Collections Manager

Company Name: 

High Desert Museum


59800 S. HWY 97
Bend, OR 97702

Contact Name: 

Kristen Campbell


541-382-4754 ext391


Job Description: 

Title:                                      Collections Manager
Division:                                 Exhibitions and Collections   
Classification:                         Full-time, exempt
Direct Support:                       Sr. Curator of Exhibitions and Collections

Supervises:                              N/A

Salary Range:                          $52,000+ DOE


About us

Since opening in 1982, HIGH DESERT MUSEUM has brought together wildlife, cultures, art and natural resources to promote an understanding of North America's High Desert country. We do so through indoor and outdoor exhibits, wildlife in natural habitats, living history demonstrations and dynamic programs on a beautiful, 135-acre campus in the pine forest. The Museum is a nonprofit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is a Smithsonian Affiliate, was the 2019 recipient of the Western Museums Association’s Charles Redd Award for Exhibition Excellence and was awarded the 2021 National Medal for Museum and Library Services. During the 2018-19 fiscal year, 195,000 visitors enjoyed the Museum.

The Museum is located in Bend, Oregon, a fast-growing, charismatic city nestled against the Cascade Range at the edge of the High Desert. We strive to be inclusive, culturally humble, relevant, curious, and mindful. As a team, we work together to wildly excite and responsibly teach, creating connection to and dialogue about the High Desert.

About this job and what you’ll do

As collections manager, you play a pivotal role in the High Desert Museum’s exhibitions and collections department. You oversee the day-to-day operations and management of the collection, maintaining and improving the object records in the database, conserving and organizing objects, improving and enhancing the collection through physical improvements and digitization projects, facilitating the use of the collection by researchers and other users (including descendent communities), and training and supervising volunteers and students. You are responsible for establishing and maintaining high standards of collections care, utilizing best practices including inventory, storage, monitoring environmental conditions, housing, cataloguing, and providing access to the collections. You will also be part of receiving, preparing and cataloguing new acquisitions; planning and organizing exhibition-related movement of objects, including packing, shipping and insurance for collection exhibitions as well as for incoming and outgoing loans and contracts to/from the HDM; managing the database of collections contents and photography of the collection; and managing rights and reproduction.

You also support the needs of other HDM departments including Exhibitions, Education and Programming, and Communications.

In addition, you play a vital role in helping coordinate and facilitate the production and installation of temporary and permanent exhibitions within a dynamic team of curators and exhibit design professionals.

About who you are

You are a skilled and self-directed manager of the collection and are comfortable leading the collection management work at a museum. You are also a skilled planner, organizer and communicator and have a strong interest in museums or cultural institutions. You can navigate multiple activities at once and have a keen attention to details. From being a creative problem solver to having strong organizational skills, you also have a team-oriented perspective and work collaboratively in a multidisciplinary setting. You are familiar and have experience with collections with Indigenous objects, have an understanding of the region’s cultural history and have worked with the NAGPRA process. You have sensitivity and openness to different types of advisors, colleagues, and partners. You are patient, have an interest in exhibitions and the role of collections in exhibitions. You value collaboration and learning new things, and you enjoy working with a team to accomplish shared goals.

Want to learn more?

For a detailed job description listing the essential functions of this position and the education, experience, and skills requirements, click here.

Importantly, we recognize and honor that the qualifications required to excel in this position can come from a range of both professional and lived experiences. In the job description we describe what we believe to be important qualifications for a candidate to have while remaining open to the diversity of experiences that can lead to these skill sets. Position descriptions are often presented in a way that leaves qualified candidates feeling unwelcome, intimidated, uncomfortable and/or unqualified to apply. Recognizing that, we strongly encourage anyone who feels passionate about this work and believes they have what it takes to thrive in this role to apply.

Want to apply?

Please send a resume & cover letter to:

The Museum provides an equal employment opportunity to all persons without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/transgender status, age, disability, veteran or marital status, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.



The High Desert Museum wildly excites and responsibly teaches through innovative, interdisciplinary experiences, creating connection to and dialogue about the High Desert.