February 2010

Thanks to Mike Rhode for posting about this intriguing job ad.  Mass General has some great historical collections.


Projected start date: March 1, 2010
Apply here: http://www.mgh.harvard.edu/careers/viewall.aspx

Massachusetts General Hospital intends to build and establish a new
museum on its main campus in downtown Boston. The Mass General Museum is
to be located in a prominent location on Cambridge Street, a highly
visible and public edge of the main campus facing Beacon Hill to the

By means of exciting and enriching exhibits and educational programs,
the intent of the Museum is to serve the hospital of which it is a part,
the medical profession and researchers, and a wider audience that
includes patients, visitors and the general public. The museum will also
be a “venue of distinction” for receptions, functions, and dinners.
Included is the Mass General archives, which is the repository of
documents and records closely associated with the history of the Mass
General. Safe and secure access to the full archives and providing
reading room accommodation for researchers on site is an important
function of the history program.

The position of Interim Museum Director/Consultant is of 9 to 12 months’
duration during which time architectural planning and exhibition design
will be in progress. In addition, policy and procedure development,
financial planning, fundraising, and personnel preparation (paid staff
and volunteers) for the museum and archives will proceed. It is the
intention of the Hospital to succeed this temporary appointment with a
full-time position, contingent upon sufficient funding.


The museum director will be responsible for the development and
implementation of policies and procedures of the Mass General museum.
The director will work closely with the Mass General History Committee
and other subcommittees to ensure effective communication and is the
lead spokesperson and advocate for the museum within the internal and
external community. With senior management, the museum director assumes
financial and operational authority for the museum within budgetary
guidelines. The director oversees curatorial activities, art and
artifact collection, archives, database, website, and all educational
programming activities. The director supervises all museum staff and

During the course of design and construction, the museum director will
work closely with senior management, the project manager, architects and
engineers, exhibition design consultants, volunteers, the Mass General
History Committee, and other parties engaged in the development of the


* Works with the Mass General History Committee and senior leadership to
develop and adhere to the mission, goals, and objectives of the museum.
Directs and leads the implementation and articulation of these goals in
a collaborative and cooperative manner.
* Understands the unique nature of the museum within the context of the
hospital community (patients, families, staff, clinical providers, and
* Provides vision and dynamic personal leadership to internal museum
staff and external community regarding museum strategy, programming
initiatives, and mission. Serves as the key spokesperson for the museum.
* Develops policies and procedures that govern all areas of museum
operations including collection management, curatorial operations,
storage, exhibition design and evaluation, accessibility, education and
programming, registration and database, archives, research,
conservation, website, and communications. Adheres to and keeps current
with all privacy policies instituted within the hospital setting.
* Develops annual operating and capital budgets for the museum.
Monitors operating budget versus actual expenses and identifies
* Supervises professional staff, non-professional administrative staff,
and volunteers. Performs annual performance appraisals.
* Recommends capital budget proposals regarding equipment, space, and
* Manages the recruitment, interviewing, hiring and training of museum
staff. Initiates corrective action as necessary according to Mass
General policies and procedures.
* Insures compliance with the legal requirements that govern museums and
non-profit institutions.
* Works collaboratively with Public Affairs and Marketing to develop
appropriate communication and marketing materials.
* Works collaboratively with Mass General Development Office to assist
in the creation of philanthropic case statements, prospect contact,
cultivation, and stewardship of existing donors.
* Develops strong volunteer engagement, retention and recruitment
programs in coordination with the Ladies Visiting Committee and the Mass
General Volunteer Department.
* Develops docent training program for staff and volunteers.
* Facilitates and encourages continuing education for museum staff and
* Maintains a clean, safe, and inviting physical environment within the
museum and archives. Maintains proper conditions within museum and
storage areas for collection and archives.
* Develops disaster plan in accordance with Mass General policies and
communicates plan to staff. Recognizes special requirements of Mass
General collection and archives.

* Works with internal museum staff, key hospital staff and committees,
as well as external stakeholders to develop content for unique
educational programs within the museum.
* Develops inspirational educational programming, seeking direction from
the museum’s mission statement and Mass General community.
* Evaluates the effectiveness of exhibitions and educational programs
and makes improvements as necessary.
* Develops and implements educational programs adjunct to onsite
exhibits. May include workshops, special lectures and visiting experts.

