Collections Manager




The Society of California Pioneers, the oldest historical society west of the Mississippi River, seeks a Collections Manager.  As the custodian of an important historical collection, the Society seeks to preserve, promote, and enjoy California heritage through a museum, a research library, and educational and social activities. Our museum is located in the Main Post of the beautiful Presidio of San Francisco. 

The Collections Manager is responsible for the legal, ethical and physical care of the Society of California Pioneer’s important historic collection.  This position manages all collections-related paper, digital and database records including accession and de-accession documents; donor files; object records and loan agreements. The Collections Manager catalogs and documents the collection and oversees the movement of all collections items. The Collections Manager maintains incoming and outgoing loans including condition reports and the coordination of logistics for art shipping and transportation. The Collections Manager oversees rights and reproductions and related fee schedules and agreements. Additionally, the Collections Manager advises the Collections Committee on best practices as well as state and federal laws related to museum collections. The Collections Manager works closely with archivists, curators, exhibition designers and public programming staff to provide access to the collection for the development of exhibitions and programs.  This position interacts with the Board, museum patrons and collectors, artists, museum colleagues, contractors, interns, volunteers and the public.

Qualified candidates must demonstrate strong commitment to quality control, attention to detail, excellent communication, and collaboration.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Information Management

Manages database, paper files and digital assets. Creates, compiles and maintains collection database, digital assets, accession and deaccession records, donor records, loan agreements, exhibition records and insurance. Oversees complete inventory of collection within a 5-year period and conducts regular spot inventory checks.

  1. Collections Management

Maintains preventive conservation practices and overall care of collections. Implements collection management policies and procedures. Responsible for climate, lighting and pest management. Tracks object movement; oversees art handling; acts as courier; implements security procedures; controls storage access; houses collection items in archival materials. Hires and works closely with outside contractors for conservation, appraisals, packing, crating, shipping, and photography.  Generates reports, summaries and other collection-related data for insurance and inventory.  Purchases archival storage material for the collection. Supervises work-study assistants, interns, and volunteers who are assigned registration duties.

  1. Exhibitions

Borrowed exhibitions: Negotiates and maintains loan and exhibition contracts; arranges shipping and delivery schedules. Supervises packing, condition reports and object movement.         
In-house:  Assists with selection of collection material for display and advises on appropriate display methods. Supports installations, de-installations and exhibition label preparation.  Monitors exhibition climate and lighting and additionally makes recommendations for the overall care and security of the collection while on display.

  1. Rights and Reproductions

Assists scholars, publishers, film producers, researchers and the public to find appropriate collection material including images and artwork. Establishes and improves digital asset access, organization and naming conventions. Prepares and maintains fee schedules, terms and conditions and ensures invoices are paid.  

  1. Insurance

Coordinates collections’ insurance coverage and risk management with insurance broker and Executive Director.

  1. Collections Committee

Coordinates all aspects of quarterly Collection Committee meetings in association with Committee Chair. Including acquisition decisions; loan activity; exhibition planning and general planning for collections-related activities.

  1. Grant Seeking

Advises committee on potential funding sources for collections-related projects and assists in grant writing projects as necessary.

  1. Other duties as assigned.

This is a part-time job at four days per week, or 32 hours per week.


Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:

Excellent project management skills

High level of written and oral communication skills

Accuracy and attention to details

Ability to deal tactfully and courteously with colleagues, donors and the general public

Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with a variety of individuals and groups

Excellent knowledge of conservation and preservation practices

Experience and knowledge of collections management software

Knowledge of copyright, fair use, and licensing in regards to historic photography and the visual arts

Strong computer skills

Familiarity with social media tools and digital image management

Minimum of five years museum registration experience

Occasional weekend and evening availability

To Apply

Send a cover letter and resumé to:

The Society of California Pioneers
101 Montgomery Street, Suite 150
Presidio of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA  94129
Attention:  M. Devine