ALHFAM 2018 Annual Meeting & Conference Fellowships

The application for fellowships to attend the 2018 ALHFAM Annual Meeting & Conference in Tahlequah, OK, June 105, 2018, is now available.

Fellowships are awarded to individual members who have not previously received a fellowship, and those who have not attended an ALHFAM annual conference are especially encouraged to apply.

Fellowships included full conference registration ($400) plus $300 towards travel or lodging expenses.

Applications are due on or before March 15, 2018, and recipients will be notified by April 1, 2018.

A link to the fellowship application can be found here:

If you have any questions, please contact Alisa Crawford, chair of the Fellowship Committee. Her contact information is on the application form.

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

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

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:

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 ( 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:

NARA Establishes Digital Archives for Obama Records

The National Archives and Records Administration announced that it will focus on preserving and providing access to Barack Obama’s Presidential records through digital archives while retaining the original records in NARA facilities. With the Obama Foundation committed to funding digitization of all unclassified records, this system will allow researchers around the world to study presidential materials and will make the Obama Presidential Center, scheduled to open in Chicago in the next five years, the first completely digital presidential library.

More information:

NMAAHC Launches Freedmen’s New Citizen History Project

The National Museum of African American History and Culture has announced the Freedmen’s Bureau Transcription Project. Using the Smithsonian Transcription Center, this crowdsourcing initiative aims to transcribe images of the Bureau’s nearly two million records. Once transcribed, the records are keyword searchable and available to anyone interested in family history and the Reconstruction Era.