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Archives Data Specialist

Apply NowApply Later Job ID 10065915 Location Glendale, California, United States Business Walt Disney Animation Studios Date posted Oct. 24, 2023

Job Summary:

This position will be responsible for working with the ARL Collections Manager to maintain content standards and data quality for a recently launched CMS (collections management system), MuseumPlus. This highly collaborative role will involve working with a core group of the ARL’s Collections, Image Capture, and WDAS Technology team members, as well as an outside vendor, in the ongoing tasks of cleaning up legacy data and working to develop and maintain standards for nomenclature, taxonomy, and data procedures This position will be responsible for maintaining, evaluating, and modifying database content and procedure standards as needed. Additionally, this position will work closely with the Disney technology group that manages our outward-facing image browser (GEMS) to coordinate the transfer of data and the ingestion of images from our collections management system.

This role is also responsible for the coordination of, and active participation in, the cataloging of production artwork into the ARL’s collections database and tracking the cataloging progress in relation to our internal digitization pipeline. This position will be responsible for revising catalog standards to align with the progression of our CMS and training staff to use this database as needed.

This position works closely with the Collections Manager to assign cataloging tasks, review work for quality and consistency, and track upcoming projects. As a cataloger, they will be responsible for handling artwork and occasionally rehousing it when necessary. Currently, this position works primarily with the physical collections. However, as the ARL expands its mission to care for WDAS’s born digital artwork collection, we expect this person to work closely with different personnel within the ARL and the WDAS technology and production teams to integrate those collections into our cataloging process.

This position will be expected to participate in other collections projects, including rehousing and preparing artwork for cataloging, as required.

The ARL houses a collection of more than 65,000,000 pieces of original, physical artwork which includes, but is not limited to, conceptual art, storyboards, maquettes, hand-drawn production art, and 3D models, as well as a rapidly growing collection of born digital artwork currently estimated at 5 petabytes This role is an integral member of the team of Collections, Research, Exhibition, Design, and Image Capture Specialists who make up the ARL, and will report to the Manager of the Collections team.


Data Governance:

Works with ARL leadership to define standards and procedures cohesive with governance strategy

  • Responsible for maintaining the integrity of the data in our collection management system and continually looking for ways to derive increasing value from the data, including monitoring cataloging efficiency.
  • Ensures data cleanliness and consistency; includes rigorous clean-up efforts, quality control assessment, and liaising with Technology to verify consistency from CMS to DAMS (Digital Asset Management System).
  • Participates in the data cleanup process, as well as assigning data cleanup tasks to fellow collections team members and overseeing project progression.
  • Maintains systems for tracking and reporting cataloging progress, “on demand” client requests, and data cleanup projects.
  • Develops and automates reports and dashboards to provide project insights.
  • Develops, adds to, and maintains integrity of vocabularies and authorities.
  • Provides regular QC to new records, authorities, and vocabularies and effectively communicate with ARL staff of their progress.
  • Liaise with WDAS Production to collect production credits, drafts, and any other information sources.
  • Liaise with WDAS Technology and ARL Image Capture Team to ensure proper asset ingestion to MP and GEMS.
  • Liaise with Disney technology teams to ensure proper representation and accessibility of assets in GEMS (ARL’s image browser).
  • Liaise with Disney technology and an outside vendor to ensure best CMS performance and storage needs.


  • Participates in the cataloging process and well as working with the Collections Manager to assign cataloging projects and oversee project progression.
  • Catalogue artwork – includes medium identification, artist identification, labeling, and determining the correct metadata for consistency across all films.
  • Works with the Collections Manager to process “on demand” cataloging requests for our company partners and well as long-term cataloging projects.
  • Review previous cataloging of both current and legacy productions – includes reviewing and identifying production elements, reviewing the database for duplicate records, developing taxonomy as needed.
  • Trains team members on cataloging, track cataloging progress, and answers questions; spot check work for accuracy and work with team members to resolve issues.
  • Coordinates with Image Capture Team to track materials through the digitization pipeline, from capture to ingestion.
  • Establish and document cataloging rules and protocols.
  • Responsible for project preparation in MuseumPlus (CMS) and/or other project management tools.
  • Tracks workflows and restructures as needed to maintain project efficiency and integrity.

