Director of Archives and Collections

Company Name: 

390th Memorial Museum


6000 E. Valencia Road
Tucson, AZ 85756

Contact Name: 

Bill Buckingham


Job Description: 

Position Title: Director of Archives and Collections

Reports To:  Executive Director

Museum Background: 

The 390th Memorial Museum is in Tucson Arizona on the grounds of the Pima Air & Space Museum. The Museum was founded by veterans of the 390th Bombardment Group of the US Army Air Forces. This unit of American flyers and ground personnel, who served during World War II, played a key role in the defeat of Nazi Germany. The Museum’s vision is to become the premier national research and historical learning center focused on the 390th Bomb Group and its affiliated units, and their contribution to winning the air conflict over Europe. We use compelling exhibits, technology, and outreach programs to increase public understanding, appreciation, and awareness of their impact on maintaining our freedom.

The Museum has an impressive historic collections and archives, and a fully restored B-17 aircraft on indoor display. Over 120,000 people visit the 390th every year. This is an exciting time in the Museum’s development. Our workplace is collegial, respectful, collaborative, and supportive. Our Board, docents, and staff are strongly dedicated to our mission and vision. Please see to learn more about the Museum.

Position Overview:

The Director of Archives and Collections (abbreviated here as Director) is integral to assuring that the visual, historic, and educational experience of our visitors is exceptional. The Director will develop the Archives and Collections team, with passion and focus, to support the activities of this department. A key focus is reaching continually higher standards while providing visitors with progressively more engaging, educational exhibits featuring items from the Collections. The Director will manage the Museum’s Archives and Collections to support new exhibit development and tell engaging stories about the 390th Bombardment Group. She or he will be responsible for the operation of the Joseph A. Moller Library and Archives. 

The successful candidate will uphold the highest ethical curatorial standards in maintaining and protecting the Museum’s artifacts. The candidate will also display exceptional professionalism and willingness to grow and develop as a museum professional. This is a full time, exempt, salaried position. 

Annual salary range, depending upon qualifications: $49K to $58K

Core Responsibilities:

  • Is responsible for the condition of the physical artifacts within the Museum’s Collections, assuring that all items remain in the best possible condition. Makes recommendations on any physical plant changes needed to assure the best preservation environment.
  • Sets the schedule for rotating the portion of Collections that are on public display with items now in storage. 
  • Plays an important role in the development and design of new exhibits with a team of staff, volunteers, and contractors. 
  • Prepares the annual budget for the department and is responsible for adhering to it throughout the fiscal year.
  • Holds overall responsibility for the operation of the Joseph A. Moller Library & Archives, including the development, organization, cataloging, maintenance, and security.
  • Supervises the development of the Library and Archives databases and assure that they are safely backed up.
  • Assists other staff by providing historical information and images for public information and marketing purposes.
  • Ensures prompt response by Library and Archive staff members and volunteers to research requests.
  • Assists in the preparation of articles and features in periodicals, books, the Museum’s Square J Newsletter, and other Museum publications.
  • Assures that the Museum remains in compliance with conditions of the loan of the B-17 aircraft from the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.

Required Qualifications

The successful candidate understands the value and importance of historic collections and archives, and is exceptional at envisioning their use in first-class exhibits. The ideal candidate will exhibit creativity, analytical skills, excellent interpersonal skills, and a strong teamwork ethic. Dedicated to leading a team to continuous improvement and achieving ever-higher professional standards. Adept at supervising small teams of staff and volunteers. 

Additional requirements include:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in History, Museum Studies (museology), or Library Science, or a discipline closely related to the core responsibilities of this position.
  • At least four years of directly relevant museum archival or curatorial experience.
  • Knowledge and understanding of Museum archival principles, methods, tools, procedures, and techniques.
  • Strong knowledge of archival records management, principles, and procedures.
  • Knowledge of historical research methodology, principles, and procedures. 
  • Ability to approach and work with government agencies and civilian organizations, particularly in matters of artifact loans and acquisitions. 
  • Competent in the configuration and use of archival-related database programs.
  • Thorough knowledge of professional and ethical Museum standards.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
  • Proven ability to diplomatically work with all stakeholders.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint applications.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Relevant experience working in an air or space museum, or a closely related history museum.
  • Ability to draw or illustrate exhibit design concepts to allow stakeholders to visualize planned exhibits.
  • Knowledge of the role of the US Army Air Forces during World War Two.

Physical Requirements

Work will be performed in an office, the Museum, or offsite. Moderate physical activity, including walking, is involved. 

  • Requires occasional handling of artifacts 15 to 20 pounds. 
  • Ability to climb ladders and navigate the tight interior space of the B-17 aircraft to monitor its preservation condition. Must be able to conduct typical exhibit installation and repair tasks. 
  • Ability to safely use small hand tools commonly employed during exhibit installation and adjustment.

Application Instructions                                                                                          Provide a persuasive cover letter that describes your experience and interest in this position and the 390th Memorial Museum. Include a resume that illustrates your relevant experience to the specific requirements and activities of the position and how these connect with your passion as a museum professional. You are encouraged to include a photographic portfolio of exhibits you have developed. Email application to Bill Buckingham, Executive Director, at  Applications without a cover letter and resume will be rejected.

Also provide at least three professional references along with telephone numbers and email addresses. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled. Applications lacking the above listed documents will not be considered.

The Museum is a non-smoking, drug-free environment.

Equal Opportunity Employer