Careers with The Filson Historical Society

The Filson Historical Society, founded in 1884, is a privately-supported historical society dedicated to preserving the history of Kentucky and the Ohio Valley Region. We have serve the public through our extensive library, varied museum artifacts, and our special collections department that includes over 2.1 million original manuscripts, letters, diaries, photographs, architectural records, and portraits.  Our collections form a regional educational resource that attracts national and international researchers.

We are an organization dedicated to providing continuing adult education in the form of quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal – the Ohio Valley History, quarterly magazine publications, weekly lectures, historical tours, art exhibits, reading-and-discussion groups, weekend-long conferences and field institutes and excursions.

The Filson Historical Society is a member-supported 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, an equal opportunity employer, and provides its employees with industry competitive salaries and a comprehensive benefits package that includes health, life and disability insurance; a contributory retirement plan; paid holidays; and generous medical leave and vacation.

For general information regarding career opportunities, please contact The Filson Historical Society at (502) 635-5083 and ask for Marian Salmon.

Career Opportunities

Associate Curator of Digital Projects

The Associate Curator of Digital Projects is a member of the Filson’s Collections Department and joins the rest of the team in acquiring, preserving, describing, and providing access to the Filson’s collections. The primary responsibilities of this position are to establish a robust digitization program, manage the digitization lab’s daily operations in converting a wide range of materials to digital formats, manage the digital assets that are created for long term preservation, and assist the Filson’s leadership team with envisioning the future of digital initiatives. This includes digitization planning and prioritization, carrying out and overseeing digitization, assisting with digital humanities project planning, and creating and maintaining accurate records of workflows and duties.

The Associate Curator will also be called upon to assist with grant applications for digital initiatives and collaborate with the education and development department on events and outreach, and participate in the development of exhibits, public programming and lectures. This position will work closely with all areas of the Filson to integrate digitized collections into our research, programming, outreach, and fundraising operations. Additional duties may include providing reference services, supervising support staff, interns, and volunteers, and additional duties as assigned.


  • Provide vision and leadership for the Filson’s digital presence, including digital humanities and web-based projects showcasing collections
  • Manage the Filson’s digitization operations including the design, documentation, and oversight of efficient digital production workflows supporting the creation of digital assets that conform to industry standards
  • Develop and maintain digitization policies, guidelines, workflows, training manuals, and best practice documentation for the digitization lab’s users
  • Provide day-to-day and long-term administrative oversight of digital assets, including preservation
  • Conduct, provide training, and oversee digitization quality control and metadata creation for manuscript, photograph, print, and multimedia collections, while demonstrating archival care and management of fragile materials
  • Assist in bringing existing digital assets up to appropriate standards, including reorganization of file directories and file naming schemes
  • Determine digitization priorities in conjunction with Filson leadership and Collections Department
  • Work with administration and IT vendors to create and maintain digital asset management, preservation, and digital asset tools
  • Collaborate with the Development Department to seek public and private grand funding for digitization projects and equipment upgrades as needed
  • Engage in professional development to keep current on standards and best practices in archival digitization and the digital humanities
  • Conduct internal and external outreach to promote collections and programs, including lectures, exhibits, articles, and other media
  • Participate in in-house and remote reference requests for collection materials

Required Qualifications

  • 3-5 years of post-graduate experience working with library, archival, and museum collections in the capacity of digital asset management
  • An advanced degree in Library and Information Science, Information Science, Public History, Digital Humanities, or related fields
  • Demonstrated experience with a variety of digital imaging equipment including flatbed scanners, slide scanners, and overhead camera mount with digital scan back
  • Knowledge of and experience implementing best practices for digitization of various formats
  • Knowledge of and experience with digital preservation
  • Demonstrated experience with database management, maintaining and establishing standards and practices for digitization and metadata creation, file formatting, and data migration
  • Demonstrated experience with a variety of digital imaging technologies and professional imaging software such as Adobe Photoshop, IrfanView, and Adobe Bridge
  • Thorough understanding of digital still image file creation, including: image size, bit depth, color profiling, image resolution and compression
  • Ability to work creatively, collaboratively, and efficiently: independently and as a team member
  • Project management experience
  • Strong computer skills, including Microsoft Office
  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to collaborate with staff at all levels across the institution, and with outside organizations, vendors, donors, and stakeholders with a variety of technical experience
  • Knowledge of online social media platforms and ability to participate in online Collections outreach
  • Ability to lift, bend, and reach boxes or volumes weighing up to 40lbs and ability to work in closed stacks in cold temperatures

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Degree in history and/or working knowledge of U.S. history, to determine how collections fit into state and national issues for purpose of digitization prioritization
  • A thorough understanding of intellectual property law, including “fair use” and similar copyright issues
  • Experience handling and providing basic preservation treatment for historic materials
  • Experience supporting curatorial and exhibition projects
  • Familiarity with a variety of metadata standards, such as MARC, Dublin Core, EAD, etc.
  • Ability to manage multiple work processes and projects simultaneously
  • Supervisory experience

This is a full-time, professional position at 40 hours per week and reports to the Manager of Collections Access. The usual hours will be 8:30 am-5 pm Monday through Friday, with the potential for occasional hours on weekends/evenings. Salary commensurate with experience. The Filson offers a competitive benefits package.

Please send a cover letter outlining how you meet the above qualifications along with your resume and at least three professional references (including name, relationship to you, email, and phone number) to Marian Potter, Chief of Business Operations via email: by March 1, 2019.

Volunteers, Welcome to The Filson Historical Society!

Volunteering is a great way to learn more about history while helping to preserve the past for the enjoyment of future generations.  Meeting new people, learning and sharing information, and making a real contribution to The Filson are just a few of the benefits volunteers can receive for their time and effort.

At The Filson Historical Society, volunteers provide connections to the past and insights into the present.  Volunteers provide personal attention to visitors, perform behind-the-scenes assistance to our Library and Collections, and work with the public in education and programming events … all by contributing their unique talents, skills and life experiences, and their knowledge about our community, our commonwealth and the Ohio Valley region.

The Filson Historical Society is committed to encouraging volunteer involvement at all levels in the organization. Please see our current volunteer opportunities below:

Volunteer Opportunities at The Filson

Front Desk Volunteer

The Filson Historical Society is seeking volunteers to welcome guests and researchers to The Filson. Volunteers will assist The Filson by:

  • Welcoming and directing Filson visitors
  • Registering researchers and collecting research fees
  • Answering the phone and directing calls
  • Registering people for events using SimpleTix, our online event registration platform
  • Helping Filson staff with other activities


The Filson is seeking volunteer docents to give tours of the exhibits and the historic Ferguson Mansion. Initial and ongoing training for docents will be provided.

If you have the following attributes, you should consider becoming a docent:

  • A passion for connecting the public to local history
  • Great public speaking skills
  • Interest in local history and art
  • Punctual and reliable

It’s an exciting time at The Filson—join us!

For more information regarding volunteer opportunities, please contact Sarah Bruns at 502-635-5083 ext. 235 or email