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Museum Registrar (12642)

Date: Oct 10, 2021

Location: Washington, DC, US, 20016

Company: American University


The Museum Registrar plays a key role in managing the museum operations and is a vital cultural resource through management of the museum collection and exhibition planning. Position is also responsible for coordinating, organizing, and stewardship of all artworks loaned, borrowed, exhibited and donated to the museum. The incumbent is responsible for the documentation and preservation of the Museum's Collection and manages the archives of the collection.

Essential Functions

  1. Collections Management - Maintain collection storage and database, and manage accessions and deaccessions, including documentation and location specifications. Conduct regular inventories of collections; identify and attend to conservation needs of the collection. Monitor condition of work in indoor and outdoor collection and implement strategies to minimize risk and determine the storage needs of collection. Establish and maintain detailed information on each item in the collections, including but not limited to photographic record of each piece.
  2. Exhibitions- Assist the Director and Curator, Associate Director, and Preparator in planning all exhibitions specifically through the negotiation of loan agreements, transportation contracts, and insurance both during transit and while on site. Maintain an archive of all exhibition records including, but not limited to, loan agreements, condition reports, and photos.
  3. Acquisitions and Loans - Assist in coordinating the Acquisitions Committee. Negotiate collection loans and process administrative paperwork regarding collection including receipts, loan agreements, Letters of Acknowledgement, insurance coverage and Deeds of Gift. Manages all aspects of outgoing and incoming loans including the creation and organization of condition reports. 
  4. Funding and Proposals – Oversee the collection budget and work with the Director & Curator and the Associate Director to confirm any budgetary obligations incorporated into loan agreements. Research, develop, and manage funding proposals for collections management and care with a focus on developing a long-term vision for a permanent collection that advances the museum’s mission and goals. 
  5. Educational Support - Train and supervise part-time staff and graduate assistants in collections management. Supervise student internship projects for the Departments of Art, Art History and Arts Management as requested. 
  6. Accreditation and Policy – Assist the Director & Curator and Associate Director in updating the collections management policy as needed.
  7. Supervision and Other duties as assigned: Hire, train, directly supervise and evaluate the performance of the Assistant Registrar. Perform other duties as assigned by Director and Curator.

Supervisory Responsibility

  • The Museum Registrar directly supervises 1 FT non-student employee.

Work Environment

  • The worker normally performs their job both indoors and outdoors.
  • The worker may be required to travel.
  • The worker occupies a physically demanding position which requires strenuous physical exertion such as frequent or constant lifting, pushing, and/or pulling of heavy objects in order to perform essential functions, with or without reasonable accommodation.

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • Full time
  • Sr Coordinator/Sr Analyst A
  • Exempt 
  • This is a union-eligible position. The union-eligibility of individual position incumbents will be determined based on the incumbent’s employer of record.

Salary Range

  • Commensurate with experience 

Required Education and Experience

  • Bachelo'r degree
  • 3-5 years of experience as a Museum Registrar or Collections manager, or equivalent in education, training and experience are required.

Preferred Education and Experience

  • Master's degree

Additional Eligibility Qualifications

  • Working knowledge of fine art logistics (shipping, handling, packing, and storage) required.
  • Experience drafting and reviewing contracts related to loans, acquisitions, transportation, and insurance for fine art collections and pieces required.
  • Contract negotiation experience desired. 
  • Excellent communication skills, team orientation, and knowledge of budgeting are required.
  • Familiarity and/or experience with grant proposal writing preferred
  • Familiarity with American Alliance of Museums (AAM) accreditation policy desired
  • Must possess ability to work independently and accurately and make reasoned decisions on short notice.
  • Hiring offers for this position are contingent on successful completion of a background check.
  • To ensure the health and safety of our community AU requires COVID-19 vaccinations for faculty and staff. Click here to learn more about our health and safety directive.


  • Click here to learn about American University's unique benefit options


Current American University Employees:

If you are a current full-time or part-time staff member at American University, please log into AsuccessfulU through the myAU portal. Once in AsuccessfulU, please select the Careers tile which will take you to our internal career page. 


Contact Us:

For more information or assistance with the American University careers site, email


American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively "Protected Bases") in its programs and activities.

Nearest Major Market: Washington DC