* Submits funding proposals to appropriate agencies for special
* Monitors awarded grants for compliance, balanced budget, and funder
* Works with Mass General Research Management office to comply with
internal and external grant requirements.


* Master’s Degree required. Doctoral degree with strong research
background would be of interest.
* Museum experience required.
* Supervisory and management experience required.
* Strong communication skills, both oral and written, with the ability
to show flexibility within an increasingly diverse and complex
* Strong customer service and interpersonal skills.


Hubert Murray FAIA RIBA
Senior Project Manager
MGH Planning and Construction
all correspondence to be addressed to:
Partners HealthCare Inc.
101 Merrimac Street, Suite 800
Boston, MA 02114-4719
T | 617.643.6414 F | 617.724.2740


I somehow agreed to do two lightning talks in two weeks, so if you’re in the Detroit area you have two chances to hear me speak fast for 5 minutes.  Brevity is the soul of wit, and since I love twitter so much, this is a neat way to twitterize my academic talks.

This Thursday, 2/25, at the Anderson Theater in front of the Dymaxion House at the Henry Ford Museum, I’ll be speaking at Pecha Kucha Night Detroit, which we’re hosting in conjunction with our new design exhibit.  I’m talking about my job, basically, and different ways of thinking about “connecting to people through technology,” including our ham radio collections.

Then, next Thursday, 3/4, at the Blau Auditorium at the U of Mich business school, I’m participating in Ignite Ann Arbor.  I’ll be talking about mechanical television and our guy C. Francis Jenkins.

Just over a month to go before this year’s National Council on Public History conference!  We’ll be meeting March 10-14 in Portland in conjunction with the American Society for Environmental History.  If you’ve never been before, NCPH is a great conference for meeting public historians and learning about amazing projects.  One of the NCPH conference’s greatest strengths is giving us public historians, who are often caught up in the minutiae of our programs, exhibits and other projects, a time to reflect on important theoretical and ethical issues in the profession.

On that note, I’ll be speaking at a panel about the future of public history on Thursday at 1:30:

Panel 3-C: Historians Look to the Future: Embarking on a
New Chapter in NCPH’s History
Cosponsored by the NCPH 30th Anniversary Committee
Chair: Allison Marsh, University of South Carolina
Suzanne Fischer, The Henry Ford Museum
Peter Kraemer, U.S. Department of State

Also on Thursday, Allison Marsh and I are planning to host a dine-around (an informal dinner) to talk about the material culture of technology coordinating group we’re been working on.

Please join us in Portland!

Currents of Change, March 10-14

Hilton Portland Hotel

The conference Program is digital this year, available as a PDF at http://ncph.org/cms/?page_id=117 Printed programs will be available only onsite in Portland.

This is a joint meeting of National Council on Public History and American Society for Environmental History, with 150 sessions and workshops, 15 working groups, 10 fieldtrips, Speed Networking, book exhibits, Consultants Reception, and much more. Come and experience the best in public and environmental history.  (Discounted registration is open to members and non-members before February 12.  Regular pre-registration is open through February 24.  Onsite registration continues at the conference.)

Keynote speaker, Adam Hochschild, is an award winning author and journalist who uses history to reveal the lingering inequities of the past. His most recent book, Bury the Chains, was a finalist for the 2005 National Book Award.  His address, “Adventures in Public History,” will be free and open to the public as well as conference registrants.

Make your Hotel Reservation at the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower today.  Discounted room rates for the conference may be secured before February 9.  http://www.hilton.com/en/hi/groups/personalized/PDXPHHH-NCP-20100307/index.jhtml

Want to see how engaging history, especially environmental history, has become in Portland and its environs? Sign up for the tours. This year there is a floating seminar boat excursion on the Willamette River.  Want specialized professional development? There are top-notch workshops and how-to sessions on digital history.

Tours & Fieldtrips: http://in-lart-web99.indysla.iupui.edu/ncph/cms/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/2010-Field-Trips.pdf

Workshops: http://in-lart-web99.indysla.iupui.edu/ncph/cms/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/2010-Workshops.pdf

Read more about the conference in the current issue of Public History News at http://ncph.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/2009-Dec-Newsletter.pdf