Collections and Art Handling Responsibilities:

  • As needed

Training for the below will be provided

  • Identify and pull original artwork from the vaults and independently rehouse the artwork. Requires knowledge of art mediums and understanding the mediums in relation to archival materials for safe and appropriate long-term storage. Working with all elements of artwork in our collection.
  • Identifying when artwork is not in its correct location and determining the correct production, element, order and proper method of storing. Locating the correct scene/sequence and integrating the artwork into the correct location and archival housing
  • Identify damaged and/or inappropriately housed/high risk artwork and bring it to the attention of a member of the Collections team for repair assessment and potential conservation remediation.

Basic Qualifications:

  • 2-4 years cataloging physical collections, as well as coordinating cataloging projects.
  • Experience working with Collections Management databases (i.e. TMS, MuseumPlus) as well as standard databases (i.e., FileMaker Pro, MS SQL Server) and spreadsheet software (i.e., Excel).
  • Experience with scripting/automating to handle large numbers of files/data.
  • Experience and/or education with nomenclature and taxonomy standards for databases.
  • Proven ability to work independently and solve database error issues, prioritize multiple tasks, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
  • Effective problem-solving in a high stress/fast-paced environment.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills and strong attention to detail.
  • Experience with data migration projects (not required, but highly desirable).
  • Experience with handling fragile materials (not required, but highly desirable).
  • Ability to anticipate daily workload expectations and meet and maintain weekly project goals.
  • Ability to embrace change and adapt to new processes and procedures as needed.
  • Ability to work in a highly collaborative environment.
  • Ability to provide corrective feedback (i.e., quality control) on all ARL data clean-up and cataloguing projects.
  • Ability to analyze data (i.e., taxonomy, naming conventions) and recognize when data is incorrect or incomplete.
  • Ability to track workflows and restructures as needed to maintain project efficiency and integrity.
  • Requires the physical ability to lift, push, pull or physically maneuver a maximum of 35lbs of materials and/or supplies.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Ability to distinguish between different art mediums (i.e., charcoal, pastel, graphite, acrylic, etc.).
  • Knowledge of animation process and element types.
  • Appreciation of, and interest in, animation, art history and/or photography.
  • Knowledge of Disney Animated films –character names, artists and animation elements.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Library Science, Museum Studies, Art History, Fine Arts, or related field.
  • Master's degree preferred.

The hiring range for this position in California is $56,930 to $73,674 per year. The base pay actually offered will take into account internal equity and also may vary depending on the candidate’s geographic region, job-related knowledge, skills, and experience among other factors. A bonus and/or long-term incentive units may be provided as part of the compensation package, in addition to the full range of medical, financial, and/or other benefits, dependent on the level and position offered.

About Walt Disney Animation Studios:

Combining masterful artistry and storytelling with groundbreaking technology, Walt Disney Animation Studios is a filmmaker-driven animation studio responsible for creating some of the most beloved films ever made. Disney Animation continues to build on its rich legacy of innovation and creativity, from the first fully-animated feature film, 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, to our 62nd animated feature, Wish, releasing November 2023. Among the studio's timeless creations are Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Frozen, Big Hero 6, Zootopia, and Encanto.

About The Walt Disney Company:

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with the following business segments: Disney Entertainment, ESPN, Disney Parks, and Experiences and Products. From humble beginnings as a cartoon studio in the 1920s to its preeminent name in the entertainment industry today, Disney proudly continues its legacy of creating world-class stories and experiences for every member of the family. Disney’s stories, characters and experiences reach consumers and guests from every corner of the globe. With operations in more than 40 countries, our employees and cast members work together to create entertainment experiences that are both universally and locally cherished.

This position is with Walt Disney Pictures, which is part of a business we call Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Walt Disney Pictures is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, protected veteran status or any other basis prohibited by federal, state or local law. Disney fosters a business culture where ideas and decisions from all people help us grow, innovate, create the best stories and be relevant in a rapidly changing world.

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