Archives Data Specialist
Walt Disney PicturesGlendale, CA
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How do I hire an Archives Data Specialist? Job Summary:
It's the magic of immersing yourself in a motion picture masterpiece, or a new track from your favorite band, or the spectacle of a live Broadway show. It's hard to define and even harder to create, but that's what we do at The Walt Disney Studios. Ours is a culture of innovation, collaboration and creativity. We raise the bar, then step over it, blazing trails through the production and distribution of world-class entertainment around the globe. If you want to help tell compelling, enduring stories through movies, music or stage plays, then we want to hear from you.
This position will be responsible for working with the Collections Manager, at the Walt Disney Animation Research Library (ARL), to develop and maintain content standards and data quality for a new collections management system. Initially, this will involve working with a core group of the ARL's Collection and Technology teams and an outside vendor to set up, customize and migrate data from our existing database (GEMs) into our new collections management system (MuseumPlus). The process with be highly collaborative and will involve developing a customized database, cleaning up legacy data, working to develop standards for nomenclature and taxonomy, and working with the ARL staff to develop data procedures. Once the new database is in place, this position will be responsible for maintaining, evaluating, and modifying database content and procedure standards as needed.
In addition, this role is also responsible for the coordination of, and active participation in the cataloguing of production artwork into the ARL's current collections database and tracking the cataloguing progress in relation to our internal digitization pipeline. Once the new Collections Management system is in place, this position will be responsible for revising catalogue standards to fit the new system, and training staff to use this new database.
This position works closely with the Collections Manager to assign cataloging projects, review work for quality and consistency, and track upcoming projects. As a cataloger, they will be responsible for handling artwork and occasionally rehousing it when necessary. Currently, this position works primarily with the physical collections, however, as the ARL expands its mission to care for the WDAS born digital artwork collection, we expect this person to work closely with the Digital Archivist to integrate those collections into our cataloguing process.
This position will be expected to participate in other collections projects, including rehousing and preparing artwork for cataloguing.
The ARL houses a collection of more than 65,000,000 pieces of original, physical artwork which includes, but is not limited to, conceptual art, storyboards, maquettes, hand drawn production art, 3D models, as well as a rapidly growing collection of born digital artwork – currently estimated at 4.5 petabytes This role is an integral member of the team of Collection, Research, Exhibition, Design and Image Capture Specialists who make-up the ARL, and will report to the Manager of the Collections team.
Database Management: 45%
• Be an active and proactive part of the collection management system's development team, taking the lead on mapping metadata, customize field development and cataloguing efficiency
• Review and correct legacy data for inconsistencies and errors
• Produce tracking reports on cataloguing vs. scanning to ensure that a consistent flow of artwork is being processed through the pipeline and provide weekly progress reports for the Collections Manager
• Perform global and singular changes for metadata and nomenclature within the collections management system; includes identifying inconsistencies within the database and implementing modifications for global consistency
• Main liaison between Collections and Image Capture teams – ensuring clear communication and ensuring database standards and rules are maintained
• Receive and catalog production artwork into the Collections Management system from both current and legacy productions – includes reviewing and identifying production elements, reviewing the database for duplicate records, and collaborating with the Digital Archivist on developing taxonomy
• This position will be expected to participate in the cataloguing process and well as working with the Collections Manager to assign cataloguing projects to other members of the collections team
• Work with the Collections Manager to process ''on demand'' cataloguing requests for our company partners and well as long term cataloguing projects
• Identify, organize, track and handle artwork that will be catalogued on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis
• Catalogue artwork – includes medium identification, artist identification, labeling, and determining the correct metadata for consistency across all films
• Train team members and temporary staff on cataloguing, track cataloguing progress, answer questions, spot check work for accuracy and work with team members to resolve issues
• Track materials through the digitization pipeline, coordinate with Collections Manager to prioritize materials to be catalogued. Consult with Collections Manager to assign projects to team members.
• After cataloguing, coordinate art movement to the Image Capture team for digitization.
• Establish and document cataloguing rules and protocols
Collections and Art Handling Responsibilities: 10%
• Identify and pull original artwork from the vaults and independently rehouse the artwork. This involves reading and interpreting the x-sheets to determine the placement and order of each animation drawing, reading story board photostats and reconstructing storyline order, identifying fragile mediums (i.e., pastels) and placing in appropriate new storage (i.e., pastel trays, interleafing glassine etc.). Requires knowledge of art mediums and understanding the mediums in relation to archival materials for safe and appropriate long-term storage. Working with all elements of artwork in our collection.
• Through the above method, identifying when artwork is not in its correct location and determining the correct production, element, order and proper method of storing. Locating the correct scene/sequence and integrating the artwork into the correct location and archival housing
• Identify damaged and/or inappropriately housed/high risk artwork and bring it to the attention of a member of the Collections team for repair assessment and potential conservation remediation.
• Remove staples, paper clips and similar materials according to the methods used in-house at the ARL (training will be provided).
• 2-4 years cataloguing physical collections
• Experience working with Collections Management databases (i.e. TMS, MuseumPlus) as well as standard databases (i.e., FileMaker Pro, MS SQL Server) and spreadsheet software (i.e., Excel and LibreOffice Calc)
• Effective problem solving in a high stress/fast paced environment
• Experience with handling fragile materials
• Experience with scripting/automating to handle large numbers of files/data
• Education and/or experience with nomenclature and taxonomy standards for databases
• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills and strong attention to detail
• Ability to work independently and solve database error issues, prioritize multiple tasks and to meet deadlin
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