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Collection Manager

National Building Museum
Full Time
Washington, DC 20001
Posted 6 days ago
Job description

Organization Summary

The National Building Museum inspires curiosity about the world we design and build.

We are a private, nonprofit institution, created by Congress in 1980 to commemorate American achievements in architecture, design, and engineering and to encourage excellence in the building arts. Today, the National Building Museum transforms understanding of the history and impact of architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, and design. Through exhibitions, educational programs, and special events, we welcome all ages to experience stories about the built world and its power to shape our lives, communities, and futures.

Our Commitment

At the Museum, we pursue diversity and endeavor to create an inclusive and accessible environment for our staff, visitors, stakeholders, and Board members. We value diverse perspectives and believe the power of diversity enriches us all. Creating an inclusive environment is critical to every individual’s work. We are an equal opportunity employer, and we encourage candidates from historically underrepresented groups to apply.

Position Description*

Under the direction of the Senior Registrar, the Collections Manager is responsible for the processing, maintenance, digitization, and preservation of artifacts in the Museum’s collection. The Collections Manager monitors the environment the artifacts are stored in and coordinates adjustments with the General Services Administration (GSA), manages Collections Committee meetings, facilitates research requests and image licensing, manages the collections database and website, and serves as the primary point of contact for the permanent collection.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities*

Process new and outstanding accessions into collection in accordance with current museum standards.

  • Monitor physical condition and security of objects in the permanent collection and recommend preventive measures or possible conservation treatment work as needed.
  • Ensure that the environment of the collection storage areas is stable, clean, and secure.
  • Monitor temperature and humidity in the collection and galleries and coordinate adjustments with building engineers.
  • Review potential donations to the collection, present to Collections Committee, and serves as primary contact person for donors.
  • Manage Past Perfect collections database and associated Past Perfect Online collections website/portal.
  • Manage interns and volunteers on collection related projects.
  • Supervise researchers and provide access to collection as well as perform research requests and handle licensing requests and paperwork.
  • Assist with specialized tours, workshops, and provides general assistance to Museum operations as needed.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


Master’s degree in museum studies, public history, architecture, or a related field

  • 5 years of experience working with museum collections
  • Knowledge of proper archival and collections management techniques, including accessioning, cataloging, conservation, and storage practice
  • Advanced knowledge of architecture and history preferred
  • Knowledge of correct object handling techniques. Keen spatial awareness and ability to move within constricted spaces
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Familiarity with museum collections databases, especially Past Perfect
  • Self starter that can work independently
  • Creative and a problem solver
  • Ability to work well in a team environment

What We Offer*
Full-time employees are eligible for the following benefits

  • Medical, Dental and, Vision coverage
  • 403(b) plan with matching
  • Generous PTO policy
  • 11 paid company holidays
  • Museum discounts
  • Free on-site parking
  • Flexible work scheduling
  • Mission-driven impact and much more!

ADA Specifications*

  • Position requires working with potentially hazardous photographic materials and associated chemicals. Proper gloves and protection will be provided.
  • This is an active work position that requires the ability to move about the collections storage areas.
  • Position requires being on one's feet up to 8 hours per day.
  • Employee may be responsible for moving objects up to 45 lbs. and working on tall ladders when needed.

To Apply*
Please visit our website at to view all of our current job openings and apply. A resume and cover letter are required for consideration.
The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the individual(s) assigned to this position. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and skills required. Management reserves the right to modify, add, or remove duties and to assign other duties as necessary. In addition, reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of this position.

Job Type: Full-time

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