The Russian History Museum (RHM) is seeking a highly motivated and experienced individual with a proven track record in managing collections of historic materials to serve as its Director of Collections. The Director of Collections will be responsible for the stewardship of RHM’s collection and related initiatives, including accessioning and cataloging materials in the museum, archival, and library collections; database and records management; preservation and conservation; proper storage and display of materials; administering loans; maintaining proper documentation; digitization and digital asset management; and creating and implementing relevant policies and procedures. The Director of Collections will play a key role in sharing RHM’s outstanding collections with a growing audience. The position will report to the Executive Director and will work closely with RHM staff and the Collections Committee, developing short- and long-term strategy and executing priorities as they pertain to stewardship of the collections.
RUSSIAN HISTORY MUSEUM
The Russian History Museum is a dynamic organization with an extraordinary collection of artifacts, archival documents, and published works. The museum promotes the understanding and appreciation of the rich culture and history of Russia and the Russian emigre experience. Located on the grounds of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY, RHM presents engaging exhibitions and programming to a growing audience. Today, the collection holds approximately 3,000 museum artifacts, 450 linear feet of archival material, and a library of over 48,000 cataloged volumes. In recent years RHM has attracted national and international attention through its popular online educational programs and participation in exhibitions in the U.S., Germany, Russia, and the U.K.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Develop, update, and implement plans, policies, and procedures relating to collections management and development in accordance with best practices and standards
- Identify priorities for collections management and participate in annual budgeting process and strategic planning
- Plan and implement cataloging and inventory projects for existing materials and new acquisitions, including the cataloging and photography of museum artifacts; original and copy cataloging of published works; and the processing and creation of finding aids for archival collections
- Administer and maintain databases used to catalog and publish the collections, including the museum’s collections management system, the OPAC (Koha Library Software), and archival management system
- Conduct research on materials in collections to enhance catalog records
- Manage acquisitions, accession and deaccession processes
- Organize and maintain all collections and donor records
- Manage incoming and outgoing loans
- Ensure proper storage and re-housing of collections for their long-term preservation, establishing plans for future storage needs
- Evaluate conservation needs, identifying materials for professional conservation and coordinating with outside conservators
- Identify collections management projects requiring specialized skills, recruit contract employees, and oversee special projects to their timely completion
- Recruit interns and volunteers, train and supervise them and any RHM staff assigned to work on collections management and cataloging projects
- Collaborate with RHM staff in creating exhibitions and public programming, sharing research and new discoveries with other members of the RHM team
- Work with the Collections Committee and the Executive Director to identify, recommend, and secure new acquisitions to develop RHM’s collections through purchase or cultivation of donors
- Participate in fundraising initiatives to support collections needs (e.g. grant-writing, campaigns, and donor cultivation)
- Oversee digitization initiatives, metadata creation, and implementation of digital asset management
- Manage interlibrary loans, research requests, rights and reproductions, and research visits
- Represent RHM at professional conferences and other events
- Liaise with researchers and museum, library, and archival professionals to promote the use of RHM’s collections
- Write content for RHM website and other publication platforms, both internal and external, to promote and raise awareness of the museum’s collections
- Other duties as assigned by the Executive Director
QUALIFICATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS
- Master’s degree in museum studies, library science, archival studies, history, or related field
- Minimum of three years of collections care experience in a cultural institution
- Ability to plan, direct, and report on collections activities and projects
- Proven track record of successful project management and supervisory experience
- Thorough understanding of standards and best practices in managing collections of museum, library, and archival materials, including object care, cataloging, record-keeping, technology, and conservation
- Organized, competent, detail-oriented, proactive professional with the ability to work well under deadlines, problem solve independently, and work within a team
- Excellent abilities in writing, speaking, communication; strong interpersonal skills
- Proficiency with computer technology and software, including Microsoft Office, Google Workspace, and image editing software
- Must consent to and pass a background check as condition of employment
- Current driver’s license
- Reading knowledge of Russian language strongly preferred
- Grant writing, fundraising experience in support of collections projects preferred
- Experience managing digital collections/humanities projects preferred
Applicants who do not meet the qualifications above are encouraged to put in writing precisely how their background and experience have prepared them for the responsibilities of this position and by providing appropriate references.
Long periods of sitting and daily use of a computer. Occasional travel to meet with prospective donors and attend conferences and events. Working occasional nights and weekends to assist with promotional events. Ability to lift, carry, and/or move up to forty pounds unassisted. Visual acuity to see and read paper documents; hear conversation and respond to verbal instructions. Manual dexterity for handling fragile documents and objects.
Office and museum, library, and archives located in non-ADA compliant buildings. Hours are flexible and some work may be done remotely.
Full-time – 40 hours per week
Medical coverage, employer-matched retirement savings after one year, paid time off, flexible schedule, possibility to work some hours remotely. Some relocation assistance, if needed, will be provided to a successful candidate who currently does not reside in the area.
Send cover letter and resume to Michael Perekrestov, Executive Director: firstname.lastname@example.org. No phone calls please. “Director of Collections” should be placed in the subject line. Consideration of candidates will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.