Photography Archivist

Washington, D.C
Nov 21, 2020
Nov 29, 2020
Full Time


This position is assigned to the Architect of the Capitol (AOC), Curator Division, Photography Branch. The selectee will serve as an Archivist in the Photography Branch performing duties alongside the Head Photography Archivist which include accessioning, arranging, describing, preserving and fulfilling research requests for the permanently valuable analog and born-digital photographic, audio-visual and video records of the AOC.

Learn more about this agency


The Photography Branch preserves and safeguards the AOC photographic-based archival collection, which consists of the historically valuable analog and digital image, video and object assets. These assets documents a wide-variety of projects occurring on the Capitol campus; special events such as Inaugurations; and season-wide depictions of the Capitol Grounds. With the addition of a new digital asset management system, the Photography Branch focuses heavily on digital workflows and digital preservation techniques and procedures to ensure the short and long term preservation of digital objects.

The preferred candidate will demonstrate knowledge and experience of digital preservation theory and best practices and will implement digital strategies and forensics tools in both a Mac and Windows environment. This includes but is not limited to knowledge surrounding command line interface applications such as Terminal and PowerShell; text substitutions; familiarity with SQL databases and repositories; bulk data entry; scripting applications and tools such as Automator; modern programming language; on premise and cloud based storage solutions; and metadata schemas in the performance of the following duties:


Accession, Arrangement and Description
  • Performs a variety of archival activities under the guidance of the Head Photography Branch Archivist for a moderately large number of record groups that are related by administrative connection or by subject matter.
  • Arranges records with sometimes complex subject matter. Resolves record problems, such as working with photographic/audio-visual/video records which relate to one or more major topics or themes of history and include several related topics.
  • Enforces metadata standards for descriptive information written to or otherwise captured with each image. Provides quality assurance for the existing online photography database to enrich the description of the record and improve research performance for all end users.
  • Performs image research to reinforce under-represented areas in the record, by drawing on both public and private sources to find and, as appropriate, acquire rights protected images of the U.S. Capitol and related subjects to supplement the visual record.

Appraisal, Disposition and Preservation
  • In coordination with Head Photography Branch Archivist, periodically assesses the condition of analog photographic records and, as needed executes preservation activities to safeguard them from deterioration, damage or destruction or from impairment of their value through disarrangement or alteration.
  • Keeps abreast of literature, knowledge, information, best practices and trends in the preservation and management of born-digital records. Maintains familiarity with NARA guidance, as well as with standards issued by such organizations as the International Standards Org (ISO), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Federal Agencies Digital Guidelines Initiative (FADGI).
  • Supports an active documentary mission, with project managers, contractors and an immediate staff of professional photographers/videographers creating new record photographs and digital videos.
  • Assists in managing the AOC photography records center and archives and other records storage areas. Maintains storage standards for a wide range of born-digital photographic media.

Research and Reference
  • Conducts research and provides information in response to reference service requests in support of AOC projects and programs. Clients may include congressional and other Federal offices, as well as AOC contractors, publishers, the media and outside researchers.
  • Assists with priorities for completion of research projects, in consultation with the Head Photography Archivist and/or the Photography and/or Records Management Branch Chiefs, in concert with the Curator and Historic Preservation Officer. Assists AOC offices in the selection of photographs for exhibition or publication and helps prepare captions for exhibit materials.
  • Provides or receives training, either on the job or through classroom training, to ensure that required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is utilized.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen.
  • You must be able to pass a drug test.
  • Your resume and question responses must demonstrate the job-related KSAs.
  • You must meet the definition of specialized experience.

This appointment is temporary, not to exceed 5 years. It is a position that is subject to the project needs of the agency. Therefore, the appointment could be terminated at any time due to shortage of work or shortage of funds. If project work continues, however, it could be extended beyond the 5 year time frame at the sole discretion of the agency.


You must meet the United States Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) qualification requirements (including specialized experience and/or educational requirements) for the advertised position. You must meet all eligibility and qualifications requirements by the closing date of the job announcement. Additional information on the qualification requirements is outlined in the OPM Qualifications Standards Handbook of General Schedule Positions. It is available for your review on the OPM web site at OPM qualification standards

In addition to meeting the basic education requirement, you must have specialized experience, directly related education OR a combination of experience and education as described below.

GS-09 Qualifications:

Applicants must possess at least one year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-07 grade level in the Federal service or equivalent experience in the private or public sector OR two years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master's degree or equivalent graduate degree in archival science, history, American civilization, economics, political science, public administration, or government. Specialized experience is defined as experience assisting in managing an archive of historical photographic records to include accessioning, arrangement, description, appraisal, disposition, preservation, and research.


Basic Education Requirements:
  • Bachelor's degree in archival science or bachelor's degree with a major that includes 18 semester hours in archival science, history and/or in political science or government, and 12 semester hours in one or any combination of the following: archival science, history, American civilization, economics, political science, public administration, or government.

