Museum Collections Associate Wanted!

Job Title: Museum Collections Associate
Reports To: Director, Collections & Curation
Status: Full-Time, Non-exempt

Who we are: The National Willa Cather Center exists to promote and encourage increased understanding of and appreciation for the life, times, settings, and work of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Willa Cather. We promote her legacy through education, preservation, and the arts, and we aim to become a premier cultural center that offers broad educational opportunities for our patrons to experience Cather’s work, explore historic landmarks, foster their own creativity, and embrace the arts and humanities.

Job Purpose: Under direction, the Museum Collections Associate's duties will include tasks related to the care and preservation of our collections and archives. This person will be trained in the use of specialized preservation procedures and materials to maintain antiques, furnishings, papers, artwork, and other objects of historical or artistic value; perform tasks in the maintenance and preservation of museum facilities housing artifacts and art objects; conduct basic research; and assist with cataloging and inventorying collections. The museum technician will perform collections care work in several historic house museum properties and in the National Willa Cather Center exhibit spaces and archives.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Using appropriate care and precautions under direction, performs specialized daily/weekly/monthly cleaning of historic interiors and art objects, rugs, decorative pieces, clothing and accessories, furnishings, utilizing knowledge of professional standards for collections care and following approved processes.
  • Practices proper care and handling of museum objects at all times.
  • Inspects objects for change and records observations and concerns.
  • Performs rodent and insect monitoring and records observations; coordinates with contractor to provide pest control.
  • Monitors and records environmental controls.
  • Participates in a planned preservation program by monitoring conditions in historic sites, submitting, receiving from others, and coordinating maintenance work orders.
  • Conducts collections inventories, maintains records, and moves objects within the facility or to other locations.
  • Assists with special projects, such as installing, arranging, preparing, and moving artifacts for exhibition or storage, including loaned objects.
  • Assists with museum registration tasks essential for curatorial accession, loan, and research, including preparing and filing collections documents, object numbering and database maintenance.
  • Is present when staff or outside contractors perform work in the vicinity of collections and records.
  • Provides administrative and event support and contributes to publicity materials such as social media posts or NWCC newsletters.
  • Executes documentation for external permissioning of photographs and other archival materials.

Preferred qualifications:

  • College education in history, art history, English or other humanities majors, or in museum studies. Bachelor’s degree is preferred but not required, and relevant museum experience may substitute.
  • Knowledge of basic object handling practices and procedures.
  • Proficient use of computers and software including Google Suite word processing, spreadsheets, slideshow presentations, scanning and image editing. Experience with cloud-based collection management software (Collector Systems or similar) a plus.
  • Ability to lift up to 25 pounds and stand for extended periods of time.
  • Ability to work independently and balance multiple and changing priorities.
  • Attention to detail and ability to maintain accurate records (paper and electronic).
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Ability to follow instructions and learn proper methods of preservation procedures.
  • Shows unusual care and judgment in the performance of assigned duties.

Monday through Friday, 8:00 to 5:00 with the ability to work occasional weekends or evenings

$16 - $18/hour based on experience. Benefits, including health insurance, IRA, paid holidays, and paid time off (PTO) are available. Housing and relocation support are also available for candidates who wish to reside in Red Cloud.

This job description may evolve over time. Duties and the position status are subject to periodic updating. At management’s discretion, the employee may be assigned different and/or additional responsibilities.

To apply, send cover letter, résumé, and three professional references to: The Willa Cather Foundation Attn: Human Resources 413 North Webster Street Red Cloud, NE 68970