Job Listing: African American History Curator

Job Postings,

Office of Historic Alexandria (OHA) - Alexandria, VA

Closes - November 1, 2023

Position Title -  African American History Curator

Compensation - $58,568.12 - $103,066.86 annually

Job Type - full-time

Apply - For more information and to apply, please visit the website.

Summary - Help us make history! As a member of OHA’s new African American History division, this position will focus on the acquisition, documentation, care, and access to OHA collections representing the cultural, ethnic, and racial diversity of the city, with an emphasis on the experience of African American Alexandrians. As part of this work, they will cultivate relationships with residents, community-based institutions, and organizations to collect, research, and interpret Alexandria’s African American history. The Curator, as the content expert for Alexandria’s African America history, will work collaboratively across the department and with the community to help develop exhibitions and interpretive materials that share diverse stories and advance social justice. 
This position reports to the Director of African American History. A commitment to diversity, accessibility, inclusion, and public service is at the core of this position and the department.   

Job Responsibilities 

  • Review and assess the collections of the Office of Historic Alexandria in order to contribute to the development of a strategic plan for augmenting those collections with historically significant objects, archival collections, photographs, and oral histories that will further document Alexandria’s African American history (25%).
  • Collaborate to create an exhibition schedule, new exhibits, and updates to existing exhibits throughout the department about Alexandria’s African American history (25%).
  • Create, write, and edit content for departmental website, social media, as well as internal and external communications and publications (10%).
  • Support the Education division as subject matter expert for both public programming and internal training (10%).
  • Oversee the processing of incoming objects to the African American history collection including: all aspects of collections documentation, data input, data migration, digitization, and development/maintenance of analog and digital systems to AAM standards (10%).
  • Collaborate with department staff to organize and present programs, workshops, and lectures to the public that advance awareness of Alexandria’s African American history, and which stimulate new insights and understandings (10%). 
  • Collaborate with members of OHA’s Collections Group to maintain OHA Collections Policy and advise on any updates/alterations (5%).
  • Perform related work as required (5%).

Qualifications - To be considered as an ideal candidate, applicants should possess skills that reflect an understanding and experience with museum collections management and curation, including processing and cataloging collections and assessing and interpreting material culture. They will possess historical knowledge of the African American experience, particularly in Alexandria and the region. Demonstrated research and interpretation skills, including excellent oral, written, and design skills, are a must. This position requires the ability to discuss difficult history, spark conversation, and connect history in relevant ways to the present. They require the ability to work with outside consultants and contractors as well as actively incorporating community stakeholders into the collecting and interpreting process. Candidates should have familiarity with and experience using digital platforms and collections software.  

Minimum & Additional QualificationsFour-year college degree in History, African American History, Public History, Art History, Museum Studies, Archaeology, Museum Education, American History and/or other closely related field. Two (2) years preservation and/or collections management experience, or any equivalent combination of experience and training which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities. 

Preferred Qualifications: An M.A. in African American Studies, American Studies, Museum Studies, Public History or related field is preferred. At least 3 years of experience with museum collections management and curation, including processing and cataloging collections (PastPerfect or equivalent), and assessing and interpreting material culture. 

About OHA - The Office of Historic Alexandria (OHA) enhances the quality of life for city residents and visitors by preserving and interpreting Alexandria's historic properties, archaeological sites, cultural resources, artifact collections, objects, archives, records, and personal stories and by encouraging audiences to recognize Alexandria’s diverse historic heritage and its place within the broader context of American history.