Museum staff - roles

These are roles (and often departments) within museums. There are distinct taks for each role, but data from the McCord visit indicates that exhibition design is an iterative process that people from diverse departments participate in. Feel free to add, edit, etc.


Content development:

  • research
  • interpretation - how is collection presented? Taxonomically? Chronologically? Thematically? 
  • text development
  • object selection
  • image research
  • artifact acquisions - come of with rationale for acquring an object

Collections Manager/Management

Assisting with relocation from storage to exhibition venue & vice versa. Measuring and assessing conservation needs. Managment of loans (to museum, from museum), transportation, collections management system, handling/tracking/security of objects. Handles acquisitions, from start (e.g., preparing documentation, etc.) till finish (i.e., until it's legally theirs and in final storage). Manages relationship between objects. Designs reports (e.g., the bible used in the exhibition design process).


Promotion of exhibition; crafting press releases; liasing with the Web team; promo via social networking sites (?). Help plan when exhibitions should occur.

Education/public programs

Developing educational kits; organizing (or presenting) at talks/workshops; guiding the development of interpretive materials.Help plan when exhibitions should occur.


Manages anything related to the physical condition of objects in the museum. Assessing the state of objects on display; conduct treatment for objects; plan rotation of objects on display. Delivers conservation files/reports (e.g. condition and conservation of objects). Monitors the conditions in th exhibtion (e.g. physical environment, humidity). Performs preventative and remedial conservation. Also performs research about the collection. 

Exhibition designer

Uses the exhibition report to plan how and where objects will be placed within the gallery space.


Construct displays (e.x. prepare supports, build structures); help install the exhibition especially larger artifacts; put artifacts in their showcases. Assist collections management with the rotation of objects.

Visitor research


Web services coordinator / IT Services


Notes from McCord visit (see attachments)
"Exhibitions: a practical guide for small museums and galleries" by Georgia Rouette (Museums Australia - Victoria)