Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

You are hereMuseum jobs: a summary

Museum jobs: a summary


when talking to some of the developers at the Fluid Engage project team meeting today (i'm on the Advisory Committee), i realised that an introduction to the way that museums are organized, and what kinds of people do which kinds of jobs, would be helpful.

as part of a review of Museum Studies training i did a while ago, i conducted the attached Review of Museum Jobs and Training Requirements. then, i was interested in where and how museum studies training came into play, and where technology literacy mattered. now, the charted overview of functions might be helpful for others. 

there's plenty of background in the sources cited, too.

/jt

jtrant's picture

Heidi,

thatks for your comment. you're right, there are lots of specializations that are not be represented individually on the list. as you know, many functions are not assigned consistently across museums; staffing and organizational structures depend a lot on size and budget.

this list aggregated all professions represented in three recognised sources describing museum work. yes, "Visual Resources professionals" would fit in the Collections / Collections Management cluster, as that is the information and records creation/management group here. not specifically naming Visual Resource professionals was no different than not specifically naming a Rights and Reproductions officer. the summary didn't go to that level of detail. it certainly wasn't intended as a slight.

the point of the survey was to identify broad areas of responsibility and the competencies required (at a very high level). it was shared to help a group that was not familiar with museum organizational structure at all.

here's an additional summary, further abstracted, interesting to me because of what it says about the role of Museum Studies as preparation for some kinds of museum work.

Number of Distinct Job Titles


Museum Studies Qualification


Professional


Professional + Museum Studies

Director's Office

4

1

25.0%

3

75.0%

1

25.0%

Administration

28

2

7.1%

9

32.1%

1

3.6%

Collections

19

9

47.4%

12

63.2%

4

21.1%

Public Programming

29

13

44.8%

14

48.3%

9

31.0%

Total

80

25

31.3%

38

47.5%

15

18.8%

Note: Totals are of jobs types, not number of staff people, e.g. Director =1, Museum Guard = 1 though many museums will have more than one guard.

 

* Sources [these may have been updated since 2006 when the summary was done]

Danilov, V. J. (1994). Museum Careers and Training: A Professional Guide: Greenwood Press.

Lord, G. D., & Lord, B. (1997). The Manual of Museum Management. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.

Glaser, J. R., & Zenetou, A. A. (1996). Museums: A Place to Work: Routledge.

Precedents

Teather, J. L. (1978). Professional directions for museum work in Canada : an analysis of museum jobs and museum studies training curricula, a report to the Training Committee of the Canadian Museums Association. Ottawa: Canadian Museums Association.

/jennifer

j. trant archives & museum informatics www.archimuse.com

j. trant co-founder Museums and the Web | partner archives & museum informatics www.archimuse.com