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Collections Manager

Natural History Museum
Westchester, California
Closing date
Feb 17, 2023

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Position Type
Dean / Department Head
Full Time
Museum Studies
Organization Type
Collections Manager, Archaeology

Regular Full-Time

Los Angeles, CA, US

The Natural History Museum of LA County (NHMLA) seeks a Collections Manager of Archaeology. NHMLA's Archaeology collection includes over 100,000 cultural objects. The majority of the collection is from the Americas, with an emphasis on the western United States and Latin America. Tools, decorative, and utilitarian objects are included in the vast assemblage of materials in addition to samples of shell, animal bone, soil, and plant remains that can be used to study past human adaptations. This position is directly supervised by the Curator of Anthropology.

The Collections Manager will oversee the day-to-day operations of the archaeology collection, maintain and improve object records in NHMLA's EMu database and other repositories, conserve and organize objects, improve and enhance the collection through physical improvements and digitization projects, facilitate the use of the collection by researchers and other users (including descendent communities), train and supervise volunteers and students, and support the needs of other NHMLA departments including Exhibitions, Education and Programming, and Communications. The Collections Manager will also assist the NAGPRA Officer with Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) and California Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (CalNAGPRA) records and transactions affecting the Archaeology collection.

The NHMLA 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. NHMLA is 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.

The desired start date is in fall 2022.

  • Collection Care, Processing, and Improvement: Cares for the collection and manages activities on a day-to-day basis, including organizing, storing, securing and conserving objects. Proposes, develops, and oversees plans for collection growth, improvement, and reorganization. Plans and implements the department's pest monitoring and management protocols. Processes all incoming and outgoing objects and/or materials including purchases, donations, exchanges, field collections, and loans, serving as a liaison between donors, lenders, and the Registrar's Office.
  • Collection Documentation: Provides documentation for the collection, including cataloging, entering/updating database records, inventorying, enhancing documentation through digitization, and researching object, specimen, and/or material information. Initiates, plans, implements, and oversees projects independently and/or as directed by the Curator or the institution.
  • NAGPRA and CalNAGPRA Program Support: Keeps accurate documentation of objects under the care of the department that are subject to NAGPRA and CalNAGPRA. Prepares documents, inventories, and official records as directed by the NAGPRA Officer. Facilitates repatriation.
  • Research, Community, and Museum Support: Answers researcher queries; facilitates visits and access to objects and data by researchers using the collection. Understands and liaises with descendant communities, in cooperation with the Curator, to promote collection access. Participates in education and other public program activities of the Museum including but not limited to collection tours, supporting exhibitions, and participation in public museum events. Trains, supervises, and manages students and volunteers.
  • Stays current with the research field related to the collection including trends and techniques in collections management, collection-based research, conservation, digitization, government regulations, and documentation. May lead or participate in ongoing or original research related to the collection and initiate grants aimed at research or collection improvements.

  • Any combination of experience and education equivalent to a Master's degree with specialization in an applicable field and at least two years of technical experience in the collection, organization, care and/or conservation of similar specimens/collections; or a bachelor's degree in an applicable field and 5 years collection experience.
  • Familiarity and experience with tribal nations of North America, particularly California, and ability to successfully navigate interactions requiring collaboration, cultural sensitivity, and confidentiality. This includes the ability and willingness to understand culture history and Native American archaeological sites from academic/scientific and Indigenous perspectives.
  • Working knowledge of international, federal, and state regulations governing the collection and the use of its objects. This includes, but is not limited to, NAGPRA, CalNAGPRA, and the UNESCO 1970 Convention.
  • Working knowledge of factors important to the management of archaeology collections, such as historical eras, geological formations, and community standards and existing best practices in a given field.
  • Experience writing reports, grants, professional correspondence, and/or procedure manuals.
  • Experience effectively presenting information to and responding to questions from individuals or groups of managers, scientists, and the general public.

  • Experience in collections care and management informed by museum standards and Indigenous perspectives.
  • Practical experience with NAGPRA/CalNAGPRA implementation and compliance measures.
  • Experience with database software typically used in natural history or historical collections; working knowledge of common principles of informatics and external data repositories common in these fields.
  • Experience supervising a diverse team of staff, volunteers, and students.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, access and inclusion work.


Annual salary for this position is $57,00-$62,500, depending on experience level. This is a full-time position with excellent benefits.

The application deadline is August 5, 2022. Submit a current 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 using the link on the Museum's employment site at

The primary location for this job is at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, in Exposition Park in Los Angeles, California. Some offsite travel will be required.

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.

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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