Archivist – Smithsonian Institution

Job Title: Archivist

Agency:Smithsonian Institution

Job Announcement Number:13R-CR-298316-DEU-NMAFA


$51,630.00 to $67,114.00 / Per Year


Tuesday, December 11, 2012 to Wednesday, January 02, 2013




Full-Time, Permanent – Federal



1 vacancy in the following location:
Washington DC Metro Area, DC, US


This position is open to all U.S. Citizens or U.S. Nationals. Note: Federal employees with permanent status or individuals eligible for special appointing authorities should apply to Job Announcement # 13R-CR-298316-MPA-NMAfA.


This position is located in the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, National Museum of African Art. The employee assists the Supervisory Archivist in managing extensive photographic collections in a wide variety of media forms and associated textual and computerized records.

The Smithsonian Institution values and seeks a diverse workforce. Join us in “Inspiring Generations through Knowledge and Discovery.”


*Pass Pre-employment Background Investigation  *May need to complete a Probationary Period  *Maintain a Bank Account for Direct Deposit/Electronic Transfer  *Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with Selective Service.


*Processes (arrangement, description, and preservation), digitizes, and maintains photographic collections and associated documentation. Conducts historical and photographic research to validate, update, and correct existing collections data including provenance, description, and identification of photographic formats.
*Performs and assists in the evaluation, selection, and application of database technology, digital and scanning technology, metadata, and other electronic information technology to the collections. Formats and enters collections into computerized databases and digital asset management systems.
*Supplies reference service to staff and outside users of the Archives. Assists Archivist with monitoring researchers and visitors to the archives. Processes research requests and photo orders for photographic services for museum staff, Smithsonian bureaus, and external patrons. Assures prompt response and authoritative application of copyright rules and procedures for reproduction and use of archival materials.


You must meet these Basic Education Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in archival science or bachelor’s degree with a major that includes 18 semester hours in archival science, history and/or in political science or government, and 12 semester hours in one or any combination of the following: archival science, history, American civilization, economics, political science, public administration, or government. OR Combination of education and experience – at least 30 semester hours that included courses as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education. Evaluation of Experience: Professional experience must have been in archival science, or in a directly related field of work such as history that involved the collection, appraisal, analysis, or synthesis of information having historical or archival values. The following are illustrative of kinds of experience that may be accepted as meeting the professional experience requirements: (1) experience as an archivist in Federal, state, religious institution, business, or other archives, or in manuscript depositories, and (2) experience of an archival nature that involved research in archival science, or in a directly related field such as history, government, economics, political science, international relations, or international law.

In addition to the  Basic Requirements: you must have the following: Experience: One year of full-time experience at the GS-7 level that is close or similar to the work of this job. The experience includes processing (arrangement, description and preservation) photographic collections; digitizing and maintaining historic photographic collections; supplying reference service for archival and photographic collections; performing and assisting in the evaluation, selection, and application of database technology, digital scanning technology, and metadata to photographic collections; formatting and entering photographic collections into computerized databases and digital asset management systems.  Experience also includes conducting historical photographic research to validate, update and correct existing collections data.

Part-time and/or unpaid experience related to this position will be considered to determine the total number of years and months of experience. Be sure to note the number of paid or unpaid hours worked each week. Or Education: Two full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master’s or equivalent degree related to the position may be substituted to meet the experience requirements. Or a Combination: Education and experience may be combined to meet the basic qualifications. For a full explanation of this option please see the Qualification Standards. Special Instructions for Foreign Education: If you are qualifying by education and/or you have education completed in a foreign college/university described above, it is your responsibility to provide transcripts and/or proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study. For instructions on where to fax these documents, see the “Required Documents” section of this announcement.

