Position Announcement: Executive Director

Position Announcement: Executive Director

The Laurel Historical Society, a small community history organization in Laurel, Maryland, seeks a energetic, creative, and goal-oriented leader to serve as Executive Director.

About the Laurel Historical Society:

The Laurel Historical Society (LHS) operates the Laurel Museum in an 1840s mill workers building which is owned by the City of Laurel. The LHS works to preserve the cultural and historical heritage of Laurel. Its holdings include a substantial collection of artifacts, photographs, documents, and ephemera related to the history of Laurel. The Laurel Museum has an exhibit which changes each year, a research library, Diven’s Den (an interactive discovery area), and a museum shop. The LHS holds approximately 10-15 programs a year, including two STEM-based summer camps. Strong partnerships within the community are vital to the organization.

Job Description:

The primary responsibilities of the Executive Director are the management of the LHS, which includes operation of the Laurel Museum, and the management of the LHS Collection. In conjunction with the Board of the LHS and its Executive Committee, the Executive Director undertakes long- and short-range planning, policy development, budget preparation and monitoring, and development of LHS programs and services. The Executive Director manages a part-time assistant and approximately 60-70 volunteers who serve as docents and on established committees that support the core work of the organization. The Executive Director represents the LHS in the community, participates in events which increase awareness of Laurel history and of the LHS, expands community outreach, and performs duties which foster donation of relevant artifacts and funds to the LHS.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities of the Executive Director:

•                     Supervises Paid and Volunteer Staff: Identifies, assigns, and supervises work of the paid part-time assistant and the volunteer staff. Assures that all are appropriately trained and adequate staffing is maintained to meet the LHS needs and objectives. Creates a congenial atmosphere and environment conducive for recruiting and retaining volunteers.

•                     Financial records, Reports, and Proposals: Performs ongoing daily financial management as well as long-term planning and reporting. Works with the Board of Directors to develop a yearly budget for the LHS. Oversees bookkeeper; works with bookkeeper and treasurer to maintain all financial records and conduct a yearly review.

•                     Planning: Responsible for strategic planning, as well as creating long-term, short-term, and annual goals and objectives for the organization.

•                     Exhibits: Works with the Exhibits Committee to develop and implement exhibits for the Laurel Museum and off-site venues.

•                     Collection: Works with the Collections Committee to ensure items donated to the LHS are appropriately reviewed, accessioned, conserved, preserved, and cataloged.

•                     Community Outreach: Develops programs, community activities, and appropriate meetings which further the mission of the LHS and benefit the community

•                      Website, Promotion and Publicity: Promotes LHS and Museum events and activities. Keeps website current.

•                     Membership: Works to increase membership numbers and member benefits, and maintains LHS member records on PastPerfect.

•                     Development: Sets goals for all major fundraising efforts, tracks totals, and reports to appropriate committees. Works with special event committees (e.g. Gala, Holiday House Tour) to create sponsorship levels as well as solicit and process donations.

•                     Grants: Identifies grant opportunities and works to develop government, non-profit, and foundation grants to support the operations of the LHS. Responsible for appropriate monitoring of grants and required reporting.

•                     Records: Keeps electronic records in an orderly and accessible system and monitors regular file back-up. Maintains hard-copy files in an organized manner.

•                     Facilities, Supplies and Equipment: Coordinates maintenance of the museum building, grounds, and equipment, and provides for safe and reliable operation of the Laurel Museum. Maintains adequate supplies for LHS and Museum operation within budget parameters.

•                     Museum Operations and Visitor Services: Regularly meets with Assistant to the Director to oversee coordination of all Museum functions and services. Provides oversight and support as needed to the Assistant, who schedules group tours and coordinates volunteer staffing for regular open hours as well as special tours and events. May conduct some tours and educational programs. Maintains records related to utilization of the Museum.

•                     Museum Shop: Provides final oversight on shop purchases, timing of shop activities, and setting of prices for the shop.

•                     Professional Development: Participates in educational activities and museum associations to keep abreast of the latest development in small museum and historical society management.

Skills and Expertise Required:

•                     Supervisory skills, especially as relevant to a volunteer staff, financial, and administrative management of an organization

•                     Ability to serve as an articulate spokesperson for the LHS

•                     Experience in development and fundraising, including foundation and government grants as well as corporate and private donations; demonstrated ability to develop partnerships and identify creative solutions

•                     Financial record-keeping skills

•                     Knowledge of Museum Professional policies, issues, and strategies

•                     Familiarity with PC environment and knowledge of the following applications: MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, PastPerfect, QuickBooks, and Dropbox; knowledge of  G Suite helpful

•                     Adept at Social Media, especially Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

•                     Interpersonal and team interaction skills; ability to work with a diverse community and with standing and ad hoc committees

•                     Ability to meet the physical demands of working and transporting materials in an historic building with non-standard stairs


The Executive Director will have a relevant bachelor’s degree and 3-5 years’ work in a related field or an equivalent combination of education and experience, demonstrating ability required to support a non-profit organization and manage service for a small historical society and museum staffed primarily with volunteers.

