Intern, Database Project, Documentary Educational Resources (DER), Watertown MA

DER is seeking interns to help develop a comprehensive database of our film and video collection, including film metadata, cataloging information and ancillary holdings (such as transcripts and study guides) for the DER collection, which includes over 800 titles of significant ethnographic, anthropological and social documentary films.  We envision both short and long-term goals for the project.  In the short term, we are hoping to develop a flat database that contains the most essential information about our films and that can be used to drive the content on our website. In the long term, our goal is to create a comprehensive database that is valuable to researchers in anthropology, visual anthropology, cinema studies and related fields.  

Film metadata and other information currently resides in several different databases and on our website (  There are also MARC records for most of our films.  We are interested in using tools such as Collective Access and PB Core (which was designed as an extension of Dublin core specifically for archiving moving image media). The database will include systems for tagging films in terms of geography, genre, and subject areas (using the Ethnographic Thesaurus) among other fields. Internship tasks could involve compiling data from existing sources, developing fields and tagging systems and cataloguing films and other materials, depending on a students interests and abilities. 

DER was established by pioneering ethnographic filmmakers John Marshall and Timothy Asch, whose films were among the founding collection of the Smithsonian's Human Studies Film Archive.  DER staff are working closely with partners at the Smithsonian, as well as at the Library of Congress Folklife Center on the design of the database. 


Alice Apley
Executive Director
Documentary Educational Resources
101 Morse Street
Watertown, MA 02472