Acquisitions Registrar


Duration: Regular, Full-time, Exempt

Location: Fremont, CA

Department: Collections & Exhibitions


The Acquisitions Registrar reports to the Collections Manager and primarily coordinates the safe receiving of all new artifact acquisitions through donations, sales and transfers, is responsible for all aspects of documenting those transactions, and maintains related registration records to the highest standards. The Acquisitions Registrar mitigates risks by communicating and addressing the needs of acquisition operations, including supporting thorough inventorying and cataloging, coordinating collections storage and management needs, and attending to collections-related facilities issues, such as IPM and climate control. This position may periodically support exhibits by obtaining new acquisitions, maintaining database records, and assisting with installations.


Registration and Collections Management

  • Coordinates the artifact offer and review process, including creating MimsyXG records and vetting all donation and sales offers with the curatorial team through the use of up-to-date records and reports.
  • Issues, maintains and processes documents and records related to acquisitions, including incoming receipts, deeds of gift, provenance forms, license agreements, temporary custody forms and other applicable agreements, and creates a wide variety of database records as needed.
  • Coordinates the logistics for the delivery, transport, insurance, customs and similar requirements for all newly accepted acquisitions.
  • Provides outstanding service to donors with respect to the acquisition process, including but not limited to timely correspondence and communications, shipping logistics, assisting appraisers, and facilitating IRS forms.
  • Works collaboratively with other registrars, archivists and curators to support processing efforts and projects of all collections types, which may include inventorying, reboxing, accessioning, classifying, cataloging and photographing artifacts, performing research on acquisitions, documenting condition, uploading images, and recording locations in the collections management database.
  • Maintains the collections database to increase online digital access by performing accurate and timely data entry, updates forms as needed, and performs monthly quality control tasks of new catalog records and image uploads.
  • Accounts for collections growth each month.
  • Reviews and performs quality control for areas of the collections closely related to acquisitions operations.
  • Coordinates and trains volunteers to assist in collections cataloging activities according to CHM’s policies, standard procedures and best practices; performs monthly quality control checks of their work; and uses volunteer management software to administer volunteer openings and hours.
  • Trains and supervises graduate student interns on an ad hoc basis in accessioning, records management and other registration duties, tasks or special projects.
  • Assists with periodic physical inventory of the physical artifact collection under the direction and supervision of the Collections Manager.
  • Invests in understanding the history of the collection and registration records in order to maintain and improve file and collections database records, which contribute to researching old acquisitions, old loans and candidates for deaccession.
  • Communicates proactively across departments to provide information or direction or in support of a variety of projects or tasks in the Museum’s other departments, such as providing acquisitions donor reports to Development for solicitations.
  • Serves as the lead point-of-contact at the Shustek Center for collections management and facilities-related issues (e.g. climate, pests, security, e-waste disposal, disaster recovery, etc.), supplies purchasing, and assist with similar needs.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Exhibitions Support:

  • May team with the Exhibitions Registrar as needed to support the exhibition development team by attending meetings; accessioning and cataloging new artifacts and props; assisting with installation and with follow-up tasks, such as exhibit photography and updating insurance values and locations.
  • Participates in all exhibition cleanings according to museum best practices and helps provide housekeeping guidance to volunteers.
  • As needed, may assist with ongoing exhibit maintenance and installing ad-hoc exhibits.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Required Background, Experience, and Education:

  • Masters in Museum Studies and 2-3 years experience working in a museum as a professional registrar
  • Experience using collections management relational database
  • Experience specializing in acquisitions, with demonstrated knowledge of deeds, license agreements, copyright issues, IRS requirements and deaccessioning best practices
  • Demonstrated experience of collections management/artifact storage best practices in artifact handling, cataloging in a museum or library setting, and of preventive conservation practices.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail and dedication to accurate records-keeping, while also being flexible and maintaining a sense of humor.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Comfortable working an artifact storage setting
  • Skill in organizing resources and establishing priorities
  • Proven ability to work both independently and collaboratively with a wide variety of museum colleagues, peers, vendors, volunteers, interns, and others.

Preferred Qualifications, Attributes and Skills

  • Experience using Mimsy XG and Crystal Reports
  • Experience working with and supervising interns or volunteers.
  • Familiarity with computer, technology or electronics artifact collections and preservation requirements.
  • Experience using pallets jacks, scissor lifts, power tools and similar tools using crating and prep.

Physical Demands and Work Environment

  • Able to lift 40 lbs., climb a ladder, use a pallet jack and learn to drive a scissor lift.
  • Staff in this position must travel occasionally between the Museum’s three facilities in Mountain View, Fremont and Milpitas. A valid CA driver’s license and reliable transportation are required.
  • Duties may include occasional weekend or evening work in support of CHM Live or similar events.

How to Apply

Please send your cover letter, resume, and a list of 3 professional references to: For more information on the Computer History Museum, visit