  • or
  • Combination of education and experience - at least 30 semester hours that included courses as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

  • Evaluation of Experience:

    Professional experience must have been in archival science, or in a directly related field of work such as history that involved the collection, appraisal, analysis, or synthesis of information having historical or archival values. The following are illustrative of kinds of experience that may be accepted as meeting the professional experience requirements: (1) experience as an archivist in Federal, state, religious institution, business, or other archives, or in manuscript depositories, and (2) experience of an archival nature that involved research in archival science, or in a directly related field such as history, government, economics, political science, international relations, or international law.

    Transcripts or diploma must be provided if selected.

    Special Instructions for Foreign Education :

    Education completed outside of the United States must be deemed equivalent to that gained in conventional/accredited U.S. education programs to be acceptable for Federal employment.

    Qualifying education from colleges and universities in foreign countries must be evaluated in terms of equivalency to that acquired in U.S. colleges and universities. Applicants educated in whole or in part of foreign countries must submit sufficient evidence, including transcripts, to an accredited private organization for an equivalency evaluation of course work and degree.

    You must provide a copy of the letter containing the results of the equivalency evaluation with a course by course listing if selected.

    Additional information

    Welcome Veterans. The Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA) gives veterans' preference rights in the legislative branch to certain veterans as applied by the Congressional Accountability Act. Veterans' preference is applied on this vacancy announcement. If you are a veteran and have been separated under honorable conditions, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 or other proof of eligibility; SF-15, if applicable; and Department of Veterans Affairs documentation of disability, if applicable. For more information, please visit OPM vet guide

    If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System. If you are exempt from registration under Selective Service Law, you must provide appropriate proof of exemption. Please visit the Selective Service System website for more information.

    DRUG TESTING: The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is a Drug Free Workplace. As part of the AOC's suitability assessment, a candidate tentatively selected for a position who is not currently an AOC employee is required to submit to screening for illegal drug use. Satisfactory completion of a drug test is a condition of employment with the Agency. A candidate must test negative prior to being eligible for appointment into a position. We will schedule, provide, and cover the cost for the drug test.

    The selectee(s) under the vacancy announcement for this position is subject to a criminal record check by the U.S. Capitol Police and satisfactory adjudication to be eligible for employment at the Architect of the Capitol.

    The Architect of the Capitol is an E-VERIFY Participant. E-VERIFY is an Internet-based system that compares information from an employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment authorization in the United States. If you are selected for this position, the documentation that you present for purposes of completing the DHS Form I-9 will be verified through the DHS "E-VERIFY" electronic system. For more information on E-Verify, please visit

    The Architect of the Capitol is an Equal Opportunity Employer and prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, genetic information, sexual orientation and/or disability.

    This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis.

    Moving expenses are not authorized.

    Relocation expenses are not authorized.

    Probationary Period - A newly appointed selectee is subject to the completion of a one-year trial/probationary period, regardless of whether or not a trial/probationary period has been completed previously with the Architect of the Capitol or another Federal agency.

    This vacancy announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies in any of the jurisdictions of the Architect of the Capitol.

    All application materials become the property of the Architect of the Capitol.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

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

    Review your resume and responses carefully. Your eligibility for consideration and qualifications for the position will be determined based upon a review of your detailed resume and your responses to job specific self-assessment questions.

    Your resume will be evaluated based on evidence of your ability to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) for this position, possession of any specialized experience, and how well your background and experience relates to the self-assessment questions in the job announcement. The self-assessment questions relate to the following knowledge, skills, abilities, and competencies:

    - Archival principles and techniques

    - Records management

    - Digital image preservation and description

    - Research and reference

    - Communication

    Your responses to the self-assessment questions serve as the basis for your initial rating. You will receive a numerical score based on your responses to these questions. Next, your responses will be evaluated by a Human Resources Specialist and/or a subject matter expert against the information provided in your resume and optional cover letter. Your resume must support your answers to the self-assessment questions. Falsifying your background, education, and/or experience is cause for not hiring you or disqualification for further consideration.

    Please note that a complete application is required for consideration. (Please review the "Required Documents" section of this job announcement to see what must be included in a complete application).
    To preview questions please click here .

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance

    Drug test required

    Required Documents

    The Architect of the Capitol's job application process is designed to ensure that we only ask you for the information that is absolutely needed to evaluate your qualifications and eligibility for the position.

    To apply for this position, you only need to submit online the following: a) your resume and 2) answer the online vacancy assessment questionnaire. The online questionnaire contains eligibility and screening questions and other relevant supplemental information. No additional documentation or attachment is required at the time of application.

    We ask that you prepare and submit a resume that best describes fully your background experience, skills, abilities, education, training and other relevant credentials. The resume should include dates of employment.

    Nothing further is required until it is requested by the staff of the Human Capital Management Division. If additional documentation is required for a position, you will be asked to provide it during the selection process or upon selection. At that point, we may ask you to submit documentation to support statements made in your resume.

    For example, we may ask you to provide documents such as college transcripts, copy of diploma or proof of Federal employment status. If the position requires a license or certification, we will ask candidate(s) to provide proof at the time of selection.

    If you are claiming veterans' preference, we may ask you to submit proof of Veterans preference (DD-214, and, if claiming 10-point preference, the SF-15 plus proof required by that form).

    If you fail to provide the required documents, we will withdraw a tentative job offer made and/or remove you from further consideration.

    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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