa 1900 and range in complexity from single page and bound manuscripts to multi-faceted museum artifacts. Reporting to the Project Director/Barnum Museum Curator, and taking direction from the project's Technical Coordinator, and the Bridgeport History Center Archivist, the Project Cataloger will work collaboratively with staff at both institutions to ensure that catalog information and metadata is of a high and uniform standard, using appropriate controlled vocabularies, and is formatted in a way to be ingested into a shared digital repository.

The position is temporary (up to 18 months), and is funded through an NEH grant. The Cataloger will begin employment as soon as possible, and complete 21 hours of work per week at a rate of $30 - $35 per hour to be paid by The Barnum Museum. The Cataloger will divide his/her time between the museum and library.

Key Responsibilities:

Acquire or improve knowledge of cataloging software systems Collective Access and PastPerfect
Work with BHC and Museum staff to establish description and access standards for record creation according to national standards and best practices
Review or gather documentation about the collection materials as cataloging project proceeds
Implement cataloging priorities established with staff for NEH project
Create original bibliographic records and object records for P. T. Barnum material in the Museum and Library collections
Coordinate work schedule with Technical Coordinator to ensure overlap of time and regular communication
Format metadata for ingest into shared repository, taking direction from Technical Coordinator
Meet deadlines, achieve cataloging milestones stipulated for project
Attend and contribute to project team meetings

Masters in Library/Information Science from ALA-accredited program or equivalent degree in museum or archival studies.
Relevant training or experience in cataloging and metadata creation in a library or museum (previous experience in library or museum technical services desirable)
An understanding of controlled vocabularies and current standards for Library of Congress subject headings and classifications, Getty Vocabularies such as AAT and CONA, Nomenclature for Museum Cataloging, and GeoNames
Experience in and knowledge of XML-based standards such as MODS and Dublin Core
Experience in and knowledge of national standards, specifically, application of the Resource Description and Access (RDA), and DACS formats for bibliographic and authority data
Ability to follow precise direction, adhering to best practices and procedures developed by the team
Ability to work effectively in both a team environment and independently
Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communications skills
Strong organizational skills, high level of concentration, and attention to detail
Strong service orientation and awareness of end user needs as related to cataloging policies and procedures

To apply please send cover letter of interest and c.v. to the attention of John Swing, Assistant Director, The Barnum Museum, 820 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT 06604, or via email to No phone calls, please.

Last updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 23:40 UTC