Collections Manager: Museum of Anthropology, Wake Forest

Job Title: Collections Manager
Department: Museum of Anthropology
Reports to: Academic Director

The Collections Manager implements and directs collections management activities for the Museum of Anthropology. The Museum of Anthropology holds more than 30,000 ethnographic and archaeological objects from around the world. These objects are used in exhibits at the Museum of Anthropology, in teaching demonstrations in Wake Forest University classrooms, and in research projects of students, faculty, and visiting scholars. The Collections Manager handles, stores, houses, organizes, inventories, and photographs objects in the collections.

In addition, the Collections Manager identifies and implements preventative conservation measures for objects in the collections, coordinates access to the collections, processes accessioning and deaccessioning, and oversees the maintenance of collections facilities. She or he works with the Academic Director to identify objects for exhibits, educational programs, and loans, and ensures their proper care while in use. She or he also supervises collections use for Wake Forest University student projects and provides support to visiting researchers when appropriate.

Essential Functions:

  • Implements the Museum of Anthropology Collections Plan by ensuring the collections are held and used in compliance with the research, storage, conservation, accession, deaccession, and loan policies.
  • Maintains storage conditions for the Museum of Anthropology collections through preventative conservation methods, and suggests improvements to storage conditions. Houses, organizes, inventories, moves, tracks, and photographs the collections as appropriate.
  • Monitors movement of collections at all stages of storage and use. Maintains Museum of Anthropology database and ensures it is up-to-date. Consults with the Academic Director regarding the database and the accuracy of its information. Identifies and solves cataloging errors in order to improve the veracity of collections records and the database.
  • Responds to requests and inquiries about collections use from Wake Forest University student and faculty researchers, as well as other academic institutions, interest groups, heritage/descendant communities, and the public.
  • Plans, coordinates, and supervises scholarly and public use of the collections, including for research, tours, and special events.
  • Attends special events, which may occur offsite and during non-regular work hours.
  • Acts as courier for loan objects when required.
  • Consults with the Academic Director regarding deaccessioning objects outside the scope of the Collections Plan and accession policy.
  • Suggests improvements to the Collections Plan and consults with the Academic Director to update Museum of Anthropology policies that impact the collections.

Other Functions:

  • Performs other collections-related activities as assigned.


Required Education, Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

  • Master’s Degree in Anthropology, plus three or more years’ experience handling and caring for museum collections.
  • In-depth knowledge of collections management practices and procedures, including the legal and ethical requirements of museum collections.
  • Demonstrated skill in organization, attention to detail, effective communication, and ability to work in diverse cultural settings.
  • Demonstrated computer proficiency with museum collections databases (including Re:Discovery and PastPerfect) and Microsoft Office Suite (including Word and Excel).
  • Ability to work some evening and/or weekend hours as required.
  • Ability to meet the requirements of the University’s automobile insurance.
  • Travel may be required to support out of area events.
  • Ability to bend, kneel, and lift up to 50 pounds frequently is required.

Preferred Education, Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

  • Degree or certification in Museum Studies is highly desirable.
  • Museum collections conservation experience is highly desirable.
  • Experience with artifact photography and object mount construction is highly desirable.
  • Experience with NAGPRA is desirable.
  • Demonstrated success in grant writing is desirable.


  • Supervises volunteers, interns, and student employees working on collections-related projects as required.

To Apply:

  • Please submit a resume/CV and a cover letter describing your collections management experience via the Wake Forest University employment listings website at:

  • Review of applications will begin Nov. 15 and continue until the position is filled.

In order to provide a safe learning and living community, Wake Forest University conducts background investigations and drug screens for all final candidates being considered for employment.

Wake Forest seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce, and encourages qualified candidates across all group demographics to apply.

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