Curator (#MEAA01)
$45,798.00 Yearly Min / $57,248.00 Yearly Mid / $68,698.00 Yearly Max

Summary Statement

This class is responsible for the curation, exhibit and conservation of the Delaware's collections of irreplaceable cultural resources entrusted to the Delaware State Museums and Historic Sites.

Nature and Scope

This class reports to the Administrator of Delaware State Museums and is responsible for planning, developing, evaluating and managing programs, projects and activities as it relates to collections/collections management, exhibits and archaeology. Collection objects include historical, fine art, decorative art objects, and archaeological artifacts representing prehistoric and historic items. Incumbents establish curatorial policies and procedures addressing recovery, packaging, cataloguing, photography, transport, storage and exhibits in-state and nationally; approve the use/display of objects on display/loan; plan for and manage contractual specialists and interns in the areas of object/archaeological recovered artifact conservation, historical research, historical interior design and transport/exhibit of objects/artifacts; plan and conduct surveys; and select and acquire collections based on Delaware, Native American and European history and cultural legacy. Contacts are with special interest groups, donors, professional scientific/museum organizations, collegiate institutions and other experts in the various fields of history, archaeology, etc., private non-profit organizations, elected/appointed officials from the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, and constituents for the purposes of networking, choregraphing and coordinating projects, developing and managing internships, providing presentations, guidance and direction in collection practices, exhibits and historical significance.

Essential Functions

Essential functions are fundamental, core functions common to all positions in the class series and are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all job duties for any one position in the class. Since class specifications are descriptive and not restrictive, incumbents can complete job duties of similar kind not specifically listed here.
  • Administers the curation of historical objects and archaeological artifact. This includes coordinating the acquisition and curation of objects donated or purchased. Curation includes prescribing conditions under which objects/artifacts are recovered, catalogued, stored, exhibited and transported, and may involve negotiating the loan of those objects; evaluating and prioritizing collection restoration/conservation needs and selecting and managing contractual services.
  • Coordinates multiple projects with other curators, professional organizations, appointed/elected state officials, etc. in the curation of historical objects and archaeological artifacts.
  • Develop, prioritize, and propose budgets for curatorial and conversation projects. Writes grant applications for funding studies, conservation, exhibits and/or documentation of Delaware's legacies and manages grant funded projects including supervising and monitoring professional consultants/contractors/seasonal staff.
  • Conducts cultural, historical and scientific research, analyzes objects/artifacts and compiles documentary summaries providing historical contexts for the collections and development of tours.
  • Conducts outreach activities such as preparing and conducting lectures and presentations, representing Delaware State Museums on professional committees and preparing papers for publication.
  • Maintains technological advances in collections management, conservation techniques of historical objects and archaeological artifacts, and curatorial activities.
  • Provides leadership, cultural and technical expertise to curatorial staff, historical organizations, the education community, research interns, volunteers, professional colleagues and diverse public/special interest groups.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

The intent of the listed knowledge, skills and abilities is to give a general indication of the core requirements for all positions in the class series; therefore, the KSA’s listed are not exhaustive or necessarily inclusive of the requirements of every position in the class.

  • Knowledge of Delaware, European, Native American and American history, prehistory, military/naval history, archaeology and archaeological theory/methodology, decorative arts and design, fine arts and historic preservation.
  • Knowledge of the museum professional principles, ethics, practices, standards and functions associated with the curation of museum and archaeological collections (e.g., acquisition, management, photography, conservation, cataloguing, storage, inventory, facility/environmental standards).
  • Knowledge of applicable laws, rules, regulations, standards, practices and requirements.
  • Knowledge of State Museums policies, rules, regulations, procedures, goals and objectives.
  • Knowledge of research methods and techniques including primary and secondary sources of information.
  • Knowledge of collection conservation practices, techniques and standards.
  • Knowledge of computerized database systems designed to track and manage information.
  • Knowledge of the latest technologies and standards used in curatorial and conservation work.
  • Knowledge of the principles, practices and methods of developing and conducting educational and/or outreach programs, including workshops and lectures.
  • Knowledge of administrative methods and techniques of documentation, report preparation and preparing analytical/technical summaries.
  • Knowledge of the methods and techniques of grant writing, grant management and/or contract administration, including State requirement and procedures.
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of project supervision.
  • Skill in organizing, prioritizing, directing and coordinating multiple projects and functions.
  • Skill in generating, evaluating, analyzing and compiling historical information in the development of programs.
  • Ability to apply applicable laws, rules, regulations and standards in the development and implementation of programs and projects.
  • Ability to develop and draft plans, budgets and cost estimates for programs and projects.
  • Ability to interpret and analyze historical documents, conduct fieldwork and analyze artifacts/historical objects.
  • Ability to manage and maintain environmental controls including security, fire protection, temperature/humidity control, air quality, light, housekeeping, pest control and collections use.

Job Requirements

Applicants must have education, training and/or experience demonstrating competence in each of the following areas:

  1. Possession of a Bachelors degree or higher in Anthropology, Archaeology, Art History, Design History, Architecture, Decorative Arts, American/World History, or Museum Studies or related field.
  2. Six months experience in museum practices such as collection management, research, exhibit design, management and handling of collections, preservation or maintenance of historic buildings, conducting museum educational programs or tours.
  3. Six months experience in cultural or historical research which includes analyzing objects/artifacts and compiling documentary summaries which provide historical contexts for exhibits, programs, tours, historical sites, and artifacts.
  4. Knowledge of project management which includes planning, developing, implementing, managing and evaluating projects to ensure objectives are met.
  5. Knowledge of interpreting laws, rules, regulations, standards, policies, and procedures.
  6. Knowledge of grant writing.