Manager of Collections and Registration

Maine, United States
Salary Not Specified
Apr 08, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time
Job Description
Museum Business Operations and Engagement
Pay Rate Type:
Employee Type:
Job Summary:Colby College Museum of Art
Full-Time, Exempt, Salaried, Administrative Staff Appointment

The manager of collections and registration leads both long-range planning efforts and day-to-day activities relative to the care and stewardship of the collections. Reporting to the deputy director, this position provides important leadership relative to collections care, shaping and enforcing collections management policies that reflect the highest museum standards and best practices to safeguard the museum’s collections and loans for future generations. The manager of registration and collections supervises the collections team, which includes the registrars, senior preparator, and digital project developer, and leads their collective work to ensure the physical and environmental care of collections and loans as well as to provide physical and digital access to collection objects and records. The manager of collections and registration is responsible for legal contracts with donors, lenders, vendors, insurance and customs brokers, and borrowing institutions. The manager works closely with the registrar for collections and the digital project developer to maintain the museum collection management system and all collection-related aspects of the museum website. They develop and manage budgets related to the storage, insurance, handling, conservation, photography, digital collection management, and registrarial aspects of exhibitions. They also serve as part of the museum managers team, which meets regularly to plan and facilitate cross-functional operational work across the museum.

The Colby College Museum of Art is a collecting and teaching museum dedicated to the preservation, display, and interpretation of the visual arts. We embrace within our collections works of art from diverse cultures and historical periods, with a focus on American art, and commitment to collecting and exhibiting contemporary art. We manage these resources for the benefit of the Colby College community, the region, and the nation, and we aspire to display works that embody the highest standards of achievement.

Working to advance equity and inclusion in the field of American art—and, by doing so, in the wider world—is core to our mission. We feel the urgency of national and campus conversations on inequality and are keenly aware of the unique responsibility that we have as an academic art museum—as a place where we can listen, ask questions, and challenge assumptions—to engage in this dialogue, and to act. We affirm the Colby Museum’s commitment to multidisciplinary teaching and learning and our potential for deep engagement with students will be leveraged in this effort toward fighting racialized violence, injustice, and inequality; and we encourage inquiries from candidates who will contribute to the diversity of our College, including its cultural and ethnic diversity.

The collection is one of the Colby College Museum of Art’s most distinctive and important resources, advancing the academic and public mission of the College, and offering diverse holdings with a focus on American and contemporary art. The American Heritage Collection— which includes 76 works by American folk artists and was donated by Edith and Ellerton Jetté—established an early emphasis on American art. Significant gifts and purchases over the decades have made the Colby Museum one of the nation’s premier institutions of American art. The gift of the Lunder Collection in 2013 was the most transformative and includes and constitutes one of the most important art collections ever to be donated to a liberal arts college. Beyond the Lunder Collection, the Museum’s modern and contemporary collection also showcases the work of significant 20th- and 21st-century American artists, including John Marin, Fairfield Porter, Marsden Hartley, Terry Winters, and Alex Katz, who has donated more than 700 works to the Museum. Site-specific sculpture by Richard Serra and Sol LeWitt, as well as important recent gifts from the Alex Katz Foundation have strengthened the Museum’s impressive contemporary collection. Photography is now significantly represented with a 2020 gift of over 500 works from The Tsiaras Family Photography Collection. More information on the collection may be on the museum’s website:


Collections care and stewardship

  • Work with director and deputy director, curatorial and collections colleagues to maintain and update collection management plan
  • Work closely with registrar for collections to provide preventative care and conservation of collection
  • Manage loan requests for works from the collection, working closely with registrars and curatorial team to evaluate requests and make recommendations
  • Oversee storage spaces on and off site to ensure proper care and materials. Monitor environmental conditions, manage storage budget and agreements with offsite storage companies
  • Ensure compliance with museum policies and AAM best practices for collection stewardship, maintaining and updating museum facility report, disaster plan, and art-handling policies and practices
  • Work closely with museum security manager to maintain and enforce policies and procedures to protect the collection
  • Work closely with college risk management on contracts and to maintain insurance policies. Negotiate insurance rates for blanket policy and special exhibition rates. Arrange national indemnity when applicable

Collections access

  • Manage EmbARK collection database, and related website interface. Work with EmbARK technical support at Gallery Systems and Colby ITS to ensure integrity of the collection database and resolve issues with internal software, server, or EmbARK web kiosk
  • Work with academic engagement colleagues and Colby faculty to establish and maintain guidelines for curricular and cocurricular access to the collection
  • In collaboration with curators and members of the engagement team, identify priorities for improvements to digital access and work with digital project developer to execute these
  • Identify and prioritize changes to the types of data collected on artists and artworks in order to facilitate the teaching and research of more diverse histories of art
  • Work closely with the digital project developer to ensure ongoing maintenance and advance improvements to digital collection access for Colby faculty and students as well as public access through the website interface and EmbARK.

Management, supervision, and administration

  • Supervise collections team, establishing a culture of collaboration, inclusion, and mutual support
  • Serve on museum managers team, contributing to operational solutions and positive museum culture
  • Project and track annual expenses related to collections care
  • Work with curatorial, administrative, and engagement colleagues to create exhibition and collection installation schedules, and to prepare and manage logistics and budgets for loan exhibitions and travelling shows
  • Identify and assist in grant writing for conservation and collection imaging funds
  • Work with and provide information on collections management areas of opportunity and need for collection care to museum leadership and the collections and impact committee of the museum’s board of governors.
  • Continue professional development and sharing of best practices with peers nationally through participation in professional conferences and seminars on collection care and management
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred in museum studies, art history, or a related field.
  • A minimum of five years of experience working with museum collections and registration; significant experience with storage management and collections management systems, preferably EmbARK or TMS, and digital asset management
  • Proficiency in and demonstrated knowledge of current registration practices and principles
  • Personnel management and budget development and administrative experience
  • Knowledge of ethical standards and legal matters relating to the management of museum collections
  • Ability to manage confidential information and exercise discretion
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office software and Google applications; comfort with or ability to learn basic Adobe Creative Suite tools
  • Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills; demonstrated ability to synthesize information and communicate key points
  • Excellent organizational skills, ability to consistently meet deadlines and follow through on tasks, and attention to detail
  • Strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Collaborative, constructive, and positive approach to work
  • Strong work ethic, flexibility, and proven ability to work both independently and collaboratively as a member of a diverse community
  • Appreciation for the value of a liberal arts education and commitment to fostering an equitable work environment supportive of people from different cultures, backgrounds, and life paths
  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally as needed; valid driver’s license required and must meet the College’s Fleet Safety Policy requirements


The manager of collections and registration works closely with the director and deputy director, collections and installations teams, curators, museum managers, and colleagues throughout the museum, they frequently interact with faculty, staff, students, alumni, museum donors and visitors, and outside vendors.


General open office and campus environment. Position involves sitting, although frequent movement is necessary. Computer usage involving repetitive hand/wrist motion is also necessary. Position requires regular use of email, database, and web-based collaboration tools as well as an ability to prepare, design, review, and proof visual materials for presentation.


Interested candidates should apply electronically by clicking the "Apply" button on the Colby Careers website. Please submit a letter of interest, resume, and the contact information of three professional references. Materials should be addressed to:

Manager of Collections and Registration - Search Committee
Office of Human Resources
Colby College
5500 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, ME 04901-8855

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