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Supervisory Museum Registrar

Department:  Collections

Title: Supervisory Museum Registrar

Status: Full Time; Overtime Exempt

Work Schedule: Generally, comprises ten eight hour days in a two-week period. In addition, some evening hours, weekend work, exhibition installation and shipment coverage may be required in order to meet job requirements. 

The incumbent also serves in an “on-call capacity” assisting with operational needs requiring immediate attention and emergency situations during non-scheduled work hours.

Travel: 0 – 10%

Job Summary:

Supervises collections management and registration areas, including: budget and insurance oversight; the permanent collection and loans; as the delegation of projects and areas of responsibility to direct reports; and additionally gives assignments related to the mansion care, displays, and special exhibitions to direct reports.

Organizational Relationships

  • Reports to the director of collections. 
  • Serves as direct supervisor of assistant collections manager, preparator, conservation technicians, contractors, and others as assigned. 
  • In accordance with the strategic plan, institutional goals, director of collections, and the executive director, assigns and delegates areas of responsibility and projects to direct reports, providing managerial and budget oversight.
  • Functions as a member on exhibition teams, collaborating on their organization, schedules, staffing, and installations and de-installations. Responsible for all aspects of exhibition loans, shipping, and insurance. A hands-on member of exhibition installations and annual mansion cleaning. 
  • Collaborator and co-coordinator of projects with security, facilities, horticulture, and collections management.

Leadership Responsibilities: 

  • Hires, trains, and evaluates direct reports, interns, and volunteers.
  • Fosters professional growth of direct reports.
  • Generously shares expertise in museum registration and collections management with staff with various levels of museum knowledge.
  • Demonstrates credibility and trustworthiness by building a track record of working as a team member, designing and modifying projects as a member of a group.
  • Possesses outstanding listening, interpersonal communication, and presentation skills.

Key Projects:

  • A new onsite Collections Center slated for completion at the end of 2020. The supervisory registrar will be on the project team, working closely with architects and subcontractors, and will be planning/implementing the collections move.
  • Two or three special exhibitions per year, which often blend the display of permanent collection items with loans
  • Annual mansion closure and cleaning
  • Oversees object conservation by engaging contract conservators for assessments/treatments
  • One grant-funded assessment/project per year (i.e. risk assessment, emergency preparedness plan)
  • Collaborative projects with facilities, security, and exhibition design; from campus space planning/use to historic site upkeep

Budget Responsibilities:

  • Prepares and oversees annual budget related to collections management and registration, including conservation, photography, exhibition loans and shipping, art preparation, mansion upkeep, and installation. Collaborates with exhibition design, security, and facilities on budget preparation for multi-department projects.
  • Obtains cost estimates and tracks expenditures.
  • Maintains payment schedule for museum insurance policy and important subscriptions.

Performs Museum Registration Duties:

  • Functions as the registrar for permanent collection, loan administration, and temporary exhibitions.
  • Negotiates loans, coordinates conservation, framing, crating, packing, shipping, insurance arrangements, indemnity applications, and lender terms. Issues agreements and documents.
  • Acts as courier and assigns courier duties to direct reports.
  • Establishes and maintains borrower and lender files. Plans and coordinates schedules and responsibilities of lender couriers.
  • Reviews borrowing institution facility reports; updates Hillwood facility reports.
  • Reviews insurance policies to determine coverage and exclusions. Prepares insurance documentation for collection and exhibition loan objects.
  • Supervises acclimatization, unpacking, and crate storage.
  • Coordinates movement of objects into exhibition areas; collaborates with exhibition design on project phasing and object install.
  • Completes receipt of loaned objects and condition reports.
  • Advises staff on registration considerations in exhibition development and progress meetings.
  • Reviews collection purchase and exhibition contracts for compliance with best practices and protocol.
  • Plans and documents domestic and international packing and shipping arrangements.
  • Uses TMS to maintain collection and exhibition loan records; collaborates to plan upgrades to expand system use and improve workflow; provides training sessions.
  • Collaborates on departmental grant proposals; reviews and edit drafts of grant proposals.
  • Prepares scopes of work and sole-source justifications for contract services. Works with agents, brokers, and shippers to ensure cost-efficiency, timeliness, and safety of loan shipments. Processes all related invoices.
  • Prepares application for U.S. Federal Indemnity coverage; acts as liaison and advises staff on indemnity requirements.

