Cataloguing Assistant, Museum Collections

Position overview:

The cataloguing assistant will help identify and expand 300-500 catalogue records for objects in the museum collection containing diverse organic and composite materials. The two-year project goal is to bring this subset of object records within the digital cataloguing to the highest standard for internal use and for public accessibility. The project encompasses artwork with components originating in Europe, North America, Asia, and the Caribbean with concentrations in hornware, ivories, bone, leather, and shell. To confirm identification of materials, s/he will coordinate consultations with curatorial staff, conservators, and external experts. S/he will participate in public engagement with the project through museum-sponsored events, particularly a materials identification workshop for professionals. The cataloguing assistant’s original research will be featured as a web description for each object and incorporated into online or print publication opportunities as they arise. This opportunity is funded by an National Endowment for the Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Grant.

Essential Job Duties:

  • Collect and enter comprehensive, accurate cataloguing data into the museum’s digital database (EMu) including: physically describing and measuring objects, identifying materials and manufacturing techniques, condition, researching dates, origin information, ownership, publication and exhibition history.
  • Create digital photography and attach images.
  • Pursue research questions related to objects, clean up data discrepancies, and support registrars’ efforts to integrate new findings into objects’ records.
  • Coordinate object material identifications with staff and external experts, including arranging for laboratory testing.
  • Compose a “web” description label for each catalogued item.
  • Provide content and contribute to social media posts regarding organics collection findings.
  • Create, coordinate and host a professional workshop for intensive organic materials identification training.
  • Provide content and support to public programs and school programs for grant-related activities.
  • Carry out project goals to meet established deadlines, sometimes working independently.

Other Skills and Abilities:

  • Strong computer skills, especially in keyboard and collection database work.
  • Strong attention to detail and pursuit of accuracy.
  • Strong writing and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to analyze, communicate and resolve problems.
  • Digital photography and photo editing skills.
  • Basic knowledge of the standard vocabulary, terminology, and manufacturing methods relating to American and European 17th- through 19th-century decorative arts.
  • Knowledge of professional museum standards, ethics, and experience with museum procedures, including methods for documenting and handling art and artifacts.
  • Sufficient stamina to work at computer for extended periods, with appropriate breaks.
  • Ability to lift and reach objects overhead and maneuver in small and tight spaces.
  • After in-house training, must be able to pass care and handling of objects test.
  • Ability to lift up to 20 lbs. to move objects within a museum space.
  • Occasional stooping, kneeling, and crouching to read accession numbers on small objects.


Education Minimum:  MA in art history, history, anthropology or related discipline.

Education Preferred:  MA or PhD in related discipline.

Experience:  One or more years of work experience with museum decorative arts objects and collections management databases.

Full-time, temporary position with benefits (35 hours per week)

Start date:  July 1, 2019

End date:  June 30, 2021

Budgeted Annual Salary:  $40,000.00

 To apply, send a letter of interest, resume/curriculum vitae, to: . Please reference Requisition # 1209.  Deadline for applications:  May 31, 2019

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