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Hi All -

Last year I wrote a grant proposal to the Smithsonian Collections Committee to fund two people, working full time for 1 year, to survey the current state of the scientific illustration collections at the Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution.  It's never been done across all the Departments.   Wonder if wonders - I got the grant! (this was a second try at this, the first being in 2018) ! I will be subject matter supervising the work on physical, digital and data organizing of the 150 years of illustrations work, spread out over all the many departments and the curatorial staff's offices. Floyd Shockley, the collections manager in my Dept. (Entomology) is the Cotar on the grant and will be the  personell supervisor.   If you are interested or know someone who is, please contact me on or off list. There are 2 PDF for each contract position - a Scope of Work description and an RFQ which tells you how to prepare a bid and what it entails.   I will send you the "Request for Quote Curation and Digitization Services for NMNH Illustration Archives".  The person who gets the Contractor 1 position will have the really unique opportunity of meeting and working with ALL the curators and collection managers in the building -  physically surveying what they have, the volume, condition of the artwork and its current housing situation.  The Contractor 2 position needs to be someone with extensive database skills - a library science nerd really.  

If you have never done work for the Govt. you'll need to register with the SAMS system, not a big deal, but needs to get done ASAP.

The money for both positions in my estimation is quite good.  Needless to say, all the work needs to be done on site in DC.  Don't be shy if interested - call me to discuss specifics.  240-750-9245.

Here is the basic description as it came out today:


The National Museum of Natural History Department of Entomology is seeking 2 contractors to work with science department staff to complete survey efforts and develop NMNH-wide standards for Illustration Archives in terms of physical and digital preservation to provide greater accountability and to render these collections fully compliant with Smithsonian Directive 503 (SD 503), Management of Archives and Special Collections.  

Project contractors will review existing digital data on illustrations and propose standards and procedures, plans for archival conservation, and best practices for future staff. They will begin to consolidate collections on a departmental level (when possible), rehouse individual illustrations to archival standards in departments that currently have not begun to do so but would like to, and inventory physical and digital images and recommend a strategy to digitally preserve those objects not yet in digital form. Additionally, they will determine what Collections Information System (CIS) databases are currently used by each department for illustration images/information, and to facilitate discussions between science department staff and centralized staff in the new NMNH Information and Data Science Center (IDSC) to determine whether existing CIS can accommodate this data or if other systems need to be considered to centralize this kind of data.

Selected contractors from this bid solicitation will work together (and with NMNH staff and volunteers) but will divide the work of this project in the following way: 

Desirable skills:

Proposals will be accepted until 5:00 PM EDT, Wednesday, February 15, 2023. Proposals will be reviewed on the basis of best value for the money. Submit bids or questions about this bid solicitation to Floyd Shockley via e-mail at [log in to unmask]. Follow the format set forth in section 4 of the attached Requests for Quote (RFQ) below “Information to be submitted with quotes.”  Make sure that you address each item fully in your bid submission.

There are no benefits, tax or social security withholding associated with this contract.

The contractor must pass a background investigation before work can begin.

Thank you,    Floyd W. Shockley, Ph.D., F.R.E.S.

Hope to hear from a GNSI candidate or 2 - particularly for the Contractor 1 position. 


Taina Litwak, CMI
Litwak Illustration Studio
13029 Chestnut Oak Drive
Darnestown, MD  20878

mobile: 240-750-9245


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