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Assistant/Associate Registrar

Natural History Museum
Textile Finance, California
Closing date
Aug 13, 2022

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Position Type
Full Time
Museum Studies
Organization Type
Assistant or Associate Registrar

Regular Full-Time

Los Angeles, CA, US

The Natural History Museum of LA County (NHMLAC) seeks to hire an Assistant Registrar and an Associate Registrar. Under the direction of the Chief Registrar & Director of Collections and Research Resources, the Assistant and Associate Registrars work with collections and exhibition staff to document, record, and manage the use of our own collection and objects on loan, to maintain high standards of object care and handling, and to set and implement policies for the acquisition and use of collections. In most cases, the Associate Registrar takes the lead on exhibition loans, in-house and temporary exhibitions, and deaccessions, while the Assistant Registrar handles acquisitions, outgoing research loans, and temporary relocations. However, both registrars will have the opportunity to participate in all these areas.

NHMLAC was the first museum in L.A. to open its doors 109 years ago and is poised for an exciting new era as it plans for the future. Having recently completed a new strategic framework, the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County-including NHM at Exposition Park, La Brea Tar Pits and museum in mid-Wilshire, and the William S. Hart Museum in Newhall-is looking forward to new collections and research initiatives, building projects and campaigns, exhibitions, community outreach, and innovative audience engagement.

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County values and endeavors to support diversity, equity, inclusion, and access within its organization and communities. Candidates who identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color (BIPOC), neurodiverse, a woman, a person with a disability, a veteran, and/or a part of the LGBTQAI+ community are welcome and encouraged to apply. We are especially interested in candidates whose background and experience have prepared them to contribute to our commitment to engage and include culturally diverse audiences in museums and in science. It is an exciting time as we embark on new journeys of becoming a museum of, for, and with L.A.


* Acts as lead Registrar on exhibition projects (Associate Registrar fills this role for most large exhibitions, but Assistant Registrar will be assigned as needed). Advises exhibition project team on registrarial concerns and issues in the planning stages of traveling and in-house exhibitions. As functional supervisor, oversees and coordinates the work of staff during the handling and storage of exhibition material as it relates to registrarial procedures and best practices. Liaises with Museum staff, lenders, and shippers/freight forwarders to coordinate logistics; ensures relevant information is communicated to the appropriate parties. Condition checks and oversees unpacking/packing of loans. Documents all collections-related exhibition information.

* Depending on the position and the project, may lead or assist with tracking loan activity and status, issuing loan extension queries or recalls, and coordinating loan shipping, delivery, and return; processing and administering accessions into the permanent collections, including donations, purchases, incoming exchanges, and field trips; and processing and documenting deaccessions. Maintains Registrar's records in the EMu collections management system. Scans and enters files and information; cleans up existing data, records, and physical files; generates reports and responds to user and researcher requests for information. Works with database administrator and users to improve record management.

* Assists the Chief Registrar in setting, distributing, and communicating Registrar policies and procedures for the documentation and use of the collections and loans, managing risks to objects, and establishing best practices within NHMLAC, including the incorporation of the museum's inclusion, diversity, equity, and access initiatives into the work of the Registrar's Office.

* Assists the Chief Registrar in management, maintenance and coordination of exhibitions, including documentation of an installation/deinstallation, scheduling, logistics, and condition reports. Oversees the safe transport of objects to storage or other designated space.

* Provides assistance to researchers inside and outside NHMLAC, represents the Registrar's Office and Research & Collections on departmental and museum working groups and committees, and performs other duties as assigned.


Candidates with substantial additional experience beyond the minimum requirements will be considered for the Associate Registrar position.

* Bachelor's degree or higher, ideally in a related field (e.g., Museum Studies, History, Anthropology, or sciences)

* Demonstrated knowledge of museum registration methods and collections management best practices.

* Minimum two years of experience and skill in artifact/art/specimen/object handling. Successful candidates for the Associate Registrar position are likely to have five or more years' experience.

* Minimum two years of experience with progressively greater responsibility and successful outcomes as a museum registrar. Successful candidates for the Associate Registrar position are likely to have five or more years' experience.

* Ability to operate a computer using various Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, and Google applications, and to embrace new software and tools when necessary.

* Proficiency with a museum collections management database system.

* Excellent oral and written communication with ability to write reports, technical documents, and business and professional correspondence.

* Ability to effectively present information to and respond to questions from groups of managers, vendors/contractors, other institutions, and occasionally the general public.

* Excellent, independent judgment, critical thinking, and the ability to act quickly and efficiently in pressured or emergency situations.

* Ability to work flexible hours, which occasionally may include weekends, or early mornings or evenings.


* Familiarity with museum packing and shipping procedures for collections and loans, including international shipping and freight forwarding (more extensive knowledge and experience required for Associate Registrar).

* Experience with Axiell EMu Collections Management System

* Understanding or working knowledge of exhibitions registration best practices (more extensive knowledge and experience required for Associate Registrar).

* Familiarity with various rigging methods.

* Working knowledge of collections emergency response and preparedness procedures

* Understanding of museum integrated pest management practices.

* Understanding or working knowledge of major laws and regulations governing the acquisition and transport of objects and specimens, such as CITES.


The hourly wage for this position is $21.37-$25.85. This is a full-time, regular, non-exempt position with excellent benefits. Candidates must be eligible to work in the United States.

The primary location for this job is at the Natural History Museum in Exposition Park in Los Angeles. Some offsite travel will be required. Some telecommuting may be possible or may become necessary if access to the Museum is restricted.

Applicants and employees are invited to identify reasonable accommodations that can be made to assist them to perform the essential functions of the position they seek or occupy. The incumbent must be able to perform this job safely, with reasonable accommodation if necessary, without endangering the health or safety of him/herself or others.

Screening of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Submit a current CV or resume, a cover letter describing how your experience, knowledge, and interest qualify you for this position, and the names and contact information of three professional references through the Museum's employment site at

The NHMLAC is establishing a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for staff, effective August 10, 2021. NHMLAC is requiring that all staff receive the vaccine for COVID-19 as a condition of employment. Exemptions for documented medical reasons or a sincerely held religious belief may be requested.

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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