Chamizal National Memorial

Museum Curator Assistant  -  El Paso, TX

The park and cultural resources program need to be met from this internship during the 10 week period will be to assist in reducing the number of undocumented non-accessioned items in the collection while identifying those that might need to be accessioned at a future point in time. This will require updating an existing WORD document of non-accessioned files begun in February of 2018. The non-accessioned items include various objects, pieces of artwork, administration files, and other types of files. Another important goal for this project will be to assist in accessioning and cataloging various objects and documents in the park’s ICMS museum database, which are presently dedicated to a museum laptop computer. This will help in significantly reducing our backlog of non-accessioned and non-cataloged objects and archival material. By park staff prioritizing the items to be accessioned and cataloged the intern will be able to contribute to the preparation for a new park exhibit that will feature some of the items to be accessioned and cataloged. As part of the cataloging process, the intern may be asked to conduct online and/or library research on specific objects and archival materials in order to properly describe them in the ICMS database. If time allow, the intern will be able to participate with park staff in conducting a required annual inventory of park museum collections, including all archival materials.

All the aforementioned work products must be completed in a manner that meets the Secretary of Interior’s Standards as identified in the NPS museum handbooks and NPS museum collections guidance documents. Thus, attention to detail will be critical for proper data entry and descriptions of items entered in the park’s ICMS database. These handbooks, manuals, and various object indices will be explained and made available to the intern. The supervisor will assist the intern in using these handbooks, manual, and indices throughout the accessioning and cataloging process to ensure that the work products meet DOI and NPS standards while effectively updating the park’s existing database.

The following information will provide an overview of Chamizal National Memorial and its collections (quoted from Chamizal National Memorial Scope of Work 2010):

Chamizal National Memorial History, Significance, Purpose, Themes, and Goals

Enabling Legislation The Chamizal National Memorial was established by The current visitor center exhibit, established in 1971, displays items from the collection which include, artwork, photographs, documents, artifacts, and fabricated scenes. In addition to visitor center exhibits, museum collection items are also displayed in temporary display cases and a gallery located in the adjacent administration building.

The purpose of the Chamizal National Memorial museum collections is to provide valuable information about processes, events, and interactions among cultures, individuals, and the environment; to place objects and specimens within a broader context of national/international history, through research, analysis, and documentary records; to provide for the greatest benefit and enjoyment by the public; to provide baseline data, serving as a scientific and historical documentation of the site's and the Service's resources, and of the purpose for which the site was established; and to document important events and people in the site's and the nation's history, technological processes, and artistic endeavors.

At present, the Chamizal National Memorial collection consists primarily of objects that document various performances held at the park and artwork created by regional artists. The collection contains three hundred and sixty-seven accessions and eleven thousand catalogued historical objects. Three-thousand and sixteen historical objects have been entered into the Automated National Catalogue System (ANCS) database. Items not exhibited at the visitor’s center or temporary exhibit areas are preserved in a secured vault.