Position Description
Updated November 19, 2019

Title: Library Collections Curator                                                                                  

Division: Collections & Exhibitions                                                     

Reports to: Senior Director of Curatorial Affairs                                    

Position Status: Full-time; Exempt

Salary Range: $40,000-$50,000 annual

Position summary: The Library Collections Curator advances the acquisition, documentation, care and access to the published collections held by VMHC.  This position also works with the curatorial team to develop in-house and traveling exhibitions that engage diverse audiences in dialogue and the exploration of relevant issues and ideas, and that help VMHC realize its mission and business goals.

Duties & Responsibilities:

Collection Responsibilities

  • Build VMHC’s library collections through the identification, appraisal, and acquisition of appropriate items including books, rare books, serials, imprints, sheet music, broadsides and other published materials
  • Promote and provide access to the library collections through technology and related services for the collections; work closely with staff librarians and archivists to research and document collections
  • Support the physical management, care and preservation of the library collections
  • Serve as an institutional authority and spokesperson for VMHC with the general public and media on specific aspects of Virginia’s history and material culture; engage in public outreach in the form of lectures, tours, and research assistance

Exhibition Responsibilities

  • Research and develop ideas for exhibitions and programs that meet VMHC’s mission, community engagement and business goals, and leverage the collections
  • Provide content expertise as part of a core team that leads the collaborative development and implementation of exhibition projects
  • Work within a cross-functional team to oversee the care, upkeep, and refreshment of core gallery experiences
  • Collaborate with Guest Engagement Division staff to develop plans for exhibition-related programming, activities, and evaluation

Project Management and Administration

  • Lead and serve on cross-functional teams and committees
  • Participate in VMHC institutional priority setting, and strategic and annual business planning
  • Develop and steward collection donor relationships in partnership with VMHC staff and trustees
  • Contribute to the development, writing, implementation and reporting of grants; participate in the development of corporate and other partnership proposals
  • Contribute to the development and writing of articles, public relations and external communications materials as needed
  • Keep abreast of developments in the fields of Virginia history, exhibitions, museums and library science; stay current with professional best practices

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities Necessary:

  • Knowledge of United States and Virginia history and material culture
  • Knowledge of principles and best practices of library science
  • Broad knowledge of current trends in curatorship, exhibition development and community engagement
  • Understanding of museum ethics and standards for collections management
  • Exceptional communication skills and experience with the general public, donor groups, press, external and internal stakeholders

Education & Experience Requirements:

A combination of experience and education that demonstrates possession of the necessary knowledge and abilities for this position is required as noted:

  • Master’s degree in a relevant field such as history, library science, museum studies, or equivalent work experience required
  • Demonstrated experience with collections research, development and documentation associated with published materials
  • Three years of demonstrated experience developing exhibitions with broad community relevance and appeal

Note & Special Requirements:

Please include a two to three-page writing sample (e.g., exhibit script, grant application, article, blogpost) with your application.


If interested in this job opportunity, please apply and upload your resume to

The Virginia Museum of History & Culture is owned and operated by the Virginia Historical Society — a private, non-profit organization established in 1831. The historical society is the oldest cultural organization in Virginia, and one of the oldest and most distinguished history organizations in the nation. For use in its state history museum and its renowned research library, the historical society cares for a collection of nearly nine million items representing the ever-evolving story of Virginia.

The Virginia Historical Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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