The Field Museum is a not-for-profit organization located on the Museum Campus of Chicago. Since the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, we have conducted research across all seven continents and accumulated a collection of over 40 million specimens and artifacts.
This paid, one-year Fellowship is designed to provide students with lived Native American cultural experience who are interested in careers in museum collections management, registration, conservation, or curation, with an opportunity to work directly with the Native North American collections at the Field Museum. Fellows will be provided mentorship by staff on pursuing a career with a focus of their choosing in museums and will be introduced to other professionals in the field.
The Fellows will be working on-site at the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, and will spend time working on the following topics in collaboration with Native community members, the Field’s Conservation Cultural Liaison and Collections Managers, and other staff in the Conservation, Registration, Curation, and Repatriation sections.
Fellows will gain experience in managing and preserving items in museum collections. Particular focus of the Fellowships will be connecting descendant communities, scholars, and members of the public to the collections. These connections may be made in visits and tours (both virtual and in-person), online outreach, and special events, both in the Museum’s collections areas and in public. Successful candidates will gain both practical and theoretical knowledge of current museum practice and will help improve the Museum’s cultural competence in the care of Native American collections. Support will be provided for relocation expenses, conference travel expenses, and for moving forward in a museum career after the Fellowship has ended. They may participate in other duties outlined below.
Duties and Responsibilities:
- Researching item provenience,
- Identifying and documenting item construction methods and materials,
- Written and photographic documentation,
- Providing guidance, or obtaining guidance where applicable, on culturally appropriate descriptions of items, their materials, and their provenience.
- Assisting with research into and responding to inquiries about the collections.
- Collection management, housing, and storage,
- Preventive conservation
- Testing of display case and item materials.
- Exhibitions and loans
- Use of Collections Management database systems.
- Participation in training workshops
- Native American candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this Fellowship. Qualified applicants should be recent graduates with an interest in a career in museums, lived Indigenous experience, and demonstrable cultural competencies, as well as the ability to work with a diversity of Native American communities strongly preferred
- High frequency of strenuous activity lifting heavy items, moving carts, using box cutters, hot melt glue guns, and sewing machines to construct collections storage trays, etc. Ability to work alone or in a team situation required. Must be able to work with collections and records for long hours
- Successful candidates will have excellent verbal and written communication skills