Curator - Gilmore Car Museum (12/31/23)

Posted on 8/3/23


The Curator is responsible for exhibit development, presentation, management, intellectual integrity, security and care of the museum’s collection in concert with the Registrar and Collection specialists.

Works in partnership with the Museum’s Education Director to develop K-12 educational programing, adult programing and other programing for the community.

The Curator is also responsible for leadership of the museum’s library, archives and artifacts.


Executive Director

Direct Reports

Collections, Library and Archives Volunteers or Student Interns; leads/facilitates Collections Committee Meetings, leads Collections Development Planning Committee.


$65,000 - $75,000

FSLA Status


Essential Duties and Responsibilities

The Curator will:


  • Provides for the security, preservation, and accurate documentation and interpretation of all collections including vehicles, library, archives and artifacts.
  • Sets direction for Registrar including the Museum’s Historic Preservation Policy and Guidelines, record keeping, loans and gifts.
  • Serves as first point of contact for all potential donors of objects and those offering items for loan and leads the Exhibits & Collections Committee in the review of all potential accessions, loans, and deaccession based on mission, collections goals, and status of current collections.
  • Leads Collections Development Planning Committee.
  • Sets collections policy, goals, and guidelines.
  • Manages and assures accuracy, security, retrievability, and intellectual integrity of collection items.
  • Evaluates current practices, stays current with professional standards, and develops new practices in collections management to assist with security and risk management and to preserve, safeguard, and eliminate hazards relating to collections.
  • Manages collection-related budget in addition to providing funding proposals for collections management and care.
  • Assures the adequate storage, maintenance, care, and preventive conservation of the collection.
  • Provides limited access to collections in response to requests for loans, research, and artifact information and responds to collection related inquiries from museums, researchers, and collectors.
  • Trains and supervises part-time and volunteer personnel in clerical work, collection duties, and collections care.
  • Oversees the development, maintenance, and upgrades of collections database including the online web portal for the museum.
  • Conducts regular inventories of collections and performs reconciliation with artifact records with the assistance of the Registrar.
  • Manages documentation and records according to the collections policy and develops all collection department reports as requested by senior staff.
  • Oversees the arrangements, condition reporting, packing, and shipping for both incoming and outgoing loans.


  • Leads development and implementation of all museum exhibits including interpretive plans.
  • Establishes and maintains a long-term exhibit plan.
  • Aligns exhibit plans with other museum activities to assure alignment and consistency.
  • Retrieves and prepares artifacts and artifact information for exhibits, conducts exhibit-related research, and provides input to staff regarding collection elements for exhibits, programs, and other museum needs.
  • Develops content and prepares all exhibit materials including signage and any related content.
  • Assists with installation and dismantling of museum exhibits.

Educational Programming

  • In partnership with the Education Director, ensures robust public and educational programming is available. This includes; K-12 and adult programming and outreach and the development of interpretive and educational programming associated with the collections.

Professional Competencies

  • Technical Skills – Assesses own strengths and weaknesses; pursues training and development opportunities; strives to continuously build knowledge and skills; shares expertise with others.
  • Judgment – Displays willingness to make decisions; exhibits sound and accurate judgment; supports and explains reasoning for decisions; includes appropriate people in decision-making process. Makes timely decisions.
  • Visionary Leadership – Inspires respect and trust; mobilizes others to fulfill the vision.
  • Change Management – Develops workable implementation plans; communicates changes effectively; builds commitment and overcomes resistance; prepares and supports those affected by change.
  • Quality Management – Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness.
  • Business Acumen – Understand business implications of decisions; displays orientation to profitability; demonstrates knowledge of market and competition; aligns work with strategic goals.
  • Cost Consciousness – contributes to profits and revenue; conserves organizational resources.
  • Customer Focused – Works to assure this role supports the priority of assuring every visitor has an enjoyable and memorable experience to the museum.
  • Ethics – Treats people with respect; keeps commitments; inspires the trust of others; works with integrity and ethically; upholds organizational values.
  • Organizational Support – Follows policies and procedures; completes administrative tasks correctly and on time; supports organization’s goals and values; supports affirmative action and respects diversity.
  • Diversity – Promotes a harassment-free environment.
  • Strategic Thinking – Understands organization’s strengths and weaknesses; analyzes market and competition; identifies externals threats and opportunities; adapts strategy to changing conditions.
  • Motivation – Demonstrates persistence and overcomes obstacles; takes calculated risks to accomplish goals. Is a self-starter.
  • Planning/Organizing – Prioritizes and plans work activities; uses time efficiently; sets goals and objectives; develops realistic action plans.
  • Professionalism – Approaches others in a tactful manner; reacts well under pressure; treats others with respect and consideration regardless of their status or position; accepts responsibility for own actions; follows through on commitments.
  • Quality – Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness; monitors own work to ensure quality.
  • Quantity – Meets productivity standards; completes work in a timely manner; strives to increase productivity; works quickly.
  • Safety and Security – Observes safety and security procedures.
  • Adaptability – Adapts to changes in work environment; manages competing demands; changes approach or method to best fit the situation; able to deal with frequent change, delays or unexpected events.
  • Attendance/Punctuality – Is consistently at work and on time; ensures work responsibilities are covered when absent; arrives at meetings and appointments on time.
  • Dependability – Follows instructions; responds to management direction; takes responsibility for own actions; keeps commitments; commits to long hours of work when necessary to reach goals; completes tasks on time or notifies appropriate person with an alternate plan.
  • Initiative – Undertakes self-development activities; takes independent actions and calculated risks; looks for and takes advantage of opportunities; asks for and offers help when needed.
  • Innovation – Displays original thinking and creativity; meets challenges with resourcefulness; presents ideas and information in a manner that gets others’ attention.

Education, Skills and Experience – Required

A summary of the experiences and skills required for the position:

  • Bachelor’s degree in museum studies, public history, American history or related field
  • Five years relevant experience in a museum
  • Three to five years in supervisory capacity; or any equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Working knowledge of general philosophy, principles, and practices of history museums
  • Considerable knowledge of collections management, care, documentation, conservation, security, and risk management
  • Working knowledge of computer database systems and best practices of office management
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, visitors, volunteers, donors, collectors, professional colleagues and other members of the museum community
  • Ability to plan, organize, and implement complex filing and research systems, to multi-task and problem solve, excellent research skills, to work in a team-oriented environment and communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing.

Education, Skills and Experience - Preferred

A summary of the experiences and skills preferred for the position:

  • Master’s degree in museum studies, public history, American history or related field

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) Required for Position

  • n/a, except as required when using museum equipment, i.e. ladders, lifting, etc.

Work Environment

This job primarily operates in a conventional office environment within the setting of a large 501(c)3 museum. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, filing cabinets and fax machines. Sometimes this job operates in collections storage areas and museum galleries.

Physical Demands

Managing the collection and setting up displays requires the ability to lift 40 lbs. and climb ladders.

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

This is a full-time position. Days and hours of work are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Evening and weekend work may be required as job duties demand.


This position requires up to 10% travel.

Other Duties

Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time due to changing priorities of the museum or other factors. 

Thank you to our Partners!

Michigan Museums Association       313-334-7643       PO Box 5246, Cheboygan, MI 49721

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