Sr. Collections Manager

Company Name: 

Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology/Harvard University

Address: 

11 Divinity Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138

Contact Name: 

Catherine Cezeaux

Phone: 

6174950582

Email: 

cezeaux@fas.harvard.edu

Job Description: 

The Senior Collections Manager is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Peabody Museum’s Collections Management department, overseeing storage, collection movement and organization, cataloging and inventory, rehousing, and access to the Museum’s archaeological and ethnographic collections. The position supervises collections management staff, proposes departmental plans and priorities in collaboration with the collections and curatorial divisions, establishes and maintains workflows, and solves administrative issues. Reports to the Director of Collections.  For more information and to apply go to https://hr.harvard.edu/search-jobs  position 55885BR.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Hires, trains, and supervises collections management staff; oversees workflow; and creates and manages staff schedules including direct coordination with all museum departments for collections management staff support.
  • Supervises work and processes, assigns ongoing tasks and short-term projects, and has primary responsibility for evaluating performance and performance management for staff in the archaeological and ethnographic collections management team, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program, and Peabody Museum (PMR) research department.
    • For archaeological and ethnographic collections management team, oversees collections cataloging, processing, and inventory; ensures successful completion of complex projects; establishes procedures for collection storage, rehousing, and object movement.
    • For IPM program, supervises collections management team members and coordinates with conservation department on priorities, goals, and training; coordinates with conservation and facilities management staff when required; manages requests for IPM support from other museum departments.
    • For PMR department, supervises access to collections for external researchers; coordinates researcher reviews and collaborates on visits with curatorial department; troubleshoots complications; supervises PMR support of Peabody Museum curatorial projects including exhibitions, publications, and other special projects.
  • Responsible for management of and access to objects storage rooms, both on- and off-site.
    • Oversees proper storage and rehousing of archaeological and ethnographic collections in accordance with professional standards and best practices.
    • Collaborates with curatorial department to implement to develop and implement strategies for the care of sensitive cultural heritage collections.
    • Manages safe movement of collections throughout the museum, including supervising object movement to Harvard classes and class supervision when requested.
    • Ensures proper inventory control over permanent collections.
    • Directly responsible for ensuring all collections storage rooms are secured and activities in storage (e.g., repatriation consultation, class visits) are conducted safely and securely.
    • Identifies needs for new equipment and supplies.
    • Responsible for risk management for collections storage spaces including security, fire safety, environmental health and safety; serves on Museum’s emergency preparedness and response team
  • Assists with the development and enforcement of the Museum’s collections management policies and procedures in collaboration with the collections division department heads and director of collections.
    • Identifies policies and procedures in need of review and/or revision.
    • Trains staff on procedural changes.
    • Reviews existing collections management and cataloging procedures and creates new processes and up-to-date workflows in close collaboration with the collections technologies department staff members.
  • Develops and manages budgets and departmental tactical planning.
    • Creates fiscal year tactical plan for collections management team, identifying specific tasks in alignment with the Peabody’s strategic plan and coordinating with other departments as needed.
    • Ensures collections management department goals are met while providing needed support to other departments on collections-related projects, managing conflicting needs as they arise.
    • Plans for long-term completion of archaeological collections cataloging master plan.
    • Determines departmental operating budget needs (e.g., museum-quality supplies and equipment) and works with the director of collections and deputy director of administration to secure funding.
  • Works with non-Peabody Museum departments including
    • Facilities management for building management and security as it relates to and impacts collections storage and exhibition spaces.
    • Harvard Museums of Science and Culture staff on object movement, exhibition installation supervision, and rigging of large objects into and out of exhibition spaces.
    • Negotiates with outside vendors and internal service providers.
  • Serves as a source of specialized information on collections management or storage.
  • Performs other duties as required.

Basic Qualifications

  • B.A. in anthropology, art history, or related field required; M.A. in anthropology, archaeology, or a closely related field preferred.
  • 7+ years’ experience in collections management in a museum setting and significant experience working with archaeological and/or anthropological collections.

Position Requirements:

  • Understanding of and commitment to the ethical stewardship of museum collections in partnership with stakeholder communities.
  • Experience in supervising permanent staff in a variety of collections management functions.
  • Advanced and demonstrated knowledge of museum ethics, standards, and best practices.
  • Knowledge of environmental hazards posed by museum collections and safe methods of working with such materials.
  • Knowledge of specialized museum collections services including packing and rigging of large objects.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team; multitask, manage complex projects, and meet competing deadlines; strong attention to detail.
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills; ability to establish priorities and achieve goals.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills required.

About the Peabody Museum

The Peabody Museum is situated on the ancestral and traditional land of the Massachusett people. It cares for over 1.2 million items from across the world, including cultural, archaeological, and osteological collections as well as extensive photographic and archival materials. The Museum is committed to the ethical stewardship of its collections through implementation of collaborative and culturally responsive care, interpretation, and engagement. We strive for a diverse, inclusive and equitable working environment and to act in ways that address the global challenges of climate change and environmental sustainability.