Contract Museum Technician Opening at DEA Museum

Museum Technician

The DEA Museum has a contract Museum Technician (Collections Management) position opening, this is an entry level contract position.

The application deadline is Friday, September 23rd, 2016

This is an entry level position and will report to the Collections Manager. Applicants need a BA in related field (History, Social Studies, Science); some museum experience at the entry level is encouraged. Applicant must pass background check and will need to be a registered vendor in SAMS. Work schedule not to exceed 32 hours/week.

Please see attachment below:

 SOW Museum Technician

Maryland Historic Trust Internship

The Maryland Historic Trust has two internship openings for the 2016-2017 academic year.

The Maryland Historical Trust (MHT), the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) for Maryland, is seeking candidates to fill two paid academic year internships. The internships are intended for current graduate students or recent graduates with an interest in historic preservation, and a background in anthropology, history, historic preservation, museum studies, American studies, or a similar field. Interns will be expected to work the equivalent of approximately one day per week during the academic year, with precise schedule to be determined with the selected candidates.

The application closes at 5pm on October 3rd, please see attachment below.

Maryland Historical Trust_internship posting_8-2016


Maryland Historical Society – Internship

Morris A. Soper Papers – Archival Processing Internship Fall 2016

Internship Description:

The Maryland Historical Society is seeking an intern to assist in the folder-level processing of the papers of Judge Morris A. Soper (1873-1963). Spanning more than a half century at the state and federal level, Soper’s judicial service coincided with an era that saw great changes in American society. Soper wrote many landmark interstate commerce decisions and most notably was involved with several civil rights cases that preceded the landmark Brown vs the Board of Education in 1954.

This 300 box collection of correspondence, case files, and personal material offers a unique look into the work of Maryland’s “premier twentieth-century jurist.” To read more about the collection please follow this link. MdHS invites students pursuing careers in archives or history to apply for this internship and help us make this valuable collection available for research.

A stipend of $1500.00 will be awarded based on the completion of 120 hours.

Please see the below flyer for the Fall 2016 Internship with the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore. 

Morris Soper Papers – Archival Processing Internship_ Fall 2016

The Phillips Collection Internship Opportunity

See the below opportunity for a graduate or undergraduate internship at The Phillips Collection, details follow and on the collection’s website!

University of Maryland Center for Art and Knowledge at The Phillips Collection

Fall 2016 Internship Opportunity in Research and Programs

The Center is looking for an undergraduate or graduate student intern to help conduct visitor research and evaluations in the museum. The visitor studies will be aimed at understanding visitors’ experiences in the museum, prototyping and testing new digital projects, and observing how visitors engage with them. The time commitment and schedule would be very flexible.

The internship brochure and application guidelines are attached, and a description of the internship is posted on the museum’s website. Interested applicants can disregard the deadline of July 31st that is posted on the website. Anyone who is interested can contact Kathryn Rogge at, or they can reach out to me directly ( if they would like more information about the types of digital projects and evaluations that we will be focusing on this fall. 

Ward Museum Position Opening

Below, please see the position announcement at The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art of Salisbury University:


Position Overview: The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Salisbury University seeks applicants for the full- time position of Curator/Folklorist. The Curator/Folklorist will build upon and expand the Ward Museum’s successful 14 year-old Lower Shore Traditions program. The position is in partnership with Maryland Traditions, a program of the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Nestled next to Schumaker Pond in Salisbury, Maryland and surrounded by wildlife in the heart of the Atlantic Flyway, the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art features the world’s largest and finest public collection of decorative and antique decoys. The museum is a premier facility for the study of art, nature and tradition for youth, educators, scholars, artists and communities it serves. In the coming year, the Ward Museum is expanding its facility with a 2,200 square foot waterfront classroom addition to support education programs, services, and events.  The Ward Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.The full-time Curator/Folklorist leads the museum’s exhibition and folklife programs, participating in a wide-range of museum events and activities. This is an opportunity to help deepen and extend the programming of a premier material culture focused museum, and to sustain folklife infrastructure through developing links between communities, artists and institutions statewide.

curator folklorist Position Announcement 2016

Any questions can be directed to Kristin Sullivan a UMD Anthropology Alumni,

Curating the Curator: Perspectives from Mary Alexander

For our first post in the series “Curating the Curator: Perspectives from MSMC Committee,” I introduce Mary Alexander.

