Washington DC, Collections Specialist, Archives of American Art


About the Agency

This position is located in the Washington office of the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. The Archives of American Art is headquartered in Washington, DC with another research center in New York City. The Archives’ mission is to collect, preserve, and make available for study primary source material documenting the history of the visual arts in the United States. With a collection of 20 million items, the Archives is the largest and most widely used resource on the history of American art in the world. The incumbent serves as the collections specialist covering a broad geographic area of the United States, acquiring primary sources, mainly personal papers, as gifts. The incumbent reports to the deputy director.


  • Develops and executes a collecting plan and contributes to national collecting initiatives.
  • Maintains responsibility for selection, description and scholarly appraisal of collections through close examination of their contents.
  • Negotiates the conditions of gifts through a fully executed deed of gift.
  • Tracks contacts, accessions new acquisitions, and prepares statistical and narrative reports on acquisitions.

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Travel Required

  • Occasional Travel
  • < than 25%

Relocation Authorized

  • No


Job Requirements

Key Requirements

  • 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.


Experience: You qualify for this position if you possess one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-9 level in the Federal Service or comparable pay band system. For this position Specialized experience is defined as experience in the solicitation, acquisition, description, and scholarly appraisal of archival collections. Experience communicating with a variety of internal and external contacts to negotiate acquisitions and respond to inquiries regarding potential solicited and unsolicited gifts. Experience advising researchers, including curators, art historians, and graduate students, bringing relevant sources of information to their attention.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

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: Three full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral 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 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 announcement closing date.

For information on qualification requirements, see Qualification Standards Handbook for General Schedule Positions viewable on the web at http://www.opm.gov/qualifications.

Security Clearance

Public Trust – Background Investigation

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About UWiSchool

Student & Alumni Services Coordinator for the School of Library & Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
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