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You are here: The Job Explorer > Job Description > Curatorial/Museum Specialist Senior

Curatorial/Museum Specialist Senior Duties and Responsibilities

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Purpose of Classification:

Oversees museum collections or special collection including managing, researching, cataloging, accessing and preserving, and establishing written policies and procedures. Plans and coordinates production of museum exhibits and conducts extensive research on objects in the collection.

Distinguishing Characteristics:

This is third in a series of three classifications and is distinguished from the Curatorial Specialist in that incumbents have management responsibility for collection preservation and storage. It is distinguished from the Exhibit Specialist series in that the primary purpose of this series is research, cataloging and preservation as opposed to exhibit design and preparation.

Examples of Duties:

  • Supervises, trains, evaulates and coordinates the activities of subordinates.
  • Oversees management of collection including handling, preservation, storage, maintenance of retrieval system and documentation; evaluates collection and determines priority of needs.
  • Develops and revises written policies and procedures for care, conservation, safety, preservation, storage, documentation, and use of museum collection.
  • Plans, selects objects, researches and designs museum exhibits; determines type and theme of exhibitions appropriate for audience.
  • Plans and creates storage systems and facilities by determining arrangement of objects and lay out of storage area and regulating conditions such as temperature and humidity according to curatorial standards.
  • Determines most effective packing and shipping method for collections and exhibitions including framing, packing and arranging transportation both nationally and internationally.
  • Determines insurance values for works of art and assures that all works of art, either in house or traveling, are properly insured; assesses risks associated with lending and shipping art.
  • Catalogs museum objects; develops and maintains computerized record/retrieval system of collection; oversees and assists with documentation, inventory, accession and cataloging of collection and all other useful information pertaining to objects.
  • Researches museum objects in order to catalog and document accurately; utilizes findings for instructional and informational purposes; researches collection to find specific object(s) upon request.
  • Monitors access and use of collection; establishes necessary policies and procedures on how objects can be photographed and examined, for what length of time and conditions for loan of objects.
  • Maintains contact with collectors, donors, art institutions, museum and university personnel in acquisition of special collections.
  • Develops special projects such as preparation of presentations or lectures regarding museum collection.
  • Prepares exhibition and catalog budgets.
  • Trains and oversees work of students and docents.
  • Writes scholarly papers and lectures, assists supervisor in grant writing.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of curatorial standards.
  • Knowledge and skill in cataloging, conserving, accessioning, and preserving museum collections.
  • Knowledge and skill in collection and exhibit management.
  • Skill in research methods.
  • Skill in both verbal and written communication.

Minimum Qualifications:

Master's degree in Anthropology, Art History, Museum Studies or related field AND one year museum curatorial and/or registration experience; OR, Bachelor's degree in Anthropology, Art History, Museum Studies or related field AND three years' museum curatorial and/or registration experience; OR, Seven years' museum curatorial and/or registration experience; OR, Any equivalent combination of experience and/or education from which comparable knowledge, skills and abilities have been achieved.


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