Data Specialist for Five College Collections Management Commons – Smith College

Job Description

General Statement of Duties:
Five Colleges, Incorporated seeks a Data Specialist (DS) for our new Collections Management Commons planning project. This project is funded by a grant from the Mellon Foundation, with the goal of laying the foundation for a next generation collections management system for the museums of our member institutions (Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst) and our partner museum at Historic Deerfield. This ambitious multi-faceted project will provide the groundwork for broader integration and discoverability of collections among the members of the existing consortium and additional museums, libraries, and archives in the region. The DS reports to the Project Manager (PM) and provides support to the project in order to achieve defined outcomes.

Importance of Diversity to our Educational Mission:
Five Colleges, Incorporated and its five associated institutions (Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst) are committed to supporting and sustaining a diversity of people, backgrounds, experiences, ideas and points of view for the essential contribution this diversity makes to educational missions of our organizations. In support of this commitment Five Colleges requires all of its employees to work cooperatively and effectively with the diversity of people at the colleges (students, faculty members, other employees) and within the organization itself.

Specific Duties:
The work of the Data Specialist will be guided by the Project Manager in close collaboration with the Project Leaders, and will focus on investigating how project participants’ current collections management systems (CMS) are implemented and analyzing the state of their data, documentation, and logistics related to the project.

Responsibilities include:

  • Investigation and documentation of the state of the Mimsy CMS at each member museum including but not limited to: scope of the implementation, the workflows in place, the vocabularies in use, the state of the collections data, and related image and electronic files.
  • Documentation of the state of high-resolution image archives at each museum including, but not limited to: standards, image files, structures in place, and related workflows.
  • Other information-gathering and support, which may include interviews with museum staff and investigation of each museum’s relationship to its larger academic institution or community and its libraries and archives.
  • Assisting the PM and project leaders with organization of events, meetings, communication with consultants and speakers, and general logistics.
  • Other related duties as assigned.


  • Minimum 2 years of experience with museum collections data, or library cataloging, or archival work.
  • Competence with general office software including spreadsheets.
  • General understanding of digital image files and metadata.
  • Strong problem-solving and analytical skills.
  • Attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Proven excellence in organizational work and teamwork; ability to work on multiple priorities, timely completion of assignments.
  • Demonstrated ability to learn quickly and synthesize information.
  • Excellent communication skills (verbal and written).
  • Ability to work with a diverse group of people, with differing levels of technological abilities, at varying levels in the organization, with different areas of expertise, and different styles.
  • Ability to participate in and manage collaborative relationships.
  • Ability to perform and complete assignments with minimal supervision.
  • The physical and mental expectations of the position include: Ability to comprehend written and verbal communication. Ability to read computer screens and printed materials. Ability to communicate effectively in person, by telephone, and via email.

Job Details:
The Data Specialist position is offered by Five Colleges, Incorporated with funding from the Mellon Foundation. This full-time, year-round, exempt position offers full FCI benefits. The term for this position is limited; the successful candidate is expected to fill the role January 2020 through December 2021. This position is supervised by the Project Manager for the Five College Collections ManagementCommons.

Application Instructions:
Interested candidates should apply via Smith College’s employment site and be sure to upload two documents: (1) a current CV/resume and (2) a cover letter.

About Five Colleges, Inc.

Five Colleges, Incorporated, sustains and enriches the excellence of its members — Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst — through academic and administrative collaboration. The consortium facilitates intellectual communities and broad curricular and cocurricular offerings; affording learning, research, performance and social opportunities that complement the distinctive qualities of each institution.

Five Colleges, Inc. is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, color, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or veteran status in the recruitment and employment of faculty and staff, and the operation of any of its programs and activities, as specified by all applicable laws and regulations. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

For more information and to apply:

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