Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for Digital Archivists


Budget amount varies


Sep 22, 2017 - 11:59 pm




RELEASE DATE: August 31, 2017
DUE DATE: By September 22, 2017 at 11:59PM

The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) stimulates and supports arts and cultural activities, ensuring public access to the arts. With the mission to strengthen the quality of life in Los Angeles, DCA promotes arts and culture as a way to ignite a powerful dialogue, engage LA’s residents and visitors, and ensure LA’s varied cultures are recognized, acknowledged, and experienced.

The Department of Cultural Affairs maintains art collections and archives for the purposes of promoting and managing the City’s Public Art, Grants, Community Arts, historic preservation, and curation programs. Currently, DCA is developing a digital archive related to the management and preservation of the Hollyhock House, Frank Lloyd Wright’s first architectural project in Los Angeles. The Hollyhock House Archive contains more than 100 historic documents including blueprints, sketches, and photographs related to the House.

DCA’s archival and collections needs also include, but are not exclusive to, the Public Art Division’s implementation of a collections management system related to the Murals, City Art Collection, Arts Development Fee, and Public Works Improvement Art Program; the establishment of an archival collections management system to organize and preserve the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery’s historic materials including artist correspondence, catalogs, exhibition images, and inventory lists; and the development of a digital library of DCA-published art books and exhibition catalogs.

This Request for Qualifications (RFQ) will allow DCA to create a pre-qualified list of up to ten (10) digital archivists who demonstrate the professional capacity to oversee a department-initiated project on the preservation, digitization, and publication of collections and archival materials. The first assignment will focus on preservation and digitization of materials in the Hollyhock House Archive. The selected candidate from the pre-qualified list will assist in DCA’s efforts in improving public access to historic and collections documents related to the House and other programs.

Pre-qualified archivists should have experience in collections and archive management, digitization, and arts database management. Experience with historic preservation, public art administration, arts and cultural curation, and/or museum collections is highly desirable.

Experienced archivists must demonstrate the vision, experience, and professional qualifications required to perform the following duties:

  • Evaluate asset inventory
  • Create a data management plan (DMP)
  • Develop and update asset finding aid
  • Scope digitization work for the pilot phase
  • Coordinate digital imaging and preservation with technical service provider
  • Acquire and set up archive/collections management tool
  • Ingest materials within a CMS/DAM environment
  • Develop metadata taxonomy appropriate for historic preservation and program management
  • Acquire intellectual property and licensing information
  • Train staff on the collections/archive management system
  • Coordinate web publishing of the image assets with DCA’s digital team
  • Assist in the production of the project reports


The Pre-Qualified list will be active for three (3) years, with the option for DCA to renew the list for an additional three (3) years. Selection will be based on demonstration of professional experience and quality and innovation of past work. Pre-qualified archivists will have the following experience and skills:

  • Experience working with (CMS, DAM) systems that manage collections, archives, and digital assets. Experience with Omeka, Collective Access, and TMS EmbARK is preferred
  • Expertise in collections and archive management and intellectual property rights
  • Understanding of digital imaging and visual document preservation
  • Knowledge in archival standards (such as EAD)
  • Familiarity with GitHub, and open source technology is highly desirable
  • Experience with web publishing and web standards related to UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) is preferred
  • Experience with project management and coordination between multiple organizations

Once selected to the Pre-Qualified Pool, archivists will be invited to interview first for the Hollyhock House Archive project and then for specific collections projects as opportunities arise.

This RFQ is open to applicants residing in the Southern California area, including the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura. Employees of the City of Los Angeles are ineligible to apply.

A selection panel will review all applications received in response to this RFQ, and select up to ten (10) archivists for the 2017 Pre-Qualified Roster of Digital Archivists, which will remain active for three (3) years from the date of the selection panel. Applicants will be scored in the following areas:

  • Experience
  • Professional Training/Degree/Professional Affiliations
  • Quality and Innovation of Past Work
  • Professionalism and Thoroughness of Application Materials

Once selected, pre-qualified archivists will be eligible to develop proposals as archive projects are initiated by DCA. Upon receiving a conservation project and throughout all project phases, each archivist will be required to comply with City codes dealing with safety, accessibility, sustainability, and/or other issues, as appropriate for the project.

All applications must be submitted via this form. The deadline is 11:59 PM on Friday, September 22, 2017. Incomplete applications, and any applications submitted after the deadline, will be deemed ineligible and not be considered.

A complete application must include:

CONTACT INFORMATION including full name, mailing address, telephone and email.

STATEMENT OF INTEREST (no more than 500 words) that describes the applicant’s interest, experience, and expertise in archiving and digitizing documents. Please provide information about the applicant’s scope of practice and whether digital archiving is a primary activity.

CURRICULUM VITAE / RESUME (PDF format only, four [4] pages maximum uploaded as an attachment). The CV or resume should include pertinent experience, education, training, and professional archive organization affiliations.

PAST SAMPLE WORKS List three (3) digital archive projects that have been completed in the last three (3) years. Briefly describe each job, the applicant’s role, and discuss the design and goals of the digital archive.

DCA reserves the right to decline all applications to this RFQ, and/or cancel this RFQ, or any roster of pre-qualified applicants, at any time. Contractors are subject to the requirements stated in the Standard Provisions for City of Los Angeles Contracts. This RFQ is subject to the City’s Campaign Finance, Contractor Responsibility, Equal Benefits, Equal Opportunity, Living Wage, Minority / Women Business Enterprise, and Slavery Disclosure Ordinances, as well as any other ordinances in effect in the City of Los Angeles.

The Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) supports the creativity of local artists by funding and partnering with the City’s arts and cultural communities. The City demonstrates an ongoing commitment to arts and culture through DCA’s ongoing activities, including community arts programming, cultural grants, marketing, development, public art, performing arts, and youth arts and education programs. DCA stimulates and fosters the creation of arts and cultural experiences throughout the diverse neighborhoods of Los Angeles.

For more information about the RFQ, email Wendy Hsu, Senior Project Coordinator / Digital Strategist at, or call 213.202.5537.


Receive notes about art, culture, and creativity in LA!