Collections Manager/Registrar – Smith College


As a member of the Museum’s Senior Leadership team and working in close collaboration with museum colleagues, advance SCMA’s mission by leading the Collection Management team and managing systems and practices to ensure access to the museum’s collection. With members of Collection Management and the museum’s Safety Team, provide for the overall safety, preservation, maintenance, and documentation for works in SCMA’s collection, on view, in storage, and on loan. Administer the Collection Management System (CMS), the museum’s Image Archive and continuing photography of the collection. Supervise the Collection Management Department, including preparators, exhibition manager, any additional registrars, consultants/contract workers, and student workers. Support a diverse workforce and participate in the College’s efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming environment.


Manage all aspects of collections care, following and implementing accepted museum professional standards and practices. Maintain catalog records and coordinate and manage documentation of transfer of title for collection objects, artist intentions and installation instructions, conservation surveys, assessments, and treatments, loan contracts and image permissions. Administer the Museum’s CMS (MIMSY or replacement), train staff on its use, support users, and serve as SCMA representative on Five College Mimsy Working Group. Assist with upgrades to and any migration (anticipated) of the CMS.  Supply collection metadata for collaborative data sharing. Manage on-going digitization of collection objects. Work with Smith College Imaging Center to store and provide access to collection images. Work with the Five College Risk Management Office to maintain optimum insurance coverage for the collection and loans.

Responsible for logistics related to loans and traveling exhibitions, including contracts, documentation, condition reports, packing, shipping, and receiving, adhering to established museum standards. Oversee collection loans to the President’s office and residence.

Oversee image services and copyright permissions for use of SCMA collection surrogates requested for publication, in print or online.

In collaboration with other collections staff and curators, establish object conservation priorities and plan/implement the safe storage of all works in the collection.  Supervise the conservation and preservation of artwork including managing and coordinating conservation treatments. Oversee monitoring of environmental conditions within the Museum, and communicate with SC Facilities Management concerning problems. Maintain and revise on schedule (every five years) the Collection Management Policy and, with security and administrative staff, the Disaster Preparedness Plan and the Museum’s AAM Facility Report.

Supervise access to artwork for study, exhibition, and research. Interact with SCMA & campus communications staff as well as the national and international scholarly and museum community, responding to loan, research, and publication requests relating to the collections. Interact with potential donors and other museum patrons to facilitate gifts to the Museum’s collections.  Make regular reports to the Controller’s and Gift Offices of gifts of works of art.  Provide any needed paperwork to donors.

Manage Collections Management department budget.

Train and supervise art preparation staff, exhibition manager, assistant registrars, and student employees and/or interns performing related work. Coordinate collections management activities with Cunningham Center Manager.

Ensure compliance with laws and regulations pertaining to collections activities and flag issues of potential liability for the Museum.  Remain informed of current museum collections care standards and procedures.


Act as Museum liaison with college departments and contractors for any renovation or construction projects that impact museum collections.

Supervise and coordinate care for art sited on campus, per SC Public Art Guidelines.

Participate in Five College or Smith College Special Collections collection-related projects


  • Minimum of 7 years’ experience as a Registrar or Collections Manager in an art museum with at least 2 years supervisory experience
  • Bachelor’s degree in art, art history, library science, or museum studies or related field


  • Master’s degree or post-baccalaureate certificate in arts administration, museum collection management, or library science


  • ●      Knowledge of best practices in conservation, collection care and handling, insurance, and museum legal and ethical issues.
  • Knowledge of and experience with basic digital asset management, database systems, and collection metadata.
  • ●      Extensive knowledge of museum cataloging standards and best practices; in particular, a command of data management and data architecture, and principles of linked data.
  • ●      Ability to manage and ensure compliance with loan arrangements of artworks. Familiarity with domestic and international art loan procedures including courier arrangements and travel.
  • ●      Knowledge of art materials and techniques and collection care requirements.
  • ●      Understanding of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion issues, including as they pertain to the description, interpretation, and display of cultural objects.
  • ●      Commitment to inclusive leadership and the ability to supervise and train employees by providing mentorship, supporting growth and development, and promoting collaboration.
  • ●      Ability to manage complex projects, defining goals, establishing workflows, and delegating and supervising tasks. Experience managing projects within budget parameters.
  • ●      Strong interpersonal communication skills and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community in an inclusive and sensitive manner.
  • ●      Ability to use independent judgment and manage and impart information to a range of clientele.
  • ●      Commitment to continuous professional self-development to remain informed of museum and registration standards. Participation in the cultural heritage collection management community.
  • ●      Ability to handle objects up to 25 pounds, see the normal range of color vision, and/or stand and/or walk an average of four (4) hours per day and climb a typical step ladder.

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