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Responsibilities:

A Museum Collections Specialist performs a variety of specialized assignments involving the care and documentation of a diverse collection of museum specimens. Duties may include the management of one or more subject areas of the collection.

The Museum Collections Specialist is responsible for handling, preparing, installing, transporting, and storing specimens according to accepted museum principles; recording information concerning specimens and inventory; maintaining files; photographing the collections; monitoring expenses, maintaining collection storage areas; performing minor conservation of specimens; and may provide support for the Native American Graves Preservation and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) process.

This class indexes, catalogs and numbers specimens, writes condition reports, performs data entry, scans photographs and enters them into the database, edits catalog information to summarize and standardize terminology, records information concerning specimens and inventory, and produces reports from a computerized database. The Museum Collections Specialist also assists with updating policies and procedures, training and supervising volunteers, working with donors, and packing/unpacking loaned objects. This class performs related duties as required.

Distinguishing Features: The part-time classification has been designated as a non-classified, nonmerit system, at-will position. The Museum Collections Specialist is supervised by a Museum Curator who reviews work through conferences, meetings, and results achieved. This class is FLSA nonexempt.

Manual/Physical:

  • Inspects and documents the condition of specimens in written and diagram form, and reports any deterioration. Operates a variety of standard office equipment such as a personal computer (PC) and copy machine.
  • Monitors environmental conditions using a hygrothermograph and/or digital temperature/humidity reader (PEM2).
  • Describes and measures specimens.
  • Uses proper safety methods in: using fumigation methods and specialized cleaning tools in collections care; using carts or other devices to move heavy objects (50 pounds) for distances of one mile or more; transporting objects to and between buildings and off-site storage areas; and working with glues, consolidants, solvents, preservatives, and acids.
  • May feed and clean animals including venomous and dangerous.
  • May be required to handle live and dead animals.
  • Safely uses common hand tools including hammer, hand saw, wrenches, pliers, screwdriver, and power tools including power saws, dremel tool, and drills.
  • Uses personal protective equipment (gloves, safety glasses) to perform hand excavation and other duties.
  • Uses a variety of digging tools including shovel, trowel, pry bar, and jackhammer. Fieldwork required in a variety of weather conditions, including the ability to walk long distances (5 miles).
  • Uses standard preparation tools including air abrasive and air scribes. Installs and replaces parts of said equipment.
  • Moves collection, potential collection materials, and collection supplies and tools from one place to another using hands, hand truck, cart, and/or lifts.
  • Works in elevated area up to 8 feet using a ladder to store collection objects.
  • Uses fine brushes and pens to apply numbers to objects.
  • Operates camera, lights, and light meter to photograph objects. Meets scheduling and attendance requirements.

Mental:

  • Trains and supervises museum interns, contract, and volunteer staff in cataloging of collections in laboratory work and in fieldwork.
  • Prioritizes own work and adapts well to changing circumstances.
  • Assists other museum areas, other City departments, and the general public in research, specimen location, and availability.
  • Organizes one or more subject areas of the collection by applying conservation principles and knowledge of researcher needs in the field.
  • Uses database computer programs to input, search, and organize collection information.
  • Resolves discrepancies in data by researching information. Monitors and corrects work for accuracy.
  • Comprehends terminology in collection subject area and makes inferences from written material related to a specialized area.
  • Conducts searches and analyzes data to answer inquiries and complete projects concerning the museum collections.
  • Performs mathematical calculations, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, proportions, measurements, angles, and statistical analysis.
  • Learns job-related material through on-the-job training and in a classroom setting.

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