Technical Information Specialist (Genealogy Reference Assistant)

Washington, D.C
May 31, 2019
Jun 07, 2019
Full Time


The National Museum of African American History and Culture's primary purposes are to acquire, maintain and preserve objects which document social, cultural, political, military, technological and scientific developments in the United States related to the African American experience; to conduct research in the field of African American history, to publish findings for all audiences; and interpret historical developments through public exhibits and programs as well as digital content.

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The incumbent serves as a Technical Information Specialist in the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). The purpose of this position is to provide reference, instruction, and research assistance to museum visitors/researchers in the Robert Frederick Smith Explore Your Family History Center (EYFHC), including:
  • providing comprehensive reference and research services in Genealogy research, particularly in the subjects of African American and African Diaspora family history that will be of interest to museum visitors and researchers, and to the staff of the NMAAHC;
  • searching in original source materials, requiring usage of a variety of databases, including genealogy software, historical materials, and specialized journals;
  • providing instruction in the use of genealogy resources to museum visitors/researchers and to NMAAHC staff and assisting in conducting ongoing workshops in the subjects of genealogy research and family history;
  • assisting with the collection development activities of the EYFHC by helping to identify resources focusing on the subject areas of genealogy and African American family history;
  • producing and/or promoting information about the EYFHC resources, bibliographies, user guides, and reference materials;
  • assisting with outreach efforts that may include promoting collections and services through exhibits, programming, publications, social media, and other electronic means; and
  • assisting with special projects, such as the Freedmen's Bureau Records project.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Some travel may be required within the Washington, DC area.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential
09 - Full performance level for this position is Grade 09.


Conditions of Employment

  • Pass Pre-employment Background Investigation
  • Complete a Probationary Period
  • Maintain a Bank Account for Direct Deposit/Electronic Transfer

Qualification requirements must be met within 30 days of the job announcement closing date.


All applicants must meet these Basic Requirements:

Education: A full 4-year course of study that meets all the requirements for a bachelor's degree with major study in the subject-matter field of the position to be filled. OR Experience: Four years of experience that provided a knowledge of the basic principles, theories, practices, techniques, and terminology of a discipline or subject-matter field; an understanding of the standard methods, procedures, and techniques of research and analysis in the subject-matter field; and where appropriate, ability to read and comprehend nontechnical material in one or more foreign languages. Such experience must have been equivalent to that which would have been gained through a 4-year college curriculum. OR a combination of education and experience as described above.

In addition to meeting basic qualifications applicants must have: 2 full years of graduate level education related to the position or master's or equivalent graduate degree, related to the position.


Specialized Experience: To qualify, you must have the equivalent of one year of full-time experience in the following: providing reference and research support for researchers, and coordinating outreach activities and special projects that promote the use of resources in a research center, library, or similar organization.

PART-TIME OR UNPAID EXPERIENCE: Credit will be given for appropriate unpaid work on the same basis as for paid experience. Part-time experience will be credited on the basis of time actually spent in appropriate activities. To receive credit for such experience you must indicate clearly the nature of the duties and responsibilities in each position held and the average number of hours per week spent in such employment on your online resume.

Note: Your specialized experience must have been in a position(s) equivalent to duties for the occupation at the next lower grade level for the position being filled as defined by applicable Federal standards.


Additional information

Please see Benefits at for a complete

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Your application will be evaluated first for the basic qualifications described above. The applications that meet the basic qualifications will be evaluated further against the following criteria:
  • Knowledge of resources and records critical in the African American genealogical process (slave records, plantation records, etc.) as well as common genealogical sources.
  • Skill in clarifying research queries and assisting clientele in developing research goals.
  • Ability to instruct clientele in the use of genealogy-related resources, and provide training in end-user search systems.
  • Ability to analyze both research and exhibition support needs and the needs of the research clientele who depend on this research.

  • Important Note:

    Your resume and supporting documentation will be compared to your responses to the occupational questionnaire or other assessment tool for consistency. If a determination is made that you have rated yourself higher than is supported by your resume, you will be assigned a rating commensurate to your described experience. Your resume should provide detailed information regarding how your education and experience relate to this position, including the major duties and qualifications criteria listed.

    To preview questions please click here .

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance

    Drug test required

    Required Documents

    Your application package should include the following documents:
    • Resume - Your resume can be uploaded and attached to your application or created using the USA Jobs on-line resume builder. If you want to receive full credit for relevant experience your resume MUST contain the job title (including the occupational series and grade if it is Federal), duties, starting and ending dates (month and year), hours worked per week, and salary.

      USAJOBS has guidance on how to ensure that you submit a complete resume: If you have not written a Federal resume before, you may watch this Resume Writing Tutorial video on the USAJOBS YouTube channel , or read through a helpful Resume Writing FAQ article on the USAJOBS Help Site to learn what details you should, and should not, include in your resume. If any of the above information is not included in your resume we may not be able to fully credit you for your experience.
    • Unofficial school transcripts, if the position has an education requirement or if you are using education to qualify. If selected for the position, you must provide an official transcript before appointment.
    • Proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study, if applicable.

    If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

    Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

    Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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