Reports to: Executive Director
Job Posting Expires: Until Position is Filled
Position Title: City Historian
FLSA Status: Exempt
Annual Salary Range: $82,500.00 – $87,500.00
Grant Funded Position: 100%
Position Funding: This position is part of a $1.2 million grant from the Mellon Foundation. Overall project outcomes include reimagining the studio of Edward Valentine, sculptor of Lost Cause iconography; planning for reinterpretation of the Wickham House, a former site of enslavement; and providing deeper understanding of the Jim Crow era through powerful public experiences and expanded online resources. New research will encourage a broader and more honest interpretation of the history of both the Richmond region and the Valentine Museum.
The City Historian shall be a resident of the Richmond region, possess enthusiasm for the community, have a strong public service orientation and demonstrate knowledge and a desire to share and promote local history. The City Historian shall also have knowledge of the skills and techniques necessary to perform historical research and possess good written and oral communication skills. The City Historian will initially support the reinterpretation of the Valentine Studio as well as the Wickham House, both on the Valentine’s campus, and will conduct general research to support interpretive projects on Richmond region history
Reporting Supervisor: Executive Director
Positions Supervised: N/A
Core Job Responsibilities and Duties:
- Compile and share for internal and external audiences the background research for the Valentine Studio project
- Provide research support to other Valentine staff utilizing content from the Valentine Studio, the Jim Crow era in Richmond, and related topics
- Establish connections with community organizations to engage with the content of the Valentine Studio, the Jim Crow era in Richmond, and related topics
- Learn best practices to organize a descendant engagement project that support internal and external audiences
- Begin research into the descendant communities of those enslaved men, women, and children formerly owned by the Wickham and Valentine families by accessing archival holdings at the Valentine and other institutions.
- Support the reinterpretation process of the Wickham House utilizing research on the enslaved and descendant communities
- Support the design process for a memorial to those people enslaved on the Valentine’s property as well as those enslaved by the Wickham and Valentine families to be installed in the redesigned Valentine Garden and Pavilion
- Promote the community’s awareness and appreciation for the Richmond region’s history through research, writing and public speaking.
- Support collaborative efforts of Valentine staff, other regional museums and historical societies, and historic district commissions.
- Advise the Valentine staff, municipal governments in the Richmond region, and other commissions on historical issues when requested.
- Respond to historical questions raised by residents, visitors, the media, and others.
- Act as a consultant for publications, projects, exhibits, public programs, displays, celebrations, commemorations, and the establishment and maintenance of plaques, markers and monuments.
- With Valentine curators, develop and implement Collection Plan with long-term collecting goals that further the museum’s mission and strategic priorities.
Requirements Qualifications: Master’s degree in history, museum studies or related field. At least ten years experience interpreting local history for the public and conducting primary source research with a background in Virginia history. Knowledge of the Richmond region is preferred.
The City Historian must be able to use a telephone, computer keyboard and mouse; reach with hands and arms, speak for extended periods of time and listen. The employee is frequently required to walk and sit, as well as to lift and carry objects such as boxes, books and files weighing up to 40 pounds. The City Historian is occasionally required to stand, stoop or kneel. Specific vision abilities required by this position include close vision and the ability to focus. The physical demands described here are representative of the requirements that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
 DISCLAIMER: This is not necessarily an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, skills, efforts, requirements or working conditions associated with the job. While this is intended to be an accurate reflection of the current job, management reserves the right to revise the job or to require that other or different tasks be performed as assigned.
 FLSA stands for the Fair Labor Standards Act, which was enacted by Congress in 1938 and is under Federal Wage and Hour statutes. An exempt employee is not paid for overtime hours worked. There are three categories under which an employee may be considered exempt. They are administrative, executive, and professional. These categories generally define an exempt employee as one who customarily and regularly exercises discretion and independent judgment in the performance of his/her duties.