Metadata Specialist – Getty Institute – Los Angeles, CA


The Getty Research Institute is dedicated to developing leading ways to access and discover collections, develop knowledge, and disseminate research. Our digital initiatives provide crucial support to these endeavors and the practice of art history in the digital age.
We are looking for a full-time Metadata Specialist to join our Digital Initiatives team and to work in collaboration with colleagues across the Getty Research Institute and Getty Digital. The Metadata Specialist will focus on complex metadata in order to support and enhance access and discovery as well as research applications and investigations, recognizing that metadata is critical for facilitating digital scholarship. The Metadata Specialist will be assigned to multiple project teams, will have the opportunity to contribute to such innovative initiatives as PhotoTech (to digitize the Getty Research Institute’s photo archives) and to leverage or enhance the Getty Vocabularies and Getty Provenance Index. The Metadata Specialist must be willing to work collaboratively, interfacing with content experts, project managers, software developers, and systems and semantic architects, to help plan and execute projects.


The candidate will demonstrate:

  • a high level of knowledge of international metadata standards used to describe digital resources and competency in related digital tools and programming languages such as OpenRefine and Python for metadata manipulation and enrichment
  • a good working knowledge of metadata applications relevant to key areas of digital humanities research, including text analysis, image analysis, network analysis, and geospatial analysis
  • a good working knowledge of data modeling, relational and graph databases, ontologies, and classification systems
  • competency in working in collaborative environments, including coordinating activities and ensuring smooth workflows as well as clear, consistent, and timely communications

Application Deadline: February 28, 2021 or until filled
*Due to COVID-19, the Getty campus is currently closed to non-essential staff members. This position will begin as a temporary work-from-home position; this is not a permanent remote assignment. The successful candidate must be a California resident when employment begins. Relocation assistance may be available.


  • Applies extensive knowledge of metadata standards and best practices to projects that involve metadata creation, editing, aggregation, and enhancement at every level of complexity
  • Directs or participates in projects applying project management best practices. This will include duties related to human relations, budgeting, reporting, purchasing, and approvals.
  • May lead a section or functional team by providing direction, training, and work review, organizing and assigning work, setting priorities, and following up to ensure coordination and completion of assigned work
  • Participates in departmental strategic and program planning to establish goals and priorities and ensures that institutional policies are consistently applied
  • Provides training on metadata practices and tools to professional staff and others
  • Documents policies, procedures, and/or editorial guidelines, in compliance with relevant standards
  • Participates in the design and development of user specifications, user testing, and evaluation tools
  • Serves as a key collaborator with Getty Digital in the development of workflows, systems and tools
  • Serves and collaborates on internal and external teams, committees, working groups, and other Getty entities as well as external groups and organizations as needed
  • May research, write, present, and publish about work activities, collections, and/or professional issues
  • May develop, promote, and implement new and evolving standards and best practices designed to create open, sustainable, interoperable, and trustworthy metadata
  • May contribute to discussions around rules and standards relative to the broader national and international communities


  • MA degree in art history, data science, library and information science, cultural heritage field or related discipline
  • Minimum of 7 years professional experience, preferably in an art-related or cultural heritage organization
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Substantial knowledge and technical expertise in computational analysis, as well as data analysis, management, and manipulation
  • Preferred: experience in project management

• â— May require some related supervisory experience

Apply Here

About John Pell

John Pell is an assistant professor and librarian at Hunter College in New York City.