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Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation / The Watermill Center

Thursday, February 15, 2024 10:18 PM | Laura DeMuro (Administrator)

Watermill Center Archivist 

(February 15, 2024)

Position Title - Watermill Center Archivist

Supervisor Title (All entry and mid-level position supervisors should be qualified, professional archivists.)- Director of Archives

Position Type - Part-time, permanent

Benefits - No

Hourly wage range - $35 - $40 

The Watermill Center Archivist is part of a team that fosters engagement with The Watermill Center collections and Robert Wilson Archives. They provide methods for accessing collections and conducting research. The position reports to the Director of Programming and works directly with the Director of Archives. They work closely to coordinate research, both short-term engagements and longer-term projects including resident scholars and fellows.

About the Robert Wilson / Watermill Center Archives and Study Center

The Robert Wilson and Watermill Center Archives are the bedrock of the Center’s collections. Used by Wilson and his collaborators in addition to artists and scholars, they document a wide array of 20th and 21st-century artistic practice. The core of the archives are manuscripts, which provide a window into the process of creating over 400 productions and exhibitions, artworks and lectures, and underscore the breadth and complexity of Wilson’s work and orbit as well as the richness of the Center as a laboratory for artistic exploration. The archives also contain copious photographic documentation of most Wilson productions as well as a wide variety of The Watermill Center programs and initiatives. The digital archives, totaling nearly 32T of data, include not only digitized and born-digital photographs, but also audio and video/film records of Wilson works and Center workshops and performances. The Study Center is The Watermill Center’s newest addition and is a place for both deep research and quiet reflection, holding the papers of Wilson, performance troupe the Byrd Hoffman School of Byrds, the Byrd Hoffman Foundation, and The Watermill Center in addition to select library collections and additional research material. The Study Center will be open by appointment to select researchers and resident artists. The role of the Archivist is integral to the Library of Inspiration (LOI) digital platform, which connects artistic practice and engagement at The Center with a global collection of art and artifacts, archival material, and a supporting research library.

About The Watermill Center

The Watermill Center is a laboratory for the arts and humanities, providing a global community the time, space, and freedom to create and inspire.

Founded in 1992 by Robert Wilson, The Watermill Center is an interdisciplinary laboratory for the arts and humanities situated on ten acres of Shinnecock ancestral territory on Long Island’s East End. With an emphasis on creativity and collaboration, Watermill offers artist residencies and education programs that ​integrate contemporary artistic practice with resources from the humanities and research from the sciences. ​

Located at 39 Watermill Towd Rd, a 20,000 square foot main facility houses a Study Library, Art Collection, spaces for rehearsals, performances, and exhibitions, a kitchen with dining areas, and office space. The Artist-in-Residence House, at 11 Watermill Towd Road, is a 10,000 square foot facility with eight private bedrooms, a kitchen, living areas, and an amphitheater. The Art Collection consists of 5,000+ works of art and artifacts, ranging from ancient to contemporary, including numerous museum-quality works from Indonesia, Africa, and Oceania, as well as works by contemporary artists such as Paul Thek, Donald Judd, Bruce Nauman, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Agnes Martin, among others.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Processing of Archival Materials

Arranges and describes unprocessed paper records, including accruals to existing series, from Robert Wilson’s archive and that of The Watermill Center according to current best practices.

Rehouses fragile or sensitive materials based on archival preservation and conservation standards, and makes recommendations for any repair or unique treatment.

Creates archival finding aids within the Center’s ArchivesSpace instance.

Tracks the acquisition of supplemental records brought into the Archives on a rolling basis.

Develops cataloging metadata for archival materials in parallel with existing collections databases and digital library systems.

Ensures digital records, especially those pertaining to The Watermill Center activities, are acquired and formats synchronized with preexisting digital archive files.

Provides quality control assurance for digitized and born-digital records.

Access to Collections & Research Assistance

Conducts research on Wilson’s productions, activities, and The Watermill Center history in order to better provide connections between diverse collections.

Provides research assistance and support for resident artists and scholars.

Provides production and material reference to Robert Wilson and his collaborators as needed.

Maintains a flexible workspace for research that allows for ready access to resources, the rearrangement of objects, physical and virtual browsing, and both individual and collaborative work.

Employment Terms

This position is part-time (15-20 hours per week) and based in Water Mill, New York, but may grow into a full-time position.

Essential Skills Required

Degree in art or related field with MLS or MLIS and concentration in Archives.

Minimum of 2 years professional experience.

Strong knowledge of archival cataloging, digitization and metadata standards.

Strong analytical, writing, interpersonal and organizational skills.

An understanding of challenges related to digital and physical archival practices.

Experience with digitization practices and standards related to photographic and video media.

Knowledge of archival software including ArchivesSpace or Archivists’ Toolkit; DAMS and CMS (Axiell/Piction) experience a plus.

Comfortable learning new programs and procedures in a variably paced environment.

Questions? communications@nycarchivists.org

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