Collection Assistant

Website Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum

Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum seeks a Collection Assistant to serve on its curatorial team. Reporting to the Chief Curator, the Collection Assistant will be responsible for efforts to refine the museum collection and make the collection safely accessible to the public through online initiatives. The right candidate will have training or experience in the proper handling of museum collections in all media. The applicant must be able to manage multiple tasks related to the collection, artifacts, and exhibitions and possess excellent writing and organizational skills. A bachelor’s degree in history, museum studies, art, anthropology, or a related discipline is required. This is a two-year position.

Duties include:

Information Management: 

  • Shepherd artifacts through the deaccession process, according to the Collections Management Policy. Review segments of the collection and identify artifacts to recommend for deaccession.
  • Conduct inventory of segments of the collection and take artifact access photos, as necessary, to update records.
  • Assist with moving artifacts for collections and exhibition projects.
  • Assist with adding new listings and photos to the online collection platform.
  • Assist with cleanup of records for migration of collection database files to an online format. Assist with cleanup of other digital files and paper records for the department.
  • Assist with training and supervising volunteers and interns who work with the collection and collection-related projects.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Chief Curator and Collection Manager.

Outreach and Visitor Services:

  • Correspond with individuals interested in donating artifacts to Vesterheim and help facilitate accepted donations.
  • Receive inquiries from scholars and the general public concerning the identification, history, care, storage, and display of artifacts. Sort inquiries and answer or forward to the appropriate staffer. Assist researchers with onsite research.

Job Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision or interaction with other staff.
  • Ability to work collaboratively as part of a team that includes staff and interns.
  • Ability to lift and carry up to 50 pounds, climb a ladder, stand and sit for extended periods of time, kneel, and balance.
  • Onsite attendance will be required to perform most of the duties of this position.

To apply, email a cover letter, resume, and the names of three professional references to or mail to Tammy Carolan, Human Resources Administrator, Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, P.O. Box 379, Decorah, IA  52101.

Review of resumes will begin immediately. All resumes received before the application close date of May 16, 2021, will be considered. Vesterheim is an EOE/AA.

Find information about Vesterheim benefits here (pdf).

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