Location: The Executive Director will be based at the Laurel Museum in Laurel, Maryland.

Salary: This is a full time, salaried position, salary range $40,000-$50,000 DOE, which requires some weekend and evening hours.  The work schedule is flexible and some duties may be performed from home.

Closing date: February 2, 2018

To Apply: Please submit cover letter and resume to: resumes@laurelhistoricalsociety.org with Executive Director in the subject line. No phone inquiries please.

Position at David C. Driskell Center



The David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora at the University of Maryland seeks a detail-oriented undergraduate or graduate student to serve as an archives digitization assistant for the Driskell Center Digitization Project, a project to preserve, reformat, digitize, and increase access to the Center’s 1,550-object art collection and 150 audio tapes, 90 visual reels, 1,500 photographs, and 3,500 slides. The student would work with the Driskell Center’s archival collection on this project, namely the photographs, slides, and documents. This position is supported in part by a two-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services [IMLS] through its Museum Grants for African American History and Culture program.

This position is valuable for students who are pursuing information science, library & information science, museum scholarship, art history, anthropology, and similar fields as their majors and whose career goal is to work in a library, archive, or museum. This position provides learning experience in using scanning equipment and software to digitize, name, and store archival materials including photographs, slides, and documents, some of which are fragile in nature; researching subjects included in the archive particularly around African American art and artists; and working with PastPerfect, a museum database software. Among the responsibilities are scanning and describing archival material; creating metadata, organizing, naming, and
maintaining digital files created; and working with PastPerfect software. He/she will follow the Center’s evolving digitization policies and procedures which are being created as part of the grant. Training for all equipment and PastPerfect will be provided.
He/she will work closely with and report to the Driskell Center’s Archivist, Stephanie Smith, as well as the Deputy Director, Dorit Yaron, and the graduate assistant on this project.

• Must be enrolled as a full-time student at the University of Maryland, College Park.
• Must be in good standing academically.
• Must be enrolled in the following departments, or others in related studies: Information Science, Library & Information Science, Museum Scholarship and Material Culture Certificate, Art History and Archaeology, Anthropology, and History (Museum Studies certificate in particular).
• Must be detail oriented and have the ability to work independently and as part of a team.
• Must be able and willing to handle fragile objects.
• Excellent writing, editing, and organizational skills are a must.
• Knowledge of databases such as MS Excel and Photoshop are preferred.
• Interest in African American art is desired.
Student must be able to work min 8 hours/week to max 12 hours/week. Starting hourly rate is $12 per hour.
The position is available starting January 2018.

Due to the nature of this position which will require training and includes professional responsibilities, a preference will be given to students who are graduating no earlier than May 2019 and who would be available to continue this position throughout the summer of 2018.

Please send the following items to Stephanie Smith, Archivist, David C. Driskell Center, slsmith3@umd.edu:
• A cover letter outlining your interest in the position, with a brief description of relevant work projects.
• A resume with a list of relevant courses completed or currently in progress; and your experience with any of the responsibilities mentioned above.
• A list of two professional references (references should include current phone numbers and email addresses).

SIMA Symposium




The Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology (SIMA) is hosting a symposium at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History on November 27-28, 2017 to mark the ten year anniversary of the initial planning for the Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology. Since its inception, SIMA has trained 108 graduate students in methods for the use of museum collections to advance the field of anthropology, 41 collections interns to be future museum and archives professionals, and 7 university professors to help integrate museum collections into their teaching. The symposium program will showcase SIMA’s contribution to the field of museum anthropology by featuring the work of former SIMA students and include keynote lectures by Howard Morphy, distinguished Professor of Anthropology and founding Director of the Research School of Humanities and the Arts at the Australian National University, and Ruth Phillips, Professor of Art History and Canada Research Chair in Modern Culture at Carleton University in Ottawa.

The program is free and open to the public.

Time:    November 27 – 9:00am-6:00pm

                November 28 – 9:30am-2:30pm

                Place:    Q?rius Theater, National Museum of Natural History

                10th Street & Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC


Support for this program has been provided by the Cultural Anthropology Program of the National Science Foundation under Grant #1424029.

