Registrar, Collection Information and Documentation – Rhode Island School of Design

Job Summary

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) seeks a Registrar, Collection Information and Documentation to join the RISD Museum. The RISD Museum believes that art, artists, and the institutions that support them play pivotal roles in promoting broad civic engagement and creating more open societies. 

Established in 1877 as part of a vibrant creative community, the RISD Museum stewards works of art representing diverse cultures from ancient times to the present. We interpret our collection with the focus on the maker and we deeply engage with art and artists, presenting ideas and perspectives that can be inspiring and complex. We aspire to create an accessible and inclusive environment that fosters meaningful relationships across all communities.

The Registrar, Collection Information and Documentation position is a highly-valued member of the Museum. This position ensures the accessibility, accuracy, and preservation of the RISD Museum’s collection information for both internal and external audiences through the administration, development, maintenance, and oversight of the Museum’s web-based collection information system (MuseumPlus). The role assists with the oversight of the Registration department’s physical records and advises the Museum on record management.

We seek a culturally competent candidate who will thrive in a campus environment that is committed to advancing the principles of social equity and inclusion, environmental and climate justice, and equal access to resources and opportunities.

Essential Functions:

  • Responsible for the integrity of all data in MuseumPlus and serves as the Museum’s data steward for all aspects of collection, loan, and exhibition information. Monitors and audits the status of the collection database. Ensures that data entry, backup protocols, file management, system integrity, disaster planning and recovery, and all other related concerns meet Museum standards and provide optimal system performance. Develops procedures for ensuring all collection data is sustainable in the long term. Selects and implements appropriate controlled vocabularies, authority files and classification schema to provide the highest level of functionality for all descriptive metadata. Defines and manages security and user access in the database appropriately.
  • Manages, under the director of the Head Registrar and in cooperation with Museum staff, the cataloging and registration of the collection, the application of technology to collection information, and the development of the collection management system as a tool for internal and external use. In collaboration with the Head Registrar and the Assistant Registrar for the Permanent Collection manages the accession and deaccession of collection objects in MuseumPlus. 
  • Directly manages and supervises the work of collection information support staff. 
  • Develops, documents, and implements database procedures, data-entry guidelines, standards, and best practices for creating, editing, reporting and distributing information stored on or accessed from MuseumPlus. Promotes further automation of departmental processes. 
  • Creates new and manages existing reports within MuseumPlus. Maintain standards for all reports and document all reporting procedures. Respond to requests for reports in a timely manner. 
  • Partner with teams across the museum to collaborate on projects that interface with MuseumPlus, bringing systems and processes from planning through implementation. Collaborate with other departments to verify that cataloguing standards are followed and to address issues with how collections data appears on the RISD Museum website. Collaborates and coordinates with the Digital Media and Design teams on making collection information accessible to a broad public. 
  • Trains and provides general support for museum staff, work study students, interns and volunteers in the use of MuseumPlus, including refresher training as needed. 
  • Serves as the project manager for RISD Museum collection database upgrades and migrations. Serves as liaison with application vendors, RISD’s Information Technology Services (ITS) and system end-users. Investigates problems and brings in outside assistance (ITS and/or vendors) as appropriate. Works with application vendors and/or ITS to initiate new development of the collection database system. Manages requests for complex queries into collection data arising from curatorial projects or scholarly research. 
  • Develops, manages, and audits the Collection Information Management budget, including the renewal of contracts and/or the development and implementation of additional contract work outside of the annual maintenance and service contract. Works with vendors to specify and solicit applicable software and hardware cost estimates.
  • Researches and advises the Museum’s Senior Staff on new and emerging technologies, trends, and best practices in collection information database management and makes recommendations regarding the same as appropriate.
  • Assists the Head Registrar with the management of the Registration department’s paper files and advises the Museum, in collaboration with other staff, on the Museum’s overall legacy files. 

Required Knowledge/Skills/Experience

  • Must be able to work in and support a diverse and culturally inclusive environment.
  • Knowledge of current museum cataloguing methods, museum registration, museum metadata and vocabulary standards, and best practices for the integration of collection information into digital platforms. 
  • Demonstrated ability to assess different information systems and comprehensive knowledge of systems architecture. 
  • Ability to work independently and as a member of a team. 
  • Superior organizational skills, including the ability to prioritize and delegate. 
  • Ability to manage employees. 
  • Ability to provide training to groups and individuals on a regular basis. 
  • Hands-on experience with digital media and solid grasp of the fundamentals of good data management essential. 
  • Bachelor’s degree with a minimum of five years demonstrated experience in collection database management, digital image management or similarly focused library work; or an equivalent combination of education and experience. 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Graduate degree in museum studies, library science, art history, or related field



Work Schedule:

35 hours per week; 12 months per year

Employment Status:

Full-time; Exempt; Regular


75,000-80,000 yearly

Work Modality

Hybrid Eligible

Documents Needed to Apply:

Resume (Required)

Cover Letter (Required)

Apply on our website at–Collection-Information-and-Documentation_R-01464-2

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please upload all required documents.

The successful candidate will be required to meet our pre-employment background screening requirements.

RISD recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its learning community and integral to an art and design education. We welcome candidates whose experience has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence. RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.

Categories: Job Postings