Anthropology Collections Manager

Chicago, IL
Full Time


The Field Museum is a not-for-profit museum located on Chicago’s Museum Campus. In the Field's 125+ year history, which started in 1893 at the World’s Columbian Exposition in the “White City,” we have engaged in research on all seven continents, cultivated a collection of over 40 million specimens and objects, engaged with hundreds of thousands of students from Chicago and the surrounding areas, and welcomed millions of visitors to the Museum each year.  We accomplish this through the efforts of our dynamic and diverse staff of not only scientists and educators, but also front line staff in Visitor Services and Membership, Protection Services, Facility Planning and Operations, as well as behind the scenes support staff. 


The Field Museum is in search of an Anthropology Collections Manager to join our team!


The individual in this full-time (35 hours per week), regular position is responsible for the care of and access to the North American Anthropology collections. They will work closely with Native American and First Nations cultural representatives as well as a team of Anthropology collections, conservation, registration, curatorial, and repatriation staff to ensure the respectful care of and access to cultural heritage and to implement collections priorities. This care includes the handling, storage, housing, organization, inventory, and photography of cultural collections. They will work with Curators to make recommendations regarding new acquisitions and loans as well as to improve policies, procedures, and practices. They will coordinate maintenance of collections facilities. They may supervise Collections Assistants, Interns, and Volunteers. They will participate in other duties outlined below.


Applications will be accepted through April 22nd, 2022. 


Duties and Responsibilities

  • Works supportively and inclusively within the Anthropology Collections and across departmental and functional area boundaries throughout the Museum
  • Contributes to and promotes a positive environment at the Museum by demonstrating collegiality and inclusiveness in interactions with colleagues, external partners, visitors, and the public
  • Demonstrates working practices that are safe for yourself, those around you, and for collections items including informed adherence to all appropriate regulations regarding hazardous materials and the appropriate handling of, and access to, culturally sensitive material and human remains
  • Serves as a liaison between the Field Museum and tribal nations regarding the stewardship of the collections
  • Connects descendant communities, scholars, and members of the public to the collections by hosting visits, providing tours, and assisting with special events
  • Monitors movement of cultural items at all stages and is responsible for keeping the inventory database up-to-date. Consults with collections staff, curators, and descendant community representatives regarding the database and the accuracy of its information. This includes solving cataloging problems in order to improve the veracity and integrity of data in the collections records and database. Contributes to a Museum-wide initiative to update data entry standards for the EMu content management system
  • Monitors collections for agents of deterioration including any emergency conditions such as leaks, pests, or other hazards. Employs preventative conservation methods to ensure the safety of the collections, including integrative pest management, monitoring the environment of storage and workspaces, and constructing custom artifact housing and storage mounts
  • Upgrades and maintains storage conditions for the Anthropology collections utilizing preventive conservation and/or traditional care methods. Houses, organizes, inventories, moves, tracks, stores, documents, and photographs the Anthropology collections as appropriate. Consults with conservators and cultural representatives regarding safe handling and appropriate storage practices. Cultural protocols will be followed when possible. Where advice from communities of origin conflicts with established museum practice, seeks to privilege the advice from the community of origin and incorporate it into museum practice
  • Responds to public inquiries about the museum collections and regularly conducts collections-based research
  • Collaborates with staff across the museum on any project involving NAA collections, including major exhibitions and conservation projects
  • Documents visits and interactions with community groups and researchers in a centralized EMu database so that it is accessible to future staff
  • Facilitates learning and engagement with museum collections at public events
  • Assists with heritage management and community engagement efforts, which may occur offsite and during non-regular work hours
  • May undertake research activities and fieldwork up to 20% of time but not impacting core collections management duties. Such activities may lead to the acquisition of new collections and additional documentation for collections as part of approved Anthropology initiatives
  • Travel may be required acting as a courier for outgoing loans
  • Supervises other collections staff, volunteers, interns, and visitors as required
  • Manages budgets for self and the collections management staff under their supervision
  • Performs other collections-related activities as assigned




  • Lived Native American cultural experience and/or a degree in Anthropology, Native American Studies, and/or Museum Studies required
  • At least five years of handling and caring for Native North American collections in a museum setting required
  • In-depth knowledge of accepted museum collections care practices and procedures expected 
  • Experience working with communities, especially as it relates to improving the care of and access to heritage collections
  • Working knowledge of and familiarity with terminologies, histories, and cultures of Native American and First Nations groups
  • Ability to work alone and in a team situation as required. Must be able to work with collections and records for long hours
  • Examination of collections may demand stooping, kneeling, bending, and climbing a ladder
  • Experience constructing complex storage mounts is highly desirable
  • Must be organized (able to work on a variety of tasks and keep track of what has been completed), detail-oriented (complete precise work), and self-motivated
  • Have excellent verbal and written communication skills to interact effectively with a wide range of internal and external parties, including Curators, Collections Managers, Conservators, Interns, Volunteers, community members, Researchers, the public, and service vendors
  • Experience with collections photography with use of Adobe Creative Suite is highly desirable
  • Demonstrated computer proficiency with Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and collections management databases. Working knowledge of Axiel EMu highly desirable
  • Some knowledge or fluency, both written and spoken, in a Native American language is a plus



Important Note: In order to protect the health and safety of our employees, guests and their families, the Field Museum is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Requests for exemptions from the vaccine will not be considered as given the nature of this position, we are unable to provide an accommodation for anyone who has not been vaccinated. 


The Field Museum is an equal opportunity workplace and employer. We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity, Veteran status, or any other protected class. We strive to create a working environment that is free of all forms of discrimination and one that promotes human dignity and mutual respect among all staff. We believe every member of our organization enriches our diversity by exposing us to a broad range of ways to understand and engage with the world, to identify challenges, and to discover, design, and deliver solutions.

The Field Museum strives to ensure that our career website and recruiting process are accessible to all. If you are unable or limited in your ability to use or access our online application, or if you require reasonable accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, completing any pre-employment testing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please direct your inquiries to

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