The Rhode Island Historical Society (RIHS) seeks an experienced, energetic, and organized full-
time Museum Collection Manager to oversee the care, preservation, and documentation of the ca.
25,000 artifacts comprising the museum collection, largely stored at the John Brown House
Museum, but also at the Robinson Research Center, the Museum of Work & Culture, and the
Aldrich House (headquarters). These objects include paintings, furniture, textiles, ceramics,
armaments, tools and equipment, sculptures, silver and metal objects, toys, and relics and
Reporting to the Deputy Executive Director for Collections and Interpretation, the Museum
Collection Manager is responsible for ensuring the overall safety, preservation, maintenance, and
documentation for objects in the RIHS’s museum collection, on view, in storage, and on loan.
Additional duties include receiving, preparing and cataloguing new acquisitions; planning and
organizing exhibition-related movement of objects, including packing, shipping, and insurance
for collection exhibitions as well as for incoming and outgoing loans to/from the RIHS;
managing the files (paper and electronic) of collection contents and images of items in the
collection, and supervising interns and volunteers.
About the Rhode Island Historical Society
As the fourth oldest state historical society (founded in 1822) employing about 30 staff, the
RIHS owns and manages vast historical collections and operates two National Historic
Landmark properties in Providence: the Aldrich House (1822) and the John Brown House
Museum (1788). The latter is the state’s most significant 18th century domestic structure, and
houses about 25,000 artifacts, which constitute the museum collections. A third property at 121
Hope Street is the Mary Elizabeth Robinson Research Center, which houses the bulk of our
physical research collections (nearly 100,000 volumes, over 9 million feet of film, and over
1,200 manuscript collections filling nearly 8,000 cubic feet). Finally, the RIHS manages the
Museum of Work and Culture (MOWC) in the former mill-town of Woonsocket, on the border
with Massachusetts, which interprets the immigrant and labor history of the northern part of the
state through a series of semi-permanent exhibitions. The RIHS is the main locus of research and
interpretation of Rhode Island’s history, serving nearly 30,000 people a year, of which over
6,000 are K-12 schoolchildren.
The Museum Collection Manager (MCM) is a creative partner in facilitating public access to the
museum collection, facilitating the research and preparation of exhibitions, and assisting in the
preparation of proposals for collection-oriented projects and grant applications. In collaboration
with Education and Collections staff, the position supervises access to collection for study,
exhibition, and research. The MCM oversees all aspects of collection care, following and
implementing accepted museum professional standards and practices: maintains catalog records
and creates new records both digital and paper; maintains paper files and archives; prepares
documentation including provenance history for new accessions and research documentation for
deaccessioning; and coordinates and manages documentation for deeds of gift, bequests, and
The MCM will: collaborate with other collections staff to establish object conservation priorities
and plan and implement the safe storage of all works in the collection; facilitate the conservation
and preservation of artwork including coordinating conservation treatments; oversee monitoring
of environmental conditions, including RH & temperature, in all collections spaces;
communicate with Facilities Management concerning problems and/or cleaning needs; and
maintain museum portions of the disaster plan, facility reports, and collections management
Minimum Required Qualifications
- Bachelor’s degree in history, art history, museum studies, or a closely related field;
- At least 2-3 years of full-time experience working with art and artifact collections in a
Knowledge, Abilities, and Skills required
- Demonstrated knowledge of museum collections management standards and best
- Demonstrated project management experience;
- Ability to gather and record data, compile information, and prepare reports;
- Ability to foster a cooperative work environment;
- Database management skills;
- Knowledge of conservation and preservation techniques and/or procedures for museum
- Requires handling of average-weight objects up to 25 pounds and/or standing and/or
walking an average of four (4) hours per day.
Commensurate with experience, hiring salary range for this position is $40–45K per year.
Benefits: Health care insurance, single plan starting the 1 st of the month following date of hire.
TIAA/CREF retirement plan after completing twenty four (24) months of employment. Life and
Disability Insurance. Sick time, holidays and vacation time.
Please e-mail a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three references
to email@example.com with “Museum Collection Manager” in the subject line. Review of applications
will begin May 15, 2021 and will continue until the position is filled. No phone calls, please.