Assistant Registrar: Photography and Photographic Archives, Spurlock Museum of World Cultures University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Spurlock Museum seeks a colleague with a talent for photography, a love of world cultures, and a passion for sharing their work with the public. We value a strong commitment to ethical practices in cultural heritage management, creative thinking, and enthusiasm for collaborative work. The successful candidate will embrace new technology and enjoy working in an environment that promotes innovation and experimentation.  The Assistant Registrar will have the opportunity to develop the scope of the multimedia collection, determine new methods for increasing the accessibility of the collection, and create inspired programs designed to engage the University and broader community with the collection.

The Assistant Registrar, Photography and Photographic Archives will manage photography and the documentation, preservation, access, and distribution of the Museum’s Documentary Multimedia Collection, including rights management and copyright compliance according to professional standards and best practices.



Assist the Registrar in directing aspects of the Documentary Multimedia Collection (DMC). Specific tasks include:

  • perform studio and publication quality photography of the Museum’s collections, staff, programs, events, and behind the scenes activities
  • develop priorities and achieve benchmarks for the research, accessibility, and exhibition of DMC collections
  • assist in consultations with source communities regarding DMC materials and make recommendations as to the suitability of DMC collections for display, online access, and research
  • educate and demonstrate the importance of photographic and multimedia collections to the public and university audiences
  • organize and oversee the Museum’s photo studio, maintain photography and scanning equipment, research and suggest replacement equipment when necessary, advise on new technology, and implement improvements in photographic processes and procedures
  • respond to, process, and document all image requests for research, publication, and promotional materials
  • advise Registrar and Museum Director on legal compliance with all rights, reproduction, and copyright issues related to photography and the DMC
  • educate and advise Museum staff members on rights, reproduction, and copyright issues related to their use of images for the Museum’s educational, promotional, publications, and other activities
  • implement and oversee the cataloguing of images and new DMC materials as they are acquired
  • manage the DMC database including data entry, editing data, and improving data consistency
  • maintain the physical care, housing, organization, storage, and preservation of images and recordings including reformatting and digitization
  • make recommendations to the Registrar, Director of Information Technology, and Director on incorporating new equipment, technologies, and policies and procedures that will enhance quality and efficiency
  • advise Registrar and Museum Director on strategies for broadening the scope of the DMC collections
  • conduct research on DMC materials for publications, grants, exhibits, and programs

Manage a number of administrative responsibilities including:

  • train and supervise undergraduate student staff, interns, graduate students, and volunteers on photography, image cataloguing, and proper use of equipment and lab techniques
  • mentor interns and practicum students in projects related to photography and photographic collections
  • hire, train, assign and review work, conduct performance evaluations, address work issues, approve time cards, and set work schedules and goals for staff, students, and volunteers
  • serve as a sectional liaison to the Museum’s social media committee and supply, produce, and edit, content for social media platforms
  • represent the Registration section at staff meetings
  • compile reports and materials for the purposes of marketing, research, and grant proposals
  • work with Registration section to develop and achieve section goals for Museum digitization projects
  • participate in Museum-wide planning, goal setting, and evaluation efforts


  • master’s degree in Library and Information Science, Museum Studies, or a related field (Individuals working towards a masters degree may be considered, but the degree must be obtained by the starting date.)
  • two years of professional experience in digital photography and digital image management
  • supervisory experience
  • experience with the digitization process, including scanning procedures
  • knowledge of studio practice, lighting systems, and micro and macro photography techniques to successfully photograph two- and three-dimensional objects and detail shots
  • knowledge of standards and best practices in cataloguing, care, and management of photographic archives
  • knowledge of legal statutes, standards, and best practices in rights, reproduction, and copyright of images and recordings
  • sensitivity to issues concerning diversity, race and ethnicity, and disabilities
  • strong written and verbal communication skills; exceptional organizational and analytical skills with good attention to detail
  • ability to work both independently and as a team player in a collaborative environment
  • ability to handle multiple time-sensitive projects and be flexible to changing priorities
  • computer literacy including familiarity and experience with image editing software (Adobe Photoshop and Bridge) and databases
  • initiative to research and learn new imaging technologies and to troubleshoot technical problems related to photography


  • four years of professional experience in digital photography and digital image management
  • minimum of two years of experience researching photographic or multimedia collections
  • minimum of two years of experience collaborating with source communities or sovereign tribal nations
  • knowledge of museum industry trends, standards, and best practices in the exhibition of photography and multimedia collections
  • knowledge of museum industry trends, standards, and best practices for increasing the accessibility of multimedia collections



This is a full-time, 12-month, benefits-eligible, academic professional (AP) position including health, dental and life insurance benefits, as well as participation in the State Universities Retirement System (SURS).  Eligibility for the listed benefits are contingent on your citizenship or work authorization.  For full details on eligibility requirements, please reference . The expected start date is as soon as possible after the closing date. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and qualifications.



Founded in 1867, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a major public land-grant university and is a world leader in research, teaching, and public engagement. The University serves over 47,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students studying in over 150 fields. Illinois is the place where we embrace difference. We embrace it because we value it. Illinois is especially interested in candidates who can contribute, through their research, teaching, and/or service, to the diversity and excellence of the Illinois community. For more information, please visit

The University is located in east-central Illinois in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana. These cities have a combined population of over 125,000 and are centrally located between Chicago, Indianapolis, and St. Louis. Champaign-Urbana and the surrounding region offer a wide variety of cultural and recreational activities. For more information about our community, please visit



To apply for this position, please create a candidate profile at and upload by August 13, 2018: 1) your cover letter, 2) a CV or resume addressing your qualifications as they align with the job description, 3) names and contact information including email addresses for three professional references, 4) and a portfolio (see guidance below).  Full consideration will be given to complete applications received by the closing date. All requested information must be submitted for your application to be considered. The portfolio should contain at least 8 high quality photos that are the original work of the applicant. The applicant may either submit a document listing a link to an online portfolio or file sharing folder or upload images as a single pdf document. This document should be uploaded/labeled as “Portfolio.”


For further information regarding application procedures, contact Karen Flesher at For more information about the Spurlock Museum, visit our web site: .

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit To learn more about the University’s commitment to diversity, please visit

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