Anthropology Collections Manager

Position Summary: This position assists the curator and is the primary collections manager for the Anthropology Department. The Collections Manager will help facilitate the management of the department’s collections, records, collection personnel, facilities, and equipment. Such duties may include cataloging collections, engaging in scientific research, assisting in exhibit preparation, and engaging in educational activities in any field relating to the objectives and purposes of the department.

Specific Responsibilities:

Collections Management

  • Acts as working manager of the department collections including preparing and maintaining collection records, databases, literature and specimens including cataloging artifacts, organizing and storing objects, and digitizing collection records.
  • Supervises collections volunteers, student interns, and temporary staff.
  • Ensures that artifacts are properly prepared, preserved, handled, and stored.
  • Ensures that adequate and up-to-date records are maintained for all collection-related transactions including development, revision and maintenance of digital cataloging and loan tracking systems; tracking all objects through accession, cataloging, loan, and de-accession.
  • Continues ongoing development, management, and maintenance of collections databases, including digital images.
  • Ensures that artifacts collected or otherwise acquired by the department were obtained in accordance with professional standards and applicable laws including obtaining required permits and filing appropriate reports when necessary.
  • Ensures that collections are secure from destruction by insects and other pests including monitoring and documenting pest infestations, arranging for fumigation of collections, and working areas as necessary.
  • Arranges loans and exchanges of artifacts.
  • Provides information on department collections and collection management policies and procedures to researchers, students, or other investigators.
  • Assists in preparing and revising the department’s policy and procedures document including the collection policy, procedures manual, and the voucher collection guidelines.
  • Researches and recommends updated curatorial procedures and storage methods, including updated software and file management methods for digital collections.
  • Solicits, reviews, and selects artifacts and other materials donated to the department.


  • Answers questions relating to any area of anthropology, identifies artifacts, provides information in the care and handling of the collections, provides reference information to staff, professional organizations/institutions, students, scholars and the general public, responds to inquiries by phone, mail, email, or in person.
  • Organizes and participates in open houses and other special Museum events.
  • Participates in the docent training program.
  • Organizes, hosts, and coordinates meetings and symposia sponsored by the department or Museum.
  • Serves as naturalist on Museum sponsored field trips and assists in the preparation of relevant information regarding these field trips.
  • Develops exhibits relating to anthropology in conjunction with exhibits and education staff, including exhibit concept, content, design, label writing and editing, specimen preparation, supervision of specimen model construction, and assistance with installation.
  • Contributes anthropological artwork as requested for Museum publications.


  • Provides data and/or prepares department reports and annual reports.
  • Assists in the preparation of grant and contract proposals, administers collections, and archaeology grants and contracts received.
  • Assists in department budgeting and tracking department income and expenses.


  • Recruits, selects, schedules, trains and supervises assistants, students, and volunteers.
  • Ensures that personnel records and time cards for the above-listed personnel are properly maintained.
  • Provides assistance to research associates.

Professional Involvement

  • Participates in workshop, courses, lectures, seminars, and field trips to broaden background and abilities to carry out department and Museum duties listed above.
  • Consults or collaborates with other specialists on research or Museum science.


Essential Requirements:

  • M.A. in anthropology or museum studies or extensive archaeological lab experience or 4 years in similar position in a museum
  • Experience in museum techniques and collections management 
  • Experience with collections management databases, as well as with digital archiving and data management software 
  • Experience in original scientific research and subsequent distribution of information through publications
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, multitask, manage complex projects, and meet competing deadlines, impeccable attention to detail
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, ability to set priorities and achieve goals
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Understanding of and commitment to the ethical stewardship of museum collections in partnership with stakeholder communities, ability to treat objects and human remains with care and dignity
  • Experience in the supervision and training of volunteers and interns or related experience
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills including an ability to interact with the general public 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with archive digitization, document scanning and processing, and related digitization, and file management software 
  • Experience with collections database administration or database migration
  • Experience with formal consultation and implementation of NAGPRA, including inventory of human remains and artifact collections, cataloging, collections documentation, and determinations of cultural affiliations
  • Research experience in California archaeology, particularly in the central coast region

Work Environment:

  • General office environment with occasional work throughout the Museum’s facilities (exhibit halls, conference rooms and galleries) with occasional research work outdoors
  • Frequent work on computers (repetitive movement – typing)
  • Standard scientific research laboratory environment with frequent sitting, standing, walking, climbing stairs, and bending with occasional lifting of light to moderate loads (10-25lbs)

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