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Chief Acquisitions Curator


The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is looking for an innovative and passionate individual to join our team and inspire citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity.

About the Role

The position is located in the Curatorial Affairs Branch in the Archival and Curatorial Affairs Division of the National Institute for Holocaust Documentation (NIHD) of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). The division is responsible for the acquisition, documentation, and archival processing of the Museum’s collections. The Curatorial Affairs Branch is responsible for building the Museum’s Collection of Record of the Holocaust into the most comprehensive collection of its type worldwide through the collection and documentation of three-dimensional objects, personal and institutional papers and photographs, published materials, film and video, oral histories, and recorded sound. The Collection constitutes the Museum’s most important asset and is held in public trust by the Presidentially appointed United States Holocaust Memorial Council.

The Curatorial Affairs Branch establishes standards for the acquisition of appropriate materials by adhering to the Museum’s Collections Management Policy and Collecting Plan, and implements collecting guidelines that are related to historical, biographical, and geographic scope of collection content as the acquisition relates to its source (individual donor or organization, for example) in line with the needs of Museum exhibition staff and, in coordination with the Chief Archivist and the Director of the Archival and Curatorial Affairs Division, scholarly researchers. Through the Curatorial Affairs Branch, the Museum acquires and makes accessible hundreds of collections of various media annually.


The primary purpose of the Chief Acquisitions Curator is to provide comprehensive curatorial, administrative, and strategic direction for the branch, with particular emphasis on the review and documentation of the incoming materials for the Museum’s Collection of Record. The Chief Acquisitions Curator orchestrates the activities of a team of curators who specialize in various media and subject areas, and ensures that collecting practices and documentation are carried out consistent with established policy, processes and workflows at the branch, division, and office levels respectively. The Chief Acquisitions Curator exercises exceptional connoisseurship in the identification and determination of authenticity and historical value of proposed and acquired materials and media, and displays expertise in overseeing the work of teams of acquisition curators and consultants working around the world on behalf of the Museum. In addition to overseeing the Museum’s collecting efforts, the Chief Acquisitions Curator is active in discussions across the field of Holocaust studies and among other related collecting institutions that document the Holocaust.

The Chief Acquisitions Curator works under the Director of the Archival and Curatorial Affairs (ACA) Division. The Director, who is part of the NIHD leadership team under the direction of the Office Head, directs the work of the division and its constituent branches including defining acquisition policies and practices, making final determinations about acquisitions according to the Collections Management Policy, coordinating with office leadership on intra-office initiatives and working groups as well as activities outside of NIHD, and ensuring that division and branch activities conform to the strategic and administrative goals and vision of NIHD and the Museum. The Chief Acquisitