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Collections Technician

  • August 01, 2019 12:15 PM
    Message # 7807621
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

                                       

    POSITION DATA

    JOB TITLE: Collections Technician (CT)  

    DEPARTMENT: Museum (Collections)    

    REPORTS TO: Head Registrar

    DATE: August 2019

    POSITION OVERVIEW

    The Collections Technician is a key member of the Collections Department and oversees the receipt, storage, packing and unpacking, transportation, documentation, and other project management tasks concerning artifacts at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and its off-site storage location in Jersey City, NJ. The CT is responsible for the caretaking of artifacts in storage at the Museum and off-site, and also participates in the management and maintenance of those spaces.

    The CT will work closely with Collections Department registrars, collections managers, curators and conservators to carry out projects such as arranging shipments between storage venues, receiving and unpacking shipments, and devising and implementing storage solutions for collection materials. The CT will also oversee space management off-site and at the Museum and participate in decision-making about efficient use of collections storage space, which may involve relocating collections and/or researching and implementing custom storage furniture.

    Additionally, the CT will oversee project-based work taking place off site and at the Museum, such as condition reporting and packing outgoing loans, pulling objects requested for viewing, and organizing, tracking and making the collection available as needed for other collection-based work. For all of these activities, the CT will be responsible for tracking and recording object locations in the Museum’s collections management system.

    The CT will maintain a physical presence off-site and at the Museum and communicate maintenance needs to building management and/or the Museum’s operations department, ensuring that storage spaces are kept in good working order.

    ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS:

    • Plan and oversee the packing and transportation of collections between storage locations in connection with new acquisitions, exhibition installations and deinstallations, and other projects, and ensure collection materials are returned to storage in an efficient and safe manner.
    • Receive, unpack, and devise and implement storage solutions for new acquisitions and incoming loans arriving off site or at the Museum.
    • Coordinate shipping for new acquisitions in collaboration with the Head Registrar. As needed, act as courier for new acquisitions and loans.
    • Work with registrars and conservators to proactively plan for the long-term storage of especially vulnerable or oversized artworks and artifacts such as paintings, photographs, and World Trade Center steel. Plan and oversee the construction of crates and other specialty housing.
    • Work with registrars, curators, and conservators to make collection materials accessible for collection-based projects such as exhibition planning and appraisals.
    • Execute condition reports and pack objects for outgoing loans in consultation with conservation and registration staff.
    • Proactively plan and execute the movement of collections between storage facilities to ensure effective space management and the avoidance of overcrowding or unsafe storage conditions.
    • Ensure the orderliness and cleanliness of off-site and Museum storage areas in collaboration with other department staff. Report maintenance issues to relevant staff. Schedule and provide access for regular pest inspections.
    • Participate in exhibition rotations.
    • Participate in the Museum’s program for storing, handling, and exhibiting collection materials originating from Ground Zero.
    • Physically number objects with their accession number, as needed.
    • Order and maintain inventory of collection rehousing supplies.

    QUALIFICATIONS/SKILLS REQUIREMENT

    • A college degree and minimum of five years of prior museum or gallery work with demonstrated hands-on collections management experience are required. Master’s degree in museum studies or related field a plus.
    • Extensive experience with art handling as well as the safe movement, packing, crating, and shipping of collection material over short and long distances and familiarity with insurance considerations associated with such moves.
    • Strong knowledge of local art shipping providers.
    •  Strong knowledge of archival materials and their applications to various collection media. Strong knowledge of local and national vendors of archival materials.
    • In-depth knowledge of collection rehousing techniques for various media, including the ability to create custom storage containers and mounts from archival materials.   
    • Familiarity with museum object numbering techniques for three-dimensional artifacts, paper, and textiles.
    • Well-versed in current museum collections management principles and best practices.  
    • In-depth knowledge of museum registration principles and techniques.
    • Familiarity and previous experience with museum or gallery collections management systems.
    • Proficiency operating tools and art handling equipment such as pallet jacks and dollies.
    • Excellent written and oral communication skills and demonstrated ability to work well with Museum staff, donors, and vendors.
    • Must possess a driver’s license.   
    • Must be able to work independently.
    • The CT will be sensitive to the concerns of the museum’s multiple stakeholders and uphold the special trust and ethics that are represented in caretaking materials born of and related to the tragic events of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993.    

    PHYSICAL DEMANDS/WORK ENVIRONMENT

    The physical demands and work environment described in this job description are representative of those that the employee will encounter and are expected to meet to successfully perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

    While performing the duties of this job, the employee is required to sit, talk, listen, use hands to type data, touch, feel, reach with hands and arms, and dial the telephone, and use various collections management and art handling tools. The employee is also required to stand and walk. Vision requirements include close, distance, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus. Must be able to lift, pull, and push a minimum of 60 lbs.

    Protective equipment such as gloves, masks (respirator), and other PPE (personal protective equipment) may be required for some job functions in the museum and warehouse. 

    Work will primarily be conducted at the Museum premises in lower Manhattan and the Museum’s offsite storage facility in Jersey City, N.J., with occasional trips to a storage facility in Rotterdam, NY. All of these locations are climate-controlled. The noise level is usually low.

    • This job description is a descriptive list of the responsibilities and qualifications associated with this position and are not intended to be all inclusive. Employees are expected to also perform other business-related duties as assigned by the supervisor or other management.
    • The organization reserves the right to change, modify, or reassign job responsibilities, duties and scheduled work hours as per business needs.
    • This document is a communication tool and not intended as a written or implied contract of employment.
    • I have read and understand this job description. I agree to accept the responsibilities and duties as outlined.

    APPROVALS

    ______________________                                ____________              

     Employee Signature                                                Date  

     

    ______________________                                _____________              

     Department Head Signature                                  Date

                                                                                                                                                                                              

            

    ______________________                                _____________              

    Human Resources Director Signature        Date                                                                                                                                                                                           


The Museum Association of New York strengthens the capacity of New York State’s cultural community by supporting professional standards and organizational development. We provide advocacy, training, and networking opportunities so that museums and museum professionals may better serve their missions and communities.

Museum Association of New York is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. 

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