This position is responsible for the care and professional management of all artifacts and related materials belonging or loaned to the Museum. The Registrar maintains accurate, comprehensive and current records for all aspects of artifact management including registration, condition, location, loan, exhibition and conservation records.
Job Summary: The Registrar is responsible for all aspects of care and documentation for the museum’s artifact, fine art, and photography collections, in paper-based records and in the museum’s database. This position manages both acquisition and deaccessioning processes, and acts as project manger for projects that significantly impact collections – such as improving storage conditions, and maintaining the museum’s two historic houses. The Registrar convenes monthly Collections Review Committee meetings at which decisions regarding new acquisitions and deaccessioning recommendations are made by a committee of staff members and community volunteers; this position also serves as an ex officio member of the Board of Directors Collections Committee.
Established in 1983, the Museum of Danish America (formerly known as The Danish Immigrant Museum) is located midway between Des Moines, IA and Omaha, NE on 35 acres of recreated prairie in the heart of the largest rural settlement of Danes in the United States. The museum’s mission is to “explore the Danish-American experience, the historic and modern influences of Denmark on the United States, and the continuing story of how a nation of immigrants shape American identity.” It is the only accredited national museum dedicated to collecting and interpreting the Danish-American experience. The museum has a collection of nearly 25,000 artifacts, an active traveling exhibit program, and a membership of over 3,000 from across the United States, Denmark and seven other countries. Guidance is provided by a twenty-five-member Board of Directors from across the United States and Denmark. It has a staff of twelve full-time employees, five part-time employees and an active internship program hosting Danish and American graduate students annually.
- Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree, with preference given to a Master’s degree, in Museum Studies or a related field;
- At least 2 years of experience in collections and/or registration is desirable;
- Experience with immigration studies is preferred, but not required;
- Excellent writing, project management, interpersonal and team building skills are essential;
- Strong computer skills required for research and administrative skills and experience in PastPerfect is helpful.
Salary: Starting salary commensurate with qualifications and experience (range of $38,000 to $44,000). Benefits package includes paid health insurance, paid short/long term disability insurance, paid vacation, and paid sick leave.
Applications will be accepted through May 17, 2021. To apply, submit a cover letter, resume and three letters of recommendation via email: firstname.lastname@example.org; via mail: Terri Johnson, Administrative Manager, Museum of Danish America, 2212 Washington Street, Elk Horn, Iowa 51531.
The Registrar is responsible for the care and professional management of all artifacts and related materials belonging or loaned to the Museum; maintains accurate, comprehensive and current records for all aspects of artifact management including registration, condition, location, loan, exhibition and conservation records.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities (Other duties may be assigned.)
- Maintains and updates all collections forms, procedures, and policies, and other artifact records, through both manual and electronic systems, in accordance with current museum standards.
- Maintains condition records for all artifacts, both owned by and loaned to the Museum; makes recommendations for conservation or special handling or care of artifacts that require particular care.
- Responsible for accessioning and cataloging, and the assignment and application of permanent numbers to artifacts.
- Maintains up-to-date location records on all artifacts in the Museum’s collections, on and offsite, as well as all artifacts on loan to the Museum.
- Conducts spot and complete inventories.
- Oversees all incoming and outgoing loans including packing, shipping, due dates, and all necessary paperwork and signatures for loans.
- Oversees all insurance and appraisals as related to the Museum’s collections and loans.
- Co-manages the collection database, and oversees the data entry of all paper files into PastPerfect.
- Monitors all collections areas, onsite and offsite, for cleanliness, changes in temperature/humidity, pest activity, and ongoing maintenance concerns.
- Plans and implements special projects in the collections area.
- Consults with donors about potential artifact donations.
- Responds to staff, board, donor, and public inquiries regarding the collections.
- Develops and monitors an annual budget.
- Adheres in the performance of duties to the professional code of ethics outlined by the American Alliance of Museums.
- Assists with writing foundation and governmental grants relating to collections projects.
- Maintains professional and technical knowledge by attending workshops, reviewing professional publications, and establishing professional networks.
- Chairs the Collections Review Committee.
- Supervises volunteers and interns working with the collections.
- Participates in planning and implementing facilities improvements and maintenance.
- Submits regular information to board members through board reports, annual reports, and monthly Collections Review Committee minutes.
- Participates in outreach through contributions to the Museum’s publications, articles to Den Danske Pioneer, and participation in Museum events and activities.
- Assists with exhibitions as needed.
- Serves as ex-officio member of the Board of Directors Collections Committee.
Performs other duties, included but not limited to duties as assigned, some of which may include the development and creation of a variety of copyrightable works (e.g., print, photography, film, music, visual arts, etc.) for distribution in any and all media and formats on a world-wide basis, all of which shall be for the benefit of the Museum.
This position requires training and supervision of collections interns and volunteers working in collections areas and/or with artifacts from the collection. It also requires supervision of contract employees working in collections areas.
To perform this position successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skills, and/or abilities required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Education and/or Experience
This job requires the minimum of a Bachelor’s degree, with preference given to a Master’s degree, in Museum Studies or a related field. At least 2 years of experience in collections and/or registration is desirable. Experience with immigration studies is preferred, but not required.
Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Ability to interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions. Must have a commitment to accuracy and a strong attention to detail. Ability to successfully communicate orally and in writing.
Experience with PastPerfect software is highly preferred. Must be literate in Word and Excel. Experience with additional imaging programs and digital media such as scanners and cameras also preferred.
Ability to read, analyze, and interpret museum industry publications, legal documents, and policy statements. Ability to respond to common inquiries or complaints from constituents, regulatory agencies, or members of the museum community. Ability to effectively present information to administration, public groups, other staff, and board of directors as requested or needed.
Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals. Ability to measure artifacts and spaces accurately.
For this position, the employee is regularly required to see, speak, and hear. The employee must be able to use hands and fingers and to reach with hands and arms. The employee is regularly required to sit, stand, bend, walk, and climb ladders. The employee must be able to lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
The noise level in the work environment is usually low to moderate. The work environment is indicative of a normal office setting.