Digital Repository Specialist (New York, NY, USA)


David Booth Conservation Department and Center
Closing date: November 17, 2017

The Museum of Modern Art is currently accepting applications for the position of digital repository specialist to work within the Media Conservation section of the David Booth Conservation Department and Center. This unique role provides an opportunity for a candidate with broad experience in repository management and digital preservation to advance the operation and development of the Museum’s Digital Repository for Museum Collections (DRMC), one of the first digital repositories for art at a major US museum. This role involves the day-to-day operation of an OAIS-compliant repository ecosystem to support the ingest, storage, preservation, discovery, and distribution of the Museum’s digital art collection. Daily activities include preparation of art materials for ingest; examination of SIP transfer and ingest status; resolution of errors; quality control over the ingest process from submission to storage at the object level; tracking support tickets with vendors; and liaising with programmers, IT staff, Media Conservation, and outside partners as needed.

The Museum’s repository ecosystem includes software applications: Archivematica and AToM/Binder by Artefactual Systems, The Museum System (TMS) by Gallery Systems, and NetX. These are supported by NoSQL document-oriented databases (Elasticsearch, MongDB, Solr, etc), REST, and JSON. Metadata standards used are primarily Dublin Core, METS, and PREMIS. All development is largely written in PHP, Javascript, and Python.

Reporting to the Agnes Gund chief conservator, the incumbent will have the following specific responsibilities:

  • Manages and operates the Museum’s Digital Repository for Museum Collections (DRMC).
  • Works with internal and external partners on the ongoing development of the DRMC, which incorporates Archivematica and the application “Binder”.
  • Works closely and collaboratively with Information Technology (IT) on the development, maintenance, and internal management of the core technical infrastructure of the DRMC.
  • Works closely with Media Conservation, Registrar, curatorial, and Collection and Exhibition Technology team on DRMC improvements and workflows.
  • Evaluates and tests new digital-preservation technologies, tools, and protocols.
  • Leads discussions with diverse stakeholders on the development of digital-preservation strategy, policy, and procedures for the DRMC.
  • Creates and maintains documentation and training materials.
  • Works with the Conservation department and the Archives on the sustainability of digital records and data pertaining to artworks in the Museum’s collection.
  • Actively participates in open-source development community forums and working groups related to aspects of the DRMC.

Qualified candidates will possess a graduate degree (MLIS or MA) in a field related to the position. Minimum five years relevant experience. Experience working in a cultural heritage institution (such as a museum, library, or archive) is required; museum is preferred. Experience in software development is essential, with an emphasis on the management of collaborative, open-source development projects. Attention to detail and ability to work for long stretches on mission-critical but repetitive tasks. Knowledge of file storage technologies, fixity, fundamental practices of storage management, digital forensics, and computer based jobs and scripts (e.g., Python, bash). Strong command-line skills (e.g., UNIX/Linux navigation, command-line tools) and knowledge of version-control software, including Git. Ability to liaise with IT department staff and familiarity with enterprise IT infrastructure (data networks, VMWare/virtual machines, scale out storage, and tape libraries). Familiarity with image, audio, video, and text file formats, especially as they relate to digital library standards, encoding/decoding/transcoding, and related metadata schemas. Strong interpersonal and written communication skills. Ability to establish positive and productive collaborations with a range of stakeholders within and outside the Museum, and to articulate complex systems and software issues in accessible language. Demonstrated ability to adjust priorities, manage time wisely, and make quick, effective decisions in a fast-paced environment. Strong project-management and budget-management skills, including planning, organization, and time management. Ability to travel as required.

Application instructions: Candidates must submit a CV and detailed letter of interest stating education, relevant experience, involvement with software development projects, experiences working in cultural institutions and research interests. The inclusion of a writing sample, either published work or work-related documentation or research, is strongly recommended. The application should include the names of three references, but letters from references are not requested. All material, in digital form, should be sent to, by no later than November 17, 2017.

The Museum of Modern Art is an equal opportunity employer and considers all candidates for employment regardless of race, color, sex, age, national origin, creed, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or political affiliation.