Job: Archaeology Collections Manager

Job: Archaeology Collections Manager

Position Overview

The Collections Manager in the Division of Archaeology of The University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute administers one of the world’s most important research collections and associated data of prehistoric and early historic cultures of the North American Great Plains. The collections consist of artifacts, maps, paper archives, digital and film archives, video recordings, and library holdings. The repository contains an estimated 3,000,000 objects from 15,000 archaeological sites in the Great Plains, the American Southwest and Eastern Woodlands, and Central and South America. University faculty, scientists, curators, staff, students, and national and international scholars use the collections for research, formal and informal education, and service. The collection manager is responsible for all aspects of the organization, processing, documentation, care, preventive conservation, and storage of accessioned materials and reports to the Director of the Biodiversity Institute.

Job Description

Collections and data management and preventive conservation (35%)

  • Ensure long-term integrity and preservation of the physical collections, associated data, and collection-storage environment.

  • Manage the archaeology labs, arrange for research space as requested, purchase supplies as needed, and regularly upgrade the computers and computer software.

  • Develop and maintain collection databases, digitize records and information for dissemination and discoverability, update databases as needed.

  • Interact with Federal agencies for the continued curation of collections, annual reporting, and collection use as identified in curation contracts and according to 36CFR, Part 79.

  • Maintain and improve collection-care protocols.

  • Process collection loans, exchanges, and gifts; maintain appropriate print and digital records of these activities.

  • Conduct annual reviews of outstanding loans, specimen return reminders, and recalls of overdue loans.

  • Maintain and organize records of collection activity, use, and status for annual reports, grant proposals, and other documentation.

  • Collaborate with other BI collection managers to achieve high-quality care and management of collections and associated data, and economies of scale in all collection-related activities.

  • Facilitate use of the collections by faculty, researchers, students, and others.

Collection strategic development, improvement and acquisition (30%)
  • Collaborate with BI Director and BI Collections and Facilities Coordinator to plan and implement divisional goals, collection priorities, policies, and programs.

  • Organize and prepare documentation necessary for artifact accession, including national permits, landowner permits, and associated documentation.

  • Oversee the preparation and staging of newly accessioned artifacts, and the digital capture of associated data for their integration into the collection and collection database, respectively.

  • Cultivate relationships with users and contributors of collections to the Division including Tribes, Federal agencies (e.g., Bureau of Reclamation, United States Army Corps of Engineers, National Park Service), state agencies (e.g., Kansas Historical Society), faculty, graduate students, cultural resource management archaeology consulting firms, researchers, museums, landowners, and artifact collectors.

  • Engage in consultation with Tribes and other descendent group representatives, especially as related to Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) regulations.

  • Foster research use of the collections by qualified researchers.

  • Participate in acquisition of collections by facilitating gifts and exchanges, and by occasional fieldwork as approved by the BI Director.

Collection service (15%)
  • Respond to inquiries from scientists (artifact requests, data inquiries, artifact photo requests), governmental and consulting agencies, the media, and other entities.

  • Participate in the Natural History Museum’s public programming by providing information and artifacts, and assisting in exhibit design; assist in museum public functions.

  • Collaborate with KU faculty to assist with education, outreach, and other service to the University of Kansas, regional archaeological societies, and Tribal and other descendant groups.

  • Conduct tours for visiting scholars, students, and the public.

Supervision, training and mentoring (10%)
  • Work with curators and faculty to train and supervise graduate students, curatorial assistant(s), and others in best practices of collections management.

  • Hire, train, and supervise undergraduate and graduate assistants.

  • Train and supervise potential volunteers.

Professional development (5%)
  • Work with BI collection management staff and faculty to ensure consistency of practice.

  • Undertake research in area of expertise pending completion of collection management duties.

  • Participate in professional local, regional, and national archaeological societies.

  • Participate in collections management training and development through professional societies.

Other duties as appropriate (5%)

Position Requirements

  1. Ability to lift 25 pounds with or without accommodation

  2. Utilize ladders to reach shelves up to 10 feet in height.

  3. Occasional work on nights and weekends.

  4. This position is required to work on-site.

Required Qualifications

  1. Master's degree in Anthropology or Museum Studies with an emphasis in Archaeology from an accredited university.

  2. Experience in curation and/or collection management in a museum or an academic or research environment and demonstrated knowledge of preventive conservation practices.

  3. Demonstrated knowledge of archaeological method, theory, terms, regional culture history, and artifact classifications.

  4. Demonstrated knowledge of NAGPRA law and regulations.

  5. Working knowledge of state, federal, and international regulations (UNESCO agreements, etc.) applicable to unmarked burials, collection ownership, and curation standards.

  6. Effective communication, interpersonal, organizational, and leadership skills as demonstrated by application materials.

  7. Demonstrated ability to perform effectively with a variety of individuals and groups in a productive and respectful manner.

  8. Proficiency with Windows Office programs, especially Outlook, Excel, and Word as demonstrated by application materials.

  9. Experience preparing budgets and annual reports (such as those to federal agencies.)

Preferred Qualifications

  1. Ph.D. in Archaeological Anthropology from an accredited university.

  2. Three years experience in curation and/or collections management in an academic or research environment and demonstrated knowledge of preventive conservation practices.

  3. Demonstrated knowledge of collections management database programs.

  4. Research expertise with one or more archaeological assemblages that constitute collection strengths and programmatic priorities.

  5. Experience as a North American Plains or Midwest archaeologist.

  6. Field experience in archaeology.

  7. Familiarity with ArcGIS, photogrammetry, and high resolution 3D artifact scanning.

  8. Ability to work effectively with minimal supervision.

  9. Experience supervising and training students and volunteers.

  10. Record of obtaining funding to support research and/or collections management needs.

Additional Candidate Instructions

A complete application will include a letter of application addressing qualifications, a CV, a statement of collection management philosophy, names and contact information for three references, and representative publications (optional).

Application review begins on September 27, 2021 and will be ongoing until a qualified application pool has been identified.

Contact Information to Applicants

For additional information please contact: Lori Schlenker,

Advertised Salary Range

Starting at $40,000, contingent upon qualifications

Work Schedule

40 hours, Monday-Friday 8AM-5PM

Application Review Begins

Monday, September 27, 2021

Anticipated Start Date

Monday, January 3, 2022