Project Archivist – Museum of the City of New York and Queens Museum of Art

worlds fair1939/1940 and 1964/1965 New York World’s Fair Collections

The Museum of the City of New York and the Queens Museum of Art jointly seek a Project Archivist for a full-time temporary 18-month CLIR (Council on Library and Information Resources) funded Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant to process the World’s Fair Collections held at both institutions.  MCNY and QMA together hold around 12,000 items (approximately 367 boxes and 450 oversize/irregular objects) documenting the New York World’s Fairs of 1939/40 and 1964/65, including books, pamphlets, printed ephemera, rare architectural blueprints, original artworks, film and audio recordings, photographic prints and negatives, architectural models, textiles, and realia.

The Project Archivist will report to the Manuscripts and Reference Archivist at MCNY and to the Registrar/ Archives Manager at QMA.  Four months will be spent working onsite at MCNY’s landmark Fifth Avenue building, and fourteen months working both onsite at the Queens Museum of Art in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, located in the only original building remaining from the 1939/40 World’s Fair, and at the QMA offsite storage facility in Long Island City, Queens.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Inventorying and processing all World’s Fair holdings.
  • Writing a single finding aid intellectually uniting both museums collections
  • Creating object level catalog records for a total of 1650 highlights from both collections in ARGUS and PastPerfect collections management systems.
  • Supervising a team of two part-time Archival Fellows, andadditional student interns.
  • Re-housing the collections.
  • Researching provenance.
  • Assisting the MCNY Archivist and QMA Registrar with promoting the collection both to the public and within the archival/ museum community.


An MLIS from an accredited Library and Information Science program with course work in archival studies is required. The candidate should have at least 2 years of professional archival experience, preferably in a museum or special collections repository.  The successful candidate must be a self starter, and possess the experience, confidence, and initiative to develop and carry out a processing plan for two physically separate collections.  The position requires someone with good communication skills, experience cataloging in collections management systems, familiarity with DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard) and CCO (Cataloging Cultural Objects) metadata schemas, and general comfort and aptitude for quickly learning new technology.  The project requires that the candidate have the ability to lift and carry 40 pound boxes unassisted, and climb ladders and step stools in order to remove and replace boxes on shelves.  An established knowledge of New York City history in general and an interest in the New York World’s Fairs in particular is a plus.

Founded in 1923 as private, non-profit corporation, the Museum connects the past, present, and future of New York City. It celebrates and interprets the city, educating the public about its distinctive character, especially its heritage of diversity, opportunity, and perpetual transformation. It serves the public through exhibitions, school and public programs, publications, and collections. The Queens Museum of Art (QMA) is in the midst of construction on an expansion that will double the size of the institution and usher in a new phase in its history. Since its founding in 1972, QMA has had an intimate connection to its community and the history of its site.  The principal fine arts-collecting institution in the borough, QMA fulfills its mission by designing and providing art exhibitions and educational experiences that promote the appreciation and enjoyment of art, support the creative efforts of artists, and enhance the quality of life through interpreting, collecting, and exhibiting art, architecture, and design.  QMA presents artistic and educational programs and exhibitions that directly relate to the contemporary urban life of its constituents while maintaining the highest standards of professional, intellectual, and ethical responsibility.

Salary and Benefits: $50,000 a year, for a duration of 18 months. Benefits are the same as those extended to employees of both museums, and include healthcare, 401k, holiday and vacation/ sick time.  As this is a grant funded position, salary is not negotiable.

Project period: March 1, 2013 – August 31, 2014.

To apply: Please send a cover letter and resume to The Museum of the City of New York, Attention: Lindsay Turley, Manuscripts and Reference

Archivist, 1220 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10029 or email

The Museum of the City of New York and the Queens Museum of Art are both Equal Opportunity Employers.