Monday, September 06, 2010

Contract Opportunity

Advance Notice, Quick Response Required: Deadline September 8, 2010 See formal Request for Proposal under “Upcoming Deadlines” at

The Smithsonian Institution Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, is seeking a contract cataloger to provide services to enhance its two online research databases, the object catalog and the archives catalog (, to facilitate searches across collections. The Department maintains one of the most significant anthropological collections in the world, with two major archival units, the National Anthropological Archives and the Human Studies Film Archives, in addition to the museum collection of anthropological artifacts. The cataloger will work closely with other professionals in the Collections and Archives Program to enhance the intellectual integration of these units.

The cataloger will work on two tasks: standardizing culture terms, and identifying connections between artifacts and associated field notes.

Standardization of Culture Terms
The cataloger will standardize ethnonyms usage across the artifact and archives databases, applying established Smithsonian terminology. This will involve review of terms currently appearing in the catalogs, which may include archaic usage, and identifying current preferred usage per established departmental standards. Data revisions will be entered into one or more databases, following review. Collection records for North America and Africa will be the primary focus of attention of this contract.

Connecting Collection Records
The cataloger will carry out research in internal records to identify field collections with material in both object and archival units. This will involve research in Smithsonian accession records to identify collectors and in archival records to identify related papers and field notes. Resultant data will be entered into one or more databases. Collections of the Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE) will be the primary focus of attention of this contract.

Qualification and Criteria for Selection
We are looking for:
- familiarity with culture terminology as used in the field of anthropology
- familiarity with museum and archives record systems, as demonstrated by either training or research experience
- strong research skills using archival or other primary source material
- excellent data management skills
- excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
- existing familiarity with the project data (North American and African culture terms; BAE collecting) is a plus

This is a “fixed price contract” in the amount of $40,000 for services over a period of one year. The contract will be awarded on the basis of best technical qualifications to complete the work. The individual selected will work as an independent contractor rather than as an employee. No personal benefits will be offered.

Proposal Submission
- cover letter or narrative (not to exceed 3 pages) describing your relevant education and experience and familiarity, if any, with the data involved in this project;
- contractor resume;
- three professional references; provide names, telephone numbers, and email addresses.

Please submit all materials to Candace Greene at by September 8, 2010 (by 5:00pm Eastern Time).

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