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Museum Collections & Programs Manager

27 Jan 2022 12:24 PM | Robyn Sumner

Title:  Museum Collections & Programs Manager
Reports to:  Executive Director
Supervises:  Volunteers, interns
Status:  Full time (40 hours per week)
Hours/Days:  Hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, with some non-traditional hours required for specific projects and events.

The Washington County Historical Society (WCHS) seeks an inventive, organized, and detail-oriented person to fill the role of Museum Collections & Programs Manager. The selected candidate will join our team as we reimagine the Miller House Museum. Our welcome room is nearing its fabrication phase and our newly envisioned Military exhibit is in the beginning phase of a two-year project. An ideal time to join our team! Our highly qualified board members and area experts are committed to working collaboratively with our new collections manager. If you are unfamiliar with Washington County, our team will be by your side to share the wealth of history of our county.

About the Washington County Historical Society

The Washington County Historical Society, founded in 1911, is an organization devoted to the preservation and promotion of the history and culture of Washington County, Maryland.

The Washington County Historical Society operates the Miller House Museum and Gardens, an 1825 townhouse located in downtown Hagerstown, Maryland. The museum gives visitors a look at life during the 19th century. It also maintains exhibits that highlight important events in Washington County history.

The Miller House is also home to the kinship Family Heritage Research Center, a library and archives devoted to regional genealogical research. kinship's collections include books, documents, photographs, audio and film, as well as a number of online databases. In addition, kinship offers consultations with our staff genealogist every Wednesday afternoon

Scope of Work: 
The museum collections manager is responsible for the safety, security, documentation, preservation, storage, and accessibility of object collections owned and borrowed by the Washington County Historical Society(WCHS), adhering to accepted professional standards and the Society’s standards, policies, and procedures.

Responsibilities: 

·       Ensure the safety, security, and proper storage and display of museum objects (on- and off-site)

·       Register and process museum objects (accessioning, cataloging, and digital imaging)

·       Manage museum collections records (both paper and digital), including object files, accessioning, cataloging, conservation, deaccessioning, exhibition, loan, research, and other records in coordination with collections committee chair

·       Manage museum collections database (PastPerfect); perform a monthly export of PastPerfect records to update the Society’s online catalog

·       Move and/or oversee the handling, moving, and transportation of museum objects and other materials

·       Oversee physical access to and proper handling of museum collections

·       Conduct guided tours of the Miller House Museum

·       Assist in kinship Family Heritage Research Center as needed

·       Create and manage digital images of museum objects

·       Oversee maintenance and monitoring of collections environments (security, climate, and pest management), and alert the Executive Director of any concerns

·       Prepare acquisition and other collections-related reports as required

·       Manage object conservation (in-house and outsourced)

·       Coordinate museum object deaccessioning, including arrangements for disposal with the collections committee chair

·       Prepare objects for exhibition; contribute to exhibition planning, development, installation, and deinstallation; assist with exhibition fabrication as needed

·       Monitor objects on display and assist with maintenance of exhibition furniture and materials, including cases, fixes, and lighting

·       Coordinate and document loans (incoming and outgoing), including scheduling, insurance, packing, transportation, and condition reports. Document all in PastPerfect

·       Maintain a working knowledge of the Society’s collections to effectively serve staff, researchers, and the general public 

·       Respond to requests for information about museum objects, including image orders in a timely manner

·       Interact effectively with the Board of Directors, volunteers, docents, media, corporate and community partners, WCHS members, and the general public in order to promote the best interests of the Historical Society.

·       Have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the mission and functions of the WCHS

·       Serve as a member of the collections stewardship team, working collaboratively to improve the management of and access to all of the Society’s collections

·       Respond to requests for technical assistance about museum collections care and management

·       Train and supervise volunteers and interns working on museum collections-related projects

·       Assist with the preparation and management of the collections annual and project budgets

·       Monitor museum department equipment, computers, and software

·       Other duties as assigned

Required Qualifications:

·       Minimum of Bachelor’s degree in history, American Studies, museum studies, or related field

·       Understanding of principles, ethics, and standards governing collecting institutions

·       Thorough knowledge of best practices in collections care and management

·       A minimum of one-year professional experience managing the care, preservation, and documentation of museum collections, especially object handling and housing; museum registration and cataloging; collections management software; and loan procedures.

·       Knowledge of best practices related to the digitization of collections

·       Technology competence and proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite, and PastPerfect Museum Software. Familiarity with Adobe and Canva software.

·       Experience with the preparation and installation of objects and printed, manuscript, and special collections in exhibitions.

·       Precise attention to detail; superior planning, analytical, problem-solving, organizational, and project management skills; and the ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects simultaneously

·       Excellent research, writing, and communications skills

·       Independent self-starter with the ability to function as a contributing team member in a project-oriented and shared decision-making environment

·       Ability to lift up to forty pounds, and perform moderate physical activity including climbing up and down stairs, climbing ladders, kneeling, bending, and standing for extended periods of time

·       Valid driver’s license

Preferred Qualifications:

·       Familiarity with Washington County/Maryland history and culture

·       Knowledge of intellectual property and rights and reproductions

·       Experience working at a historical society or other institution with museum, library, and archival collections

Compensation:

Salary range $32,000 - $34,000, DOE

Shared health care insurance

10 days of vacation and flexible compensation time for excessive hours, after 90 days of employment

Most major holidays including December 24th and December 31st.

How to Apply: Please send cover letter and résumé as a single PDF file to Robyn Sumner, Executive Director at exdir@washcohistory.org. Subject line of the email should read: Attn: Museum Collections Manager: [your last name].


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