Supervises direct reports in the maintenance and preservation of the Hillwood collection and the mansion, and assigns work related to exhibitions and mansion annual cleaning. Typically, this is the work of direct reports, although supervisor may also perform as part of the overall collections management team. For example:

  • Organizes, catalogs according to museum standards, houses appropriately, and tracks the movements of all objects in the collection, including acquisitions, temporary loans, long-term loans, and related materials.
  • Creates and maintains records in TMS database for all objects in the collection.
  • Schedules photography of objects in the collection; completes ingest into databases.
  • Oversees and implements care, organization, and maintenance of the collection storage areas.
  • Monitors and makes recommendations for proper environmental conditions for the storage of materials in the collection. Compiles data and provides such data to appropriate staff.
  • Creates, plans for, and maintains Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system in the collection storage areas. Compiles data and provide to appropriate staff.
  • Engages contract conservators on the maintenance and preservation of collection objects and historic features of the Hillwood campus, including the mansion interior and exterior, gardens, and outbuildings.
  • Offers assistance and training in the handling of collection materials to staff and interns, as needed.
  • Presents lectures and demonstrations about collection materials and their care.
  • Collaborates on design and budgeting with exhibition design on casework and mounts.
  • Performs annual inventories of permanent collections and loans on exhibition and in storage
  • Expedites all object moves, ensuring that procedures are followed for the safe installation and de-installation of art objects.
  • Oversees contractors working in Hillwood’s galleries or storage areas.
  • Installs and de-installs exhibitions.
  • Acts as courier for domestic and international loans.
  • Packs, ships, and crates objects.
  • Monitors collections during special events.
  • Responsible for weekly cleaning of exhibition spaces and regular cleaning of storage spaces; maintains clean and orderly collection storage spaces.
  • Coordinates annual cleaning of mansion including cases, objects in cases, chandeliers, and floors.
  • Responsible for maintaining lighting in exhibition spaces, including changing lamps and transformers as needed; ensuring that lamps are properly focused; and maintaining inventory of lighting supplies.
  • Routinely and systematically monitors condition of objects on exhibition or in storage.
  • Stabilizes and/or treats art objects, including silver, ceramics, wood (furniture), frames (including gilded surfaces), glass, and outdoor sculptures.
  • Documents all object treatments with written reports and photographs.
  • Mats and frames objects as needed; creates mounts for display as needed.
  • Coordinates with other departments (security, horticulture, and facilities) as required to maintain mansion and outdoor sculptures.
  • Assists in periodic condition surveys of collection objects.
  • Performs, on a daily basis, visual inspection and maintenance of exhibition spaces and storage areas. Dusts and lightly cleans collection objects as needed according to standard best practices. Monitors gallery and storage environment via electronic data loggers and reports irregularities. Designs and constructs housing for permanent collection storage and transportation. Expedites object move requests and records changes of location.  Assists in the periodic and annual inventory of the collections.
  • Maintains inventory of tools, equipment, and supplies for exhibit preparation and collections maintenance; submits requests for supplies and materials as needed to supervisor.

Knowledge and Experience

  • 5 to 9+ years’ experience as a museum registrar
  • 2 years as a supervisor in the workplace, or in a leadership role on museum committees, or museum exhibition project teams
  • Master’s Degree in Collections Management, Art History, Museum Studies, or related
  • Experience working in a historic house/estate environment is A+; experience with temporary exhibitions in a historic house/estate environment A++
  • Demonstrated experience developing registration processes and approaches that have resulted in organizational success for collections. 
  • Solid understanding of local, state and federal laws and regulations governing import and export of works of art
  • Experience with international loans
  • Excellent computer skills and familiarity with collections management databases
  • Experience in completing team projects in the workplace
  • Demonstrates a passion for Hillwood’s mission, campus, facilities, and strategic goals.

Skills and Abilities:

  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work in a dynamic team-oriented environment
  • Self-directed and highly organized as well as able to manage multiple projects
  • Ability to create lasting partnerships with both internal and external stakeholders
  • Excellent writing and editing skills
  • Has exceptional organizational skills and is motivated by efficiency.
  • Regularly communicate in English professionally in person, over the telephone, through email and other electronic means.
  • Access and work at a proficiently level with job related computer software (i.e. Microsoft Office, TMS, NetX).

Work Environment and Physical Conditions:

The physical requirements and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job or may be encountered while performing the essential functions of this job.

The employee is regularly required to communicate professionally in person, over the telephone, through email and other electronic means, move about their work area, between buildings and the campus grounds, handle various types of media and equipment, and visually or otherwise identify, observe and assess.   The employee is occasionally required to lift up to 15 pounds.  

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with a disability to perform the essential functions to the extent Hillwood may do so without undue hardship.  The term “qualified individual with a disability” means an individual who with or without reasonable accommodation can perform the essential functions of the position.    


The preceding job description indicates the general nature and essential duties and responsibilities of work performed by employees within this classification. It may not contain a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of employees to do this job.  Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time not does it proscribe or restrict the tasks that may be assigned.  This job description is subject to change at any time.

To apply:

We are a progressive, equal opportunity employer and all candidates are encouraged to apply.  You can do so by sending a cover letter explaining your interest and your resume to: