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Collections Manager

Expectations for all MIT employees:

As a member of the MIT community, supports MIT’s Non-Discrimination Policy and respectfully interacts with others in the community, and continues to expand their understanding of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion best practices. Represents MIT with professionalism, ethics, integrity, and mutual respect towards colleagues and internal/external clients. Keeps current and proficient with necessary skills and knowledge, including computer skills. Self-identifies training needs relevant to work area and responsibilities. Demonstrates initiative, flexibility, openness to change, and accountability. Works within a team environment, providing support to and collaboration with colleagues. Is expected to know and follow relevant Environmental Health and Safety Requirements.

Position Overview:

The Collections Manager is responsible for the general management, conservation, storage, transport and access to the MIT Museum’s collections. The Collections Manager supports the MIT Museum in its objective to make its collection of more than 1.5 million objects, plans, drawings, films, audio recordings, photographs and rare books accessible to the widest possible audience for use in research, teaching, exhibitions and programs. As a key member of the Collections Team, the Collections Manager supervises the collections assistants and works collaboratively with the curators, registrar, digital archivist, reference assistant, and other collections project staff and volunteers to support the museum and contribute to the educational and research mission of MIT. In addition, the Collections Manager works with the museum’s exhibitions team to oversee the safe transport and appropriate display of all display artifacts (either from the museum’s collections or on loan).

The MIT Museum will complete the relocation of its entire collection in August 2024. The successful organization and operation of its new off-site Collections Facility for collections processing, conservation, long-term care, research and teaching will be the immediate goal and top priority for the Collections Manager. In addition, the Collections Manager will have an important role in proposing and supporting the development of innovative ideas related to contemporary collections management as part of a forthcoming strategic planning exercise under the leadership of a new museum director.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

The MIT Museum Collections Manager is accountable for the successful execution, coordination, and documentation of a broad range of duties and responsibilities including the following:

Collections Management

•Responsible for the appropriate care of the museum’s physical collections.

•Oversees all object storage and movements and ensuring the safety and security of the collections.

•Leads the museum’s overall conservation and preservation planning efforts, developing as appropriate, policies and procedures to guide both short and long-term museum practice.

•In collaboration with curators, oversees all conservation and restoration projects.

•Plans and manages the logistics of packing, crating, and shipping of all artifacts for acquisition, exhibition, loan, and disposal. Manages art handlers, movers, riggers, and other specialists as required. Arranges (and participates as required) in courier trips.

•Oversees all required condition reports and assists the registrar with other loan arrangements including insurance, customs, ITAR and other special regulations governing the safe handling of artifacts while in transit.

•Plans and manages the logistics of packing, handling and transport of collections between the main museum and its satellite operations.

•Works closely with the museum’s registrar and the digital archivist to ensure the coordinated registration, care and secure documentation of both physical and digital collections.

•In collaboration with the registrar and digital archivist, supports the resolution and assignment of collection inventory and object numbers in the museum’s collections information management system and provides location control; manages regular inventories, audits, and spot-checks of the collections.

•Provides access to collections for appraisals, insurance and other outside inspection efforts.

•Ensures the museum is in compliance with collections care standards and best practices.

Safety, Security, and Environment

•Responsible for ensuring a safe and secure environment for the Collections Facility and for collections that are located at the main museum and its satellite facilities. Develops security standards and systems for all areas associated with collections care and/or display.

•Administers climate control system and monitors environmental conditions (especially temperature and humidity) and pest control in all spaces associated with collections and helps support facilities management for the entire museum complex.

•Serves as a liaison on collections-related concerns with MIT Facilities staff and appropriate building managers in non-MIT properties.

• Monitors gallery and collections workspace light levels, establishes appropriate standards and provides general guidance for staff.

•Develops and regularly updates the MIT Museum Facilities Report (confidential documentation provided to prospective lenders).

•Develops and implements emergency and disaster plans and procedures for the collections.

•In collaboration with registrar and MIT emergency management staff, oversees policies, procedures, and training associated with MIT’s Operations Continuity Management plan as relates to the museum’s collections.

•Participates in all security audits as required by the Institute, Insurance, MIT Police and external safety organizations.

Collections Facilities Oversight

•Oversees organization (planning, design, and implementation) and successful reopening and operation of the new off-site Collections Facility. TOP PRIORITY

•Manages off-site Collections Facilities including cleaning, trash removal (in collaboration with building owner), HVAC controls. Establishes a cleaning schedule to ensure these facilities are clean and neatly organized. Represents the museum in meetings with other building tenants to insure safety and security of collections operations.

•Works closely with Institute staff to ensure compliance with all federal, state, and local regulations associated the safe operation of these facilities.

•Oversees the selection, operation and maintenance of all specialized Collections equipment. Trains staff on safe operation of equipment. Liaises with MIT safety professionals to ensure museum compliance with policies, regulations, and laws.

•Oversees the management of all hazardous materials in the collections. Trains staff on safe operation of equipment. Serves as EHS Coordinator and liaison with MIT safety professionals to ensure museum compliance with policies, regulations and laws.

Collections Team and Museum Responsibilities

• Oversees collections assistants, temporary staff (as needed), volunteers and interns to handle both the successful resumption of all normal collections management operations.

•Participates in all Museum, Collections, Emergency Management, and Exhibitions meetings.

• Trains all museum staff, volunteers, UROPs, and interns, in collections handling, conservation and care procedures.

•Prepares budgets for collections management and facilities operations.

• Contributes to strategic planning and vision exercises offering new ideas and advice related to innovative collections management practices. TOP PRIORITY

•Contributes to grant-writing efforts for collections related projects.

• Contributes to the successful achievement of all Collections Team and Museum-wide special projects.

• Other duties as needed or required.

Supervision Received:

Supervision is provided by the Director of Collections; position requires ability to perform with minimal supervision.

Supervision Exercised:

Directly supervises a team of two collections assistants and additional temporary staff that are part of the current “Move Team.” Supervises contractors, other temporary employees and the work of interns, volunteers and students related to collections management functions.

Qualifications & Skills:



Bachelor’s degree required


A minimum of five years of experience working as a Collections Manager or similar position in a museum environment.


•Highly skilled in the handling of an exceptional range of objects and archival materials of all ages, sizes, materials, and conditions, including very large, complex artifacts requiring unusual handling and care. Experience managing art handlers, movers, riggers and other specialists.

•Exceptional knowledge of standards and best practices in collections management. Broad knowledge of conservation care as well as general museum policies, practices and procedures.

•Substantial experience with relational collections management databases, spreadsheets, and word-processing software.

•Possess the ability to maintain a high level of accuracy and exceptional attention to detail; prioritize workflow and meet timelines in a deadline driven environment; and show initiative.

•Demonstrated ability to manage multiple complex projects at once; to work independently as well as part of a team; and to make critical independent decisions.

•Possess excellent interpersonal skills and flexibility, a deep sense of responsibility, and a keen sense of diplomacy as well as the ability to work well and communicate effectively with a diverse group of museum professionals, vendors, students, faculty, administrators, alumni, prominent international scholars, lenders, collectors, and the general public.

•Ability to handle artifacts and archival materials of various shapes and sizes.

•Ability to lifting at least 35 lbs.

•Ability to stand or work on one’s feet up to seven hours a day, to work at heights, climb ladders and operate manual and motorized equipment lifting equipment.

•A driver’s license to travel to various sites on campus and the off-site collections facility; transport artifacts; and meet with potential donors to inspect artifacts.

Other Requirements:

•Some travel to participate in professional conferences and training.

•Must be able to work occasional extended hours during scheduled shipments, exhibition installations, or to participate in some evening and weekend events and projects.

•Deals with confidential information and/or issues using discretion and judgement.


•Certificate, Master’s degree or other specialist credentials in Museum Studies or related field.

•Experience working in science and technology-oriented institutions, or at MIT or other university or college.

•Experience with MIMSY XG collections database software system.

•Experience with digital imaging technology.

•Project management experience including budget tracking.

This role is an MIT Pay Scale 8. To apply, visit the MIT Career Portal.