Job Posting: Part-Time Collections Associate, Putnam History Museum, Cold Spring NY

Hours: Part-time; 12 hours weekly from 10:30am – 5pm, Tuesday and Thursday (hours include ½ hour unpaid lunch break); 50 weeks per year

Salary: Commensurate with experience

Job Responsibilities and Essential Functions:

1) 50% – Collections Inventory: A primary responsibility of the Collections Associate will be to manage the inventory of the museum’s collection. The goal is to improve the organizational structure of both the physical collections and collections data. The Collections Associate will be expected to work in partnership with the Collections Committee as well as to provide professional recommendations regarding the collections policy, handling procedures, digitization, collections data management, etc. Key responsibilities will include: Review, organize, and document inventories and historical accessions records; develop a framework for inputting data into the museum’s PastPerfect database; revise existing PastPerfect data to correspond to new framework; input collections data into the museum’s PastPerfect database; handle, pack, and store all objects and works on paper that are accessed as part of this initiative; oversee the work of volunteers involved with the museum’s collections inventory; if special funding permits, contribute to the creation and implementation of conservation and digitization plans.

2) 25% – Collections Management: The Collections Associate will be responsible for executing basic collections management functions on behalf of the museum. Key responsibilities will include: Liaise with Chair of the Collections Committee (the Chair is a member of the museum’s Board of Trustees); attend Collections Committee meetings; advise on revisions to the museum’s collections management policy; respond to inquiries from prospective donors to the collection; monitor and make recommendations about collections storage, including security, storage, and climate control in building; coordinate and supervise conservation projects; coordinate and supervise outgoing loans; manage image licensing requests.

3) 25% – Exhibitions Support: The Collections Associate will provide support to exhibitions at the museum. Key responsibilities include: organize changing displays of objects from the museum’s permanent collection; write wall text and labels; and supervise painting, carpentry, and art handling; support major exhibitions organized by contracted curators; provide research and edit content labels for objects from the museum’s collection; coordinate and supervise painting, carpentry, and art handling; and manage transportation, handling, and documentation of all incoming loans.

4) Other – Perform other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.


  • Bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • 2-3 years experience working in museum collections department or graduation from a collections management education program preferred.
  • 2-3 years experience coordinating exhibition installations preferred.


  • Knowledgeable about collections management software and Microsoft Office (experience using the Past Perfect database is a plus).
  • Highly organized with great attention to detail.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Ability to act as an ambassador of the museum to volunteers, donors, and general public.
  • Must be able to push, pull, lift, and carry at least 20 pounds.
  • Use hands and arms in handling, packing, and moving materials.


  • Attend at least three Collections Committee meetings per year. The committee meets approximately six times per year on weekday evenings for about two hours.
  • Supervision of exhibition painting, carpentry, and installation may include 1-3 weekends per year.
  • Hours worked on evenings or weekends will count towards the weekly 12 hour total, and the work schedule will adjust accordingly.

More information and application:

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