Curator of Digital Collections, the Chemical Heritage Foundation

The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) is actively recruiting for the newly created position of Curator of Digital Collections.  Founded in 1982, CHF is a collections-based non-profit organization that preserves the history and heritage of chemistry, chemical engineering, and related sciences and technologies.  The collections of rare books, archives, images, fine art, museum artifacts, oral histories, and more, are used to create a body of original scholarship that illuminates how we have come to understand the nature of our material world and our interactions with matter and materials.  In bridging science with the humanities, arts, and social sciences, CHF is committed to building a vibrant, international community of scholars; creating a rich source of traditional and emerging media; expanding the reach of our museum; and engaging the broader society through inventive public events.

As part of CHF’s strategic plan to build and sustain a digital collection, we seek a dynamic individual to serve as the newly-created Curator of Digital Collections. This important position in CHF’s Othmer Library will be responsible for the implementation and stewardship of CHF’s organization-wide digitization efforts, to work with CHF staff to expand the digital outreach of the institution’s collections, and develop an infrastructure that will establish CHF’s reputation as a center for digitization and digital humanities.

The successful candidate will have an advanced degree and a record of accomplishment in managing digital collections. He/she must have experience in management and supervision, familiarity with application development and other emerging technologies related to digital asset management, access, and preservation. He/she should also ideally demonstrate a record of success in collaboration with people from a variety of disciplines and professions.

The Curator of Digital Collections will report to the Director of CHF’s Othmer Library and, in coordination with the Director and other CHF staff, be responsible for a strategy for developing CHF’s digital collections. As he/she will lead the implementation of a new digital asset management and preservation system, we hope to attract an individual with the vision to understand the strategic importance of a rich digital collection for a cultural heritage institution and who will be given the wonderful opportunity of shaping the future of digital initiatives at CHF.

The Curator of Digital Collections will:

  • Spearhead and oversee the creation of digital collections from CHF’s holdings which includes image, audio, and video files, and archival collections (including born-digital materials).
  • Lead and provide oversight in the implementation of a new OAIS-model system to ingest, manage, and preserve our digital collections.
  • Evaluate and recommend digitization procedures for a wide range of collection materials relating to issues of format, productivity, preservation and CHF standards.
  • Establish priorities and successfully manage multiple projects while navigating cross-departmental workflows to ensure that CHF’s locally-digitized collections are integrated in the institution’s overall collections and services.
  • Identify emerging trends in digital collection creation and management, and to model innovative solutions that meet the needs of users in the scholarly and public outreach environments.
  • Effectively partner with CHF staff and fellows to ensure that CHF digital collections properly represent all institutional collecting areas and support outreach activities.
  • Represent CHF and the Othmer Library at professional conferences and meetings; and maintain professional networks and collaborative relationships with other libraries, archives, and museums.
  • Manage all special projects created to digitize CHF collections.

The ideal candidate will possess the following:

  • A Master’s degree in history, information science, or related field.  (Ph. D. preferred)
  • A minimum of 3 years of progressive work and managerial experience with digital collections in a library, archive or museum.
  • Demonstrated success in the development, preservation and management of digital collections.
  • Possess working knowledge of software systems related to library digital imaging, management, access, and preservation.  Experience with open-source systems such as Drupal, Fedora, Islandora, Hydra, Archivists’ Toolkit, ArchivesSpace, Archivematica and MetaArchive.  (Some technical proficiency with these systems is preferred.)
  • Experience with library, archive, and museum collection management systems, such as Sierra and PastPerfect.
  • Demonstrated successful project management experience and ability to manage multiple concurrent projects.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Flexibility to travel regionally/domestically approximately 5-10% of the time.

To be considered for this position, please send cover letter, resume and salary expectations to:

– CHF is an Equal Opportunity Employer –

Founded in 1982, the Chemical Heritage Foundation has experienced phenomenal growth and development in just 30 years. We are headquartered in a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of beautiful Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, PA.  CHF enjoys the support of scientists, technologists, entrepreneurs, corporations and charitable foundations from around the world.  To learn more about our unique organization and our mission, visit our website at

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