Collections Manager for Hawaiian and Pacific Cultural Resources

Company Name: 

Bishop Museum


1525 Bernice St
Honolulu, HI 96817

Contact Name: 

Marques Marzan


808 847 8220


Job Description: 

Bishop Museum was founded in 1889 in honor of Bernice Pauahi, who was the great-granddaughter of King Kamehameha I, by her husband Charles Reed Bishop. Its original purpose was to house the royal family heirlooms of the Kamehameha Dynasty. Having expanded its mission over the course of more than 130 years, the Museum now stewards over 25 million cultural treasures and biological specimens, each of which provides evidence and gives voice to the stories of Hawai‘i and the broader Pacific. These include cultural artifacts, archaeological materials, historical photographs, films, works of art, audio recordings, books, manuscripts, and more than 22 million specimens of plant and animal life across seven scientific areas of study. Today, Bishop Museum is the world’s premier museum for Hawai‘i and the Pacific, recognized internationally for its primary source materials. This “library of life” and archive of Oceania cultural heritage connects the people of this region to their ancestors and chronicles changes in Hawai‘i and the Pacific over time and, in so doing, builds a bridge between the past and the future. Bishop Museum is located in Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

Bishop Museum with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is launching a new program, Building a Pacific Pipeline: Bishop Museum & The Te Rangi Hīroa Pacific Curators and Caretakers Program. The program is designed to build capacity, develop indigenous curatorial practices, and diversify the pipeline of future cultural heritage professionals. In collaboration with the British Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Te Papa Tongarewa, the program will open new pathways for historically underrepresented groups to pursue work in the museum field, and demonstrate how museums can change their practices and positively impact their communities.

The first phase of Building a Pacific Pipeline will increase staffing in Bishop Museum’s Cultural Resources Division by hiring two curators, a collections manager, and a collections technician to join a team that will represent a new generation of curators and caretakers who will steward the one of the best collections of Hawaiian and Pacific materials in the world. Bishop Museum is an ideal learning laboratory for examining how indigenous collections are understood, interpreted, and cared for. These four positions are permanent Bishop Museum positions.

The Collections Manager of Hawaiian & Pacific Cultural Resources is responsible for administering the care and maintenance of collections and associated records in the Department, to preserve and facilitate the transmission of knowledge both tangible and intangible contained in and generated from collections. The Collections Manager supports the priorities and objectives set forth by the Curator(s) of Hawaiian & Pacific Cultural Resources, supervises collections staff activities and manages activities associated with collections in accordance with established collections management policies and procedures for collections preservation, care, and use.

Duties and Responsibilities

-- Maintains overall responsibility for the preservation, care, and use of Hawaiian & Pacific Cultural Resources collections, together with other Collections Managers, unless the care of a specific collection or group of collections has been designated to specific individuals.

-- Supervises and coordinates the training and work of collections staff, interns, and volunteers and encourages their professional development to manage the collections safely, efficiently, and effectively.

-- Facilitates and coordinates needs and work required for the research, preservation, conservation, preparation, digitization, documentation, sharing of knowledge, and community engagement associated with collections.

-- Takes the lead in developing and writing grant proposals to support proper care, processing, and access associated with assigned collections.

-- Supervises and participates in the processing of transactions to ensure that accessioning to and deaccessioning from the collections are in accordance with Museum and department policies and procedures, and federal and state law.

-- Supervises and participates in the identification, recording, and organization of the collections according to departmental and disciplinary standards, as well as cultural practices to enhance access and retrieval of materials for study, use, and exhibition.

-- Plans, arranges, and maintains storage systems, monitors and controls environmental conditions, and appropriately secures the collections to ensure the physical welfare of the collections and associated records.

-- Develops and maintains retrieval systems to enhance access to and use of the collections, and associated information. Assists with safe collections access to facilitate and control use, and responds to inquiries to provide accurate and appropriate information.

-- Provides guided tours and explanations to public groups to demonstrate the collections’ value, care, and use, and to inform the public of Museum resources.

-- Supports exhibit development processes by providing information and access to collections, and participates in collections preparation, handling, and installation.

-- Performs other duties, as assigned, to accomplish the goals of the Museum.