The Rhode Island Historical Society invites experienced museum and/or library administrators with artifact and/or special collections experience to apply for the position of Deputy Executive Director for Collections and Interpretation.
The Deputy Executive Director (DED) for Collections and Interpretation will manage a team whose responsibilities include the day-to-day management of the RIHS’s collections, interpretation, and programs, such as cataloguing and technical services, visitor services, acquisitions, and conservation. The DED will also coordinate with the Director of the Goff Center for Education and Public Programs and the Director of the Museum of Work & Culture on exhibition planning and execution of the RIHS’s strategic plan as it pertains to interpretive, educational programs.
The DED will report directly to the Executive Director, assisting the Executive Director in making strategic decisions related to the programs and activities of the RIHS and advising on industry best practices and trends related to collections-based digitization and outreach. The DED will also work closely with the Deputy Executive Director for Finance and Administration on budget development and oversight of departmental budgets, as well as compliance. Additionally, the DED will work with both the staff and Board of Trustees Collections Committees to determine collections priorities, recommend accessions and deaccessions, approve loans, and identify conservation needs.
The successful candidate will have experience managing a professional staff – ideally in a special collections department or museum – as well as first-hand experience in areas such as collections development, research services, collection management, cataloguing and technical services, imaging, and exhibition planning.
About the RIHS
The RIHS, a Smithsonian Affiliate, holds the largest and most important historical collections relating to Rhode Island. These collections include some 25,000 objects, 5,000 manuscripts, 100,000 books and printed items, 400,000 photographs and maps, and 9 million feet of motion-picture film. Headquartered in Providence, R.I., the RIHS owns and maintains the John Brown House Museum, a National Historic Landmark built in 1788; the Aldrich House, also a National Historic Landmark, built in 1822; and the Mary Elizabeth Robinson Research Center. The organization also maintains the Museum of Work and Culture in Woonsocket, devoted to the history of northern Rhode Island. The RIHS offers a variety of educational programs and community activities, including workshops, lectures, films, concerts, walking tours, and more.
• Master’s degree in library/information science and/or graduate degree in a discipline relevant to the RIHS’s collection
• At least seven years of experience with special collections services or museum collections and operations, ideally as a manager
• Demonstrated ability to work as a leader, articulating a vision, setting a direction, and accomplishing new initiatives
• Thorough knowledge of rare books, manuscripts, archives, special collections, or museum collections
• Experience in working with curatorial, technical services, conservation, and digital library staff to develop goals for acquiring, processing, and making special collections fully accessible
• An understanding of and receptiveness to the uses of emerging technologies in archival and special collections
• Ability to work collegially in a small group of senior administrators
• Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills with experience in working collaboratively with others
• Strong analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills
• Track record of success in fundraising and/or obtaining grants
• Evidence of scholarly engagement and active participation within the profession
• Ability to manage budgets and forecast accurately and appropriately to assist in annual budgeting process
Email cover letter, resume/CV, and the names of three references to firstname.lastname@example.org, attention C. Morgan Grefe, RIHS Executive Director, with “DED Collections and Interpretation” in the subject line. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. No phone calls, please.