Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) collects and preserves materials that document the history, culture, heritage, and languages of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian people and makes these materials available to the public for educational purposes. SHI collections include an archives of historical manuscripts and papers, photographs, and audio and visual recordings, as well as a collection of 500 art and ethnographic objects and a library of 2,500 books. SHI currently houses more than 5,000 historical and contemporary audio and audiovisual recordings documenting the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian language, culture, and history. Most of these recordings are wholly unique and cannot be found in other libraries, archives, or repositories.
SHI serves the general and academic Native and non-Native community by making its extensive archival, library, and art and ethnographic collections available to the public for research and educational purposes; hosting public lectures; advising and assisting visiting scholars and researchers; publishing academic essays and books; and having SHI staff present papers at scholarly conferences. SHI’s culture and history, language, education, and art programs rely heavily on its library and archival collections in the development of their activities and publications.
Overall Collections Management
Develop and maintain electronic and physical files to document and record information on all items in collections; create detailed physical description of item and its condition; acquire information on item usage and history; photograph items for documentation purposes; assign accession numbers; mark items in appropriate locations using methods that support conservation of the item.
Maintain integrated collections database for archival, library and object collections using Proficio collections management software; modify database when required to improve record-keeping and referencing ability; maintain catalog subscription services.
Monitor temperature, humidity, and light in storage, conservation and exhibition areas; identify when environmental conditions become detrimental to conservation; notify management of such occurrences; coordinate repairs to storage facility or equipment.
Carry out systematic IPM procedures throughout the building.
Evaluate storage requirements and needs such as supports and padding materials; determine when outside conservation assistance is needed to resolve any issues for all types of collections.
Archival Collections Management
Responsible for managing the SHI archival collections (manuscripts, photographs, and audio and video recordings) and making these records available and retrievable for public research.
Applies technical knowledge of the principles and practices of archival arrangement, description, and preservation of multi-format collections including both print and digital resources as well as the preparation and publishing of finding aids and guides using archival and museum content management systems.
Survey the collection and prioritizes collections for preservation treatment, reformatting, rehousing, and other improvements.
Develop and manage digital archival preservation projects and metadata documentation of indigenous language recordings working with Native speakers.
Develop and manage grants for the physical and digital preservation of collections and other specialized areas to support the work of the SHI Archives and Library.
Manage a small research library of scholarly publications and rare books, makes recommendations for new acquisitions, and maintains electronic catalog records for the archival and book collections in OCLC WorldCat (including MARC records), Workflows (SirsiDynix), and the state library catalog.
Ethnographic and Art Collections Management
Arrange and store items using techniques appropriate for the material and that maintain conservation according to current museum standards.
Organize, document, and coordinate the borrowing and lending of objects; negotiates insurance coverage; arrange and tracks shipping and receiving and packs or unpacks objects; and monitor the status of items and exhibits on loan to other museums.
Participate in exhibit planning to provide information on item availability, search for and report on items in collections, and coordinate schedules with other activities.
Assist in exhibit design, installation, and de-installation.
Track and coordinates moving items from storage to exhibit and back. Train volunteers and assistants in object handling procedures.
Assist in packing and shipping of items and traveling exhibits. Ensure documentation is completed including permits and customs requirements. Consults with management to determine if the item requires a courier. Track and coordinate movement of items.
Knowledge of the principles, concepts, techniques, and guidelines of professional archival work
Knowledge of the principles of archives management
Knowledge of information technologies and techniques of digital preservation
Knowledge of Northwest Coast cultures and culturally relevant archival practices
Knowledge of library systems and technology appropriate for professional management of a small library
Knowledge of museum practices for the preservation and care of object collections
Ability to write reports, grant proposals and correspondence related to the work; maintain records.
Ability to communicate effectively with others, both verbally and in writing.
Good interpersonal skills and a team player
Skill in the careful handling of fragile, valuable items.
Cross-cultural communication skills
Ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously
Knowledge of Northwest Coast cultures
This position will have no direct reports.
This position’s duties are performed at the Walter Soboleff Building. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, filing cabinets, and fax machines.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to verbally communicate. This position is very active and requires standing, walking, bending, kneeling, stooping, crouching, and climbing all day. The employee must frequently lift and/or move objects up to 20 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move objects up to 50 pounds.
POSITION TYPE AND EXPECTED HOURS OF WORK
This is a full-time benefited position.
None to minimal.
REQUIRED EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
MA in Cultural Anthropology or related field with a concentration in museum studies
MLS or MLIS with a concentration in Archives
Work experience may be substituted for some of the educational requirements
Two years of professional collections management experience
PREFERRED EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
Three or more years of professional archival experience or Archives Certificate.
Knowledge of Northwest Coast cultures and culturally relevant archival practices
Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.
About Sealaska Heritage Institute
Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private nonprofit founded in 1980 to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska. Its goal is to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding through public services and events. Sealaska Heritage also conducts social, scientific and public policy research that promotes Alaska Native arts, cultures, history and education statewide. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars, a Native Artist Committee and a Southeast Regional Language Committee.
We offer numerous programs promoting Southeast Alaskan Native culture, including language and art. We maintain a substantial archive of Southeast Alaskan Native ethnographic material. We partner with local schools to promote academics and cultural education. Biennially, we produce Celebration, Alaska's second-largest Native gathering. We own and operate the Sealaska Heritage Store, and curate an ongoing cultural exhibit on the first floor of our headquarters in Juneau's landmark Walter Soboleff Building.
In 1996, scientists in Southeast Alaska discovered ancient human remains in a cave on Prince of ...Wales Island. DNA analysis and other testing proved he was a Native male and that the remains were at least 10,000 years old. We named him Shuká Kaa (Man Before Us). For more than 10,000 years, we have been guided by ancient values that allowed our people to adapt to rapid cultural changes and to survive as a distinct cultural group. Today, we are seeking to integrate our cultural values into the institutions that directly serve our people.