Mary joined the MSMC committee last year and is currently instructing the Introduction to Museum Scholarship and Material Culture course. She has worked in and for Washington area history museums for the past four decades. She has been a museum educator, assistant director, leader of the Common Agenda for History Museums project for the American Association for State and Local History, and most recently administrator of the Museum Assistance Program of the Maryland Historical Trust.

I asked Mary, “What tools should every museum scholar take time to develop?” and she responded with the following insight:

A scene from “The Real Museum Directors of Kansas”

“The slide projector in the main exhibit hall kept needing adjustment so I had to open the back of the exhibit case and slip in to jimmy with jammed slides, replace bulbs and other mechanical fixes.  Because this happened so often I got to eavesdrop on visitors chatting in the gallery.  It was amazing what I learned simply by being a hidden observer.  All our highfalutin’ ideas about what visitors would notice from our impressive collections and our brilliant explanatory texts went right out the window.”

This scenario from an old friend of mine who ran a small museum in Kansas illustrates an important reality for museum professionals (curators, historians, researchers, registrars, educators)—watch out for the museum “bubble.” Visitors will surprise you with their perspectives, interests and ability to simply overlook what you consider so important.  In our Museum Scholarship and Material Culture Introductory class discussions we remind ourselves that we are not “regular” visitors and therefore we must always question our perspectives as potentially biased.

Be aware of your assumptions about visitors. Visit museums and take time to observe what others are doing and saying while they wander the galleries.  Note where visitors cluster and seem engaged; why are they stopping there?  Is it an object, a label, a bench to sit or an interactive?

Interpretation is complex and difficult to codify, but writing clearly is a central building block for both scholarship and its interpretive expressions. It’s easy to warn against jargon, but more important to focus on clear, concise descriptions that are readily understood. Exhibit design reports will quantify “appropriate” label length, but that’s not the solution, it is clarity. Working with others will improve your communication regardless of its form–labels, artifact layout, design decisions and programming–as it will inevitably challenge your assumptions and help you work towards clarity.

Your important tools are:

  1. Knowing your audience,
  2. Questioning your assumptions,
  3. Writing, re-writing, and writing again, and
  4. Working with others to gain clarity and provide understanding.

~Mary Alexander

Latino Museum Studies Program


The application for the 2016 Latino Museum Studies Program is now available!

This six week program seeks to enhance leadership, research, and creative skills through a series of lectures, workshops, and behind-the-scenes tours of Smithsonian museums and collections. Program focuses on developing museum practice within a framework of Latino Cultural Studies.

Applications are being accepted through APRIL 8, 2016!

Learn more about the Latino Museum Studies Program.

Museum Opportunities

In the past several weeks we’ve received a couple new museum opportunities we’d like to share with our network.

2016 Summer Internships at Alaskan Museums:

ASM-internship Pic

The Alaska State Museum (ASM) is continuing to coordinate summer internships at small museums and Tribal cultural centers throughout Alaska. These 8 week summer internships will begin in late May or early June and will encompass one or more of the following areas: collections management, exhibit development, collections database management, and collections research. Although the project sites are at small museums with volunteer or limited professional staffing, there will be ongoing supervision by the ASM Curator of Museum Services. Applications should be emailed to by Friday, February 5. See the linked flyer for more information: Alaskan summer Internships 2016.

Political History Curator Position Open Until Feb. 15th:

A Smithsonian Curator position was posted for a Political History Curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History​. You can view the announcement on USAjobs here:

If you have an opportunity for our network of students and alumni, feel free to send us the details to post on our website. Email

Intro Course Announcement

Attention all graduate students interested in the Museum Scholarship and Material Culture Certificate!

The first course in the Certificate program – “Introduction to Museum Scholarship and Material Culture” – is opening for registration next week. The class is capped at 15 students in order to accommodate for exclusive trips to large museums in the Washington, D.C. area and a personal learning experience. MSMCfieldtripCollage

The course is open to all graduate students in any department which allows for interdisciplinary perspectives on museums and the stories they display.

This is a unique opportunity to network with area curators and enhance your career prospective with museum scholarship. This course will be taught by Mary Alexander, a professional with over 40 years of experience working in and with museums.

If you missed the information session back in September, take a look at our previous posts highlighting Alumni experiences and Introduction to Museum Scholarship field trips to Smithsonian museums.

And, if you still have questions, feel free to contact Dr. Judith Freidenberg at