Museum Registrar

Company Name: 

University of Southern California


3434 S Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90089

Contact Name: 

Stephanie Kowalick


Job Description: 

USC Museums collects, studies, conserves, and presents significant works of art across all times and cultures in order to connect people to creativity, knowledge, and ideas. Every day, art comes alive in the Museum’s galleries and through its exhibitions, programs and educational initiatives revealing both new ideas and unexpected connections across time and across cultures. USC Museums responds to the evolving needs and interests of the diverse audiences it serves by providing exhibitions, programming, research opportunities, partnerships, and resources designed to enrich campus and community life.

The Registrar will provide general oversight for documentation and care of the Museum’s diverse collections across campus, building on the museum’s longstanding role as a University-wide resource and cultural center for the surrounding community. The Registrar will be responsible for management of collections records and database, administer all collections care and management documentation for permanent collection, incoming, and outgoing artworks, and applying best practices to the work of the museum. This position requires precise attention to detail, strong communication and analytical skills, as well as the abilities to manage multiple projects simultaneously and to work collaboratively and diplomatically.


  • Manages collections records and database, including accessioning/cataloguing of new acquisitions of all works of art and ensures completion of all appropriate documentation, inspection and documentation of objects entering and leaving the museum, including but not limited to incoming/outgoing loan forms, facility reports, insurance, and shipping, as well as respond to public inquires and research requests on collection and exhibition archives.
  • Oversees production of and manages object image files and other media and integrates into the collection management system; generates reports from database as needed.
  • Participates in establishing data standards; develops and expands the museum’s digital assets, including history, provenance, status, condition, location, and insurance of each object; establishes consistency in nomenclature and terms.
  • Works with University staff and recommends, develops, and implements necessary collections management policies and procedures, for storage, galleries, study, and collection public art, and external loans.
  • The Registrar will work with other Registrars at Pacific Asia Museum and Fisher Museum of Art to support the campus-wide Collection Compliance Program and assist the team in current projects including by not limited to collection database. Upgrade, provenance research, NAGPRA compliance, facility and storage upgrade, public art project, etc.
  • The Registrar will work in a team to conduct inventory on a regular basis. Update location movement and outdated object information, replace non-archival packing materials, and assign proper identification tag and label when needed.
  • Monitors art storage and exhibition spaces for temperature/humidity, environmental hazards, safety, and cleanliness.
  • Handles inventory audits; helps identify works requiring conservation treatment.
  • Serves a liaison to classes and visiting scholars accessing art in the collection.
  • Supervises museum collections registration interns.
  • Assists with preparation, packing, and shipping as needed.
  • Follows museum best practices in all work for the museum.

Required Skills/Abilities

•            This position requires precise attention to detail, ability to work collaboratively and independently. Must be physically capable of lifting up to 35 lbs, climbing stairs and ladders, have experience handling, packing/unpacking and transporting artworks in different medium. A deep knowledge about collection database is required.


Minimum Education:

Bachelor’s degree in Art or Art History is required

Minimum Experience:

Knowledgeable about collection database, digital technologies, metadata standards, and best practices in collection cataloguing; experience in art handling and collection management. Ability to work with team members in a dynamic work environment.

Preferred Education:

Master’s degree in Museum Studies preferred

Preferred Experience:

3+ years of experience working in a museum, a non-profit art organization or an art gallery involving collection management.

The hourly rate range for this position is $26.50. When extending an offer of employment, the University of Southern California considers factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the candidate’s work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, federal, state and local laws, contractual stipulations, grant funding, as well as external market and organizational considerations.