What does a Curator do?

Administer collections, such as artwork, collectibles, historic items, or scientific specimens of museums or other institutions. May conduct instructional, research, or public service activities of institution.

Jobs Roles

  • Develop and maintain an institution's registration, cataloging, and basic record-keeping systems, using computer databases.
  • Provide information from the institution's holdings to other curators and to the public.
  • Inspect premises to assess the need for repairs and to ensure that climate and pest control issues are addressed.
  • Train and supervise curatorial, fiscal, technical, research, and clerical staff, as well as volunteers or interns.
  • Negotiate and authorize purchase, sale, exchange, or loan of collections.
  • Plan and conduct special research projects in area of interest or expertise.
  • Confer with the board of directors to formulate and interpret policies, to determine budget requirements, and to plan overall operations.
  • Attend meetings, conventions, and civic events to promote use of institution's services, to seek financing, and to maintain community alliances.
  • Schedule events and organize details, including refreshment, entertainment, decorations, and the collection of any fees.
  • Write and review grant proposals, journal articles, institutional reports, and publicity materials.
  • Study, examine, and test acquisitions to authenticate their origin, composition, history, and to assess their current value.
  • Arrange insurance coverage for objects on loan or for special exhibits and recommend changes in coverage for the entire collection.
  • Establish specifications for reproductions and oversee their manufacture or select items from commercially available replica sources.
  • Plan and organize the acquisition, storage, and exhibition of collections and related materials, including the selection of exhibition themes and designs, and develop or install exhibit materials.
  • Design, organize, or conduct tours, workshops, and instructional or educational sessions to acquaint individuals with an institution's facilities and materials.