Qualification requirements must be met within 30 days of the job opportunity announcement closing date. For information on qualification requirements, see Qualification Standards Handbook for General Schedule Positions viewable on the web at


Your application will be evaluated first for the basic qualifications described above. The applications that meet the basic qualifications will be evaluated further against the following criteria:
*Knowledge of basic archival principles, methods and techniques and their application to photographic collections, associated archival materials and digital archives.
*Knowledge of the history of photographic technology in order to identify and preserve photographic materials.
*Knowledge of basic preservation techniques for photographic collections including rehousing, storage and proper environmental conditions.
*Knowledge of computer information systems and digital imaging technologies for cataloguing and digitization of photographic collections, and their application to a wide variety of photographic materials.
*Knowledge of the subject matter and contents in the Archives including knowledge of African history, African art and photography, and history of photographic technologies in Africa.
*Knowledge of copyright rules and procedures for reproduction and use of archival materials.
Applicants who meet or exceed minimum qualifications will be assigned to one of three category groups based on job-related criteria: Best Category – Meets the minimum qualification requirements and excels in most of the job related competencies above. Better Category – Meets the minimum qualification requirements and satisfies most of the job related competencies above. Good Category – Meets the minimum qualification requirements, but does not satisfy most of the job related competencies above to a substantive degree. This category rating process does not add veterans’ preference points or apply the “rule of three”, but protects the rights of veterans by placing them ahead of non-preference eligibles within each category. A selecting official may make selections from the highest quality category (Best Category) provided no preference eligible in that category is passed over to select a non-preference eligible in that category unless the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 3317(b) or 3318(b) are satisfied. Preference eligibles who meet minimum qualification requirements and who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent must be listed in the highest quality category, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-9 grade level or higher. Applicants who have not submitted a resume in the USAjobs system and/or have not answered all of the vacancy questions will not be considered for this position. Important Note: The review of your resume will determine your final rating and should provide sufficient information regarding how your education and experience relate to this position, including the major duties and qualifications criteria listed.
To preview questions please click here.


The Smithsonian offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, vacation and sick leave, holidays, health/life insurance, accident insurance, and excellent retirement program options. Please see Benefits at for a complete description.


Flexible Spending Accounts – Health Insurance – Leave – Life Insurance – Long Term Care Insurance – Retirement Program –


Click on the “Apply Online” button on the upper right side of the page. Please Note:
*You must apply for this position online through the ‘Apply Online’ button and submit required supplemental documents (if they are relevant to you).
*You may submit required documents by uploading them online during the application process; OR You may manually fax required documents. Faxes are received by an automated system, not a physical fax machine. Documents that are faxed as part of the application process must be sent with the system generated cover sheet by the closing date. Documents faxed without the system generated coversheet are not retrievable and cannot be considered as part of the application package.
*The complete application package, including any required documents, is due in the Smithsonian Office of Human Resources on the closing date of the announcement by 11:59 PM Eastern Time.
*If you are unable to apply online, paper applications may be accepted with prior approval of the Contact Person listed below.


Your application package should include the following documents:
*Detailed resume created in the USAJOBS Resume Builder.
*Proof of Veteran’s Preference – DD214 (Member 4 Copy), if you are a veteran.
*Proof of prior federal service such as the latest SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, if applicable.
*Unofficial school transcripts, if the position has an education requirement or if you are using education to qualify. If selected for the position, you must provide an official transcript before appointment.
*Proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study, if applicable.


Connie Royal
Phone: 202-633-6342 Fax: 571-258-4052 TDD: 202-633-6409 Email:

Agency Information:
Office of Human Resources
POB 37012, 600 Maryland Avenue, MRC 517
Suite 5060
Washington, DC
Fax: 571-258-4052


At the end of the application process you will be able to create and save a PDF file that contains your responses to the assessment questions. You may save this file as initial receipt of your application. After the job announcement closes, you will receive an email from the Smithsonian with confirmation of receipt. The Smithsonian receives many applications for each job. Each application is reviewed carefully which may take a few weeks. We will send you an e-mail to update you as we go through phases of the application review process. You may also check your application status by logging into and selecting the tab “My USAJOBS;” e-mailing; or by contacting the Office of Human Resources Representative listed. Additional Information:
*Tips on applying for Smithsonian jobs are available at
*The Smithsonian does not pay relocation expenses.
*The Smithsonian embraces diversity and equal employment opportunity (