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Curator of North American Ethnographic Collections

Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University
Cambridge, Massachusetts
$80,000 + benefits
Closing date
Aug 13, 2021

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Position Type
Archivist / Curator / Librarian
Organization Type
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Job Details

Curator of North American Ethnographic Collections 54245BR

The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University seeks an experienced scholar with expertise in North America ethnographic collections, regional focus open. We are seeking an experienced individual with strong research and communication skills and ties to Indigenous communities to care for and interpret an historical ethnographic collection of Indigenous cultural material from North America. This individual will help further develop the current institutional goals of ethical stewardship, including fostering relationship building, collaborative dialogue, and diverse perspectives within museum spaces.

The Curator of North American Ethnographic Collections performs curatorial functions and regular assignments as approved by the Senior Curator:

  • Responsible for documentation, research, presentation, interpretation, development of the collections, and assisting with implementation of NAGPRA;
  • Contributes to the integrity of information about collections and database content in keeping with current professional practices and in consultation with Indigenous communities;
  • Curates and coordinates exhibitions as assigned;
  • Conducts and publishes research;
  • Contributes to programming (lectures, workshops, conferences, fellow selection);
  • Promotes access to collections, particularly by Indigenous communities and incorporates their viewpoints in interpretation, through collaborative research; curation of exhibits; and contributions to programming (lectures, workshops, conferences);
  • Responds to researcher and student requests and consults with visiting researchers;
  • Recommends purchases or gifts, advises on the intellectual content of proposed accessions and deaccessions, and consults on conservation work and collections storage;
  • Assists with raising funds for research, exhibitions, and programs;
  • Collaborates with university colleagues, including Harvard Art Museums staff and other Harvard museums as well as faculty and students, and may have teaching duties;
  • Develops and maintains professional affiliations with colleagues in similar positions at other institutions; and attends and presents at conferences and professional events on behalf of the Museum;  
  • Helps to maintain collection records in keeping with professional practices;
  • Performs other duties as required.

Skills and Experience

  • M.A. in a relevant discipline, such as Anthropology or Indigenous Studies; Ph.D. or equivalent experience preferred;
  • Expertise in Indigenous material culture;
  • 7+ years of progressively relevant experience;
  • Demonstrates a commitment to diversity and inclusion, preferably in a museum setting;
  • Track record of engagement with Indigenous communities;
  • Demonstrated writing, public speaking, research, and organizational skills;
  • Ability to travel as needed

Please note: this position is a full-time staff position with no departmental affiliation. Applicants must be able to work legally in the United States.

About the Peabody Museum

The Peabody Museum is situated on the ancestral and traditional land of the Massachusett people. It cares for over 1.2 million items from across the world, including cultural, archaeological, and osteological collections as well as extensive photographic and archival materials. The Museum is committed to the ethical stewardship of its collections through implementation of collaborative and culturally responsive care, interpretation, and engagement. We strive for a diverse, inclusive and equitable working environment and to act in ways that address the global challenges of climate change and environmental sustainability. 


The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology is a museum affiliated with Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1866, the Peabody Museum is one of the oldest and largest museums focusing on anthropological material, with particular focus on the ethnography and archaeology of the Americas.

The following information is provided by the employer in accordance with AAA policy. AAA is not responsible for verifying the accuracy of these statements. They are not part of the actual position description submitted for publication by the employer.

  • This employer does prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation/preference.
  • This employer does prohibit discrimination based on gender identity/expression.
  • This employer does not offer health insurance benefits to eligible partners.
  • This employer does not appear on the AAUP list of censured institutions.
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