ONE WEEK LEFT TO APPLY! 2018 NMAAHC Interpretation Workshop


2018 NMAAHC Interpretation Workshop


Sponsored by: Smithsonian Institution

National Museum of African American History and Culture



The Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of African American History and Culture, in partnership with Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission and the National Association for Interpretation is pleased to offer a professional development opportunity in Interpretive Training for museum professionals dedicated to the study or appreciation of the African Diaspora and African American life, art, history, and/or culture.


The training is offered exclusively to individual members of the Association for African American Museums, National Association for Interpretation, and Southeastern Museums Conference (or those who work at AAAM, NAI and/or SEMC member organizations).


Participants who successfully complete the 32-hour Interpretation Workshop will receive NAI certification. In addition to the 32-hour certification training course, the workshop will include 18 hours visiting and analyzing the interpretation of African American history and culture, including methodology, utilized at a variety of historic sites in Charleston, SC. As a result of the knowledge acquired from this workshop, participants will:

  • Learn about the history of the interpretation profession
  • Acquire an understanding of the basic principles of interpretation
  • Be able to demonstrate a thematic approach to developing and delivering interpretation that connects audiences to historical resources in meaningful ways
  • Become familiar with current literature in the field of interpretation
  • Apply what they have learned to their own sites


The workshop will take place January 28 – February 3, 2018

James Island County Park in Charleston, SC


To apply:

Download the workshop announcement and application:



Applications must be received by 11:59 PM on Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Directors Note

To close the spring term of Museum Scholarship and Material Culture Introductory class students prepared recommendations for the new orientation space being planned for the Phillips Collection.  This assignment followed two visits to the Phillips to learn about the museum and the University of Maryland Center for Art and Knowledge, a joint project of the Phillips and the University.  Two student teams studied the needs of the space and developed recommendations for its design.  Members of the Phillips staff joined the discussions last May at the close of the term.

Below are three images of the entry space as it was finally installed.  During our visits to the Phillips the staff talked about the museum’s idea of hanging art works to create “conversations” for visitors to consider.  The students were intrigued by this idea and recommended that the entry space provide visitors with an introduction to the concept; it’s heartening to see that language in the wall text.

University of Maryland students are granted open admission to the Phillips Collection, simply bring your university ID and take advantage of the engaging exhibits in a lovely central Washington space.  Watch for programming from the Center, including opportunities for special research projects. The museum’s website can be accessed at PhillipsCollection.org

What museum have you visited recently and what stories can you tell of your visit?  How does your visit affect your ideas about museums as contributors to knowledge?  Share your comments here.

Mary Alexander
Museum Scholarship and Material Culture Studies
University of Maryland



NMAH James Lollar Hagan Paid Internship-7/31/2017 Application Deadline

Project Description:

The intern will get a behind-the-scenes experience with exhibition development, specifically the concept and content design/development phases for exhibitions being planned for the Museum’s 3rd floor. The intern will be “in the room where it happens” with curatorial, design, exhibit development, education, and collections staff. The intern will learn about and engage in evaluation of elements of the newly-opened wing “The Nation We Build Together,” including interviewing visitors and writing an evaluation report. The intern will also learn about and conduct rapid prototyping sessions, including title testing for new exhibitions. Finally, the intern will assist with development of a new audioguide for the museum, including concept and content development.

Selection Criteria:

The James Lollar Hagan Intern should have excellent research and writing skills, familiarity with social media, and a basic knowledge of Latino and American women’s history. Candidates can be undergraduates or graduates.

To learn more and apply, visit http://americanhistory.si.edu/getinvolved/internship/james-lollar-hagan-internship.

University of Delaware Museum Studies Job Opportunity

Under the general direction of the Chair of the History Department and the Faculty Director of the Museum Studies Program, the Program Coordinator has a full range of operational program duties. These include administration of both the graduate Museum Studies certificate program and the undergraduate Museum Studies minor; communications and marketing efforts for both Museum Studies programs; internship and job placement coordination for both MSST minors and HIST majors; participation in strategic projects aligned with the goals of the History Department and Museum Studies Program; and daily operation of the Museum Studies office. The position requires handling multiple assignments concurrently. Individual is expected to build sustainable engagement and support for the Museum Studies programs to bolster enrollment and foster program development. A high level of independent judgment, initiative and problem-solving skills are required. This position is proactive and results-oriented. Located for administrative and budgetary purposes within the Department of History, the Museum Studies Program serves students from departments and programs across the College of Arts and Sciences.

Bachelor’s degree with two years’ academic program coordination related experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
Experience and proven success in developing pitches and garnering media placements, and social media content development. Familiarity with website management practices, including work roles, workflow and versioning.
Excellent written and verbal communications skills.
Strong critical thinking and problem solving abilities.
Ability to manage several projects simultaneously and meet deadlines.
Working knowledge of Social Media, including Facebook, Twitter, Linkedln, and Instagram, and best practices in a professional setting as well as an understanding of web standards. Familiarity with Hootsuite desirable.
Skills in Word Press, HTML, and Photoshop software strongly preferred.
Video editing experience is a plus.

For details and application link see: http://www.museumstudies.udel.edu/program-coordinator-museum-studies/.

Employment Opportunity at the National Museum of African American History and Culture


The Smithsonian Institution (SI) National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) needs professional, non-personal, work-for-hire curatorial assistance services within the History Department, Office of Curatorial Affairs.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) opened on the National Mall on September 24, 2016. On December 16, 2003, President George W. Bush signed Congressional legislation establishing the Museum as the 19th museum of the Smithsonian Institution. The museum’s collections and educational programming cover topics as varied as Slavery and Emancipation, Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Movement, the Visual Arts, Fashion and Design and how African American culture has influenced and shaped history and culture throughout America and the world. It is anticipated that four to five million visitors will come to the approximately 400,000-square-foot Museum each year.

The purpose of this contract is to assist with managing and tracking information flow and the processing of new acquisitions and existing collection artifacts within the History Department, Office of Curatorial Affairs.


The contractor shall provide professional, technical, non-personal curatorial assistance services to research, manage and track proper and up-to-date information pertaining to existing collection objects and objects under consideration for acquisition in order to make artifacts publicly accessible and available for inclusion in Museum-defined projects.

The project will take place over the period of performance mainly at the NMAAHC’s Capital Gallery offices at 600 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. Periodically, the contractor will be required to work at the NMAAHC’s Mall building at 1400 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. and at the off-site storage facility at 3400 Pennsy Drive in Hyattsville, Maryland. NMAAHC and its Capital Gallery facility, and Pennsy Drive locations are accessible by public transportation. Work will be scheduled at mutually convenient times for the contractor and the Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative (COTR) between the hours of about 8:30am and 5:30pm over the course of the period of performance. Work shall proceed upon completion of a signed purchase order and the Contractor shall conduct work commencing on or around September 1, 2017 and finishing no later than around August 31, 2018.

Qualifications and Specific Tasks

The contractor shall have:

  • Knowledge of American history, particularly regarding African American history and culture.
  • Experience conducting research pertaining to African American history and material culture.
  • Experience communicating formally and informally in writing and over the phone.

The primary duties and responsibilities of the contractor shall include, but are not limited to, those tasks described below:

  • Work with Curators, Museum Specialists, Collections Management staff, and Management Support Assistants to track, review, and respond to collection offers referred to History Curators.
  • Conduct correspondence with potential donors; produce background material and draft justifications for acquisition and accessioning; maintain necessary records and files.
  • Assist Curators and Registrars in processing items to be acquired and accessioned.
  • Work with the cataloguing team in researching the provenance and historical context for artifacts; coordinate with the Digitization Team for imaging, cataloguing objects and, finally, reviewing TMS files.
  • Work with Registrars, Collections Management staff, and Project Management staff to maintain checklist of loaned objects and NMAAHC objects that require rotation in Inaugural Exhibitions, including necessary dates for rotation; research and provide viable replacements for objects; if necessary, complete loan request and justification paperwork in concert with Curatorial team, Registrars, and Project Management staff.
  • Assist with identifying, researching, and making artifacts publicly accessible as requested by Curators and/or project staff for specific programs or other interpretive products by working closely with staff members of the Office of Curatorial Affairs, IT Department, Project Management Office, and the Registrar’s Office.
  • Meet regularly in person and over the phone with the Supervisory Curator of History as well as with project teams, as needed.

The period of performance will be on or about September 1, 2017-August 31, 2018.
Contact William Pretzer (pretzerw@si.edu) for bid package. Quotes are due COB July 26, 2017

AASLH Annual Meeting Scholarships Available

Apply for a scholarship to attend the 2017 AASLH Annual Meeting. Scholarships are available for diverse attendees, employees of small museums, and new professionals in four states.

  • AASLH Douglas Evelyn Scholarship for Diversity (2)
  • AASLH Small Museum Scholarship (2-5)
  • 2017 Austin Diversity Scholarships (10)
  • Robert W. Richmond Scholarship for New Professionals in MO,KS, NE, IA


See the full list of scholarships, details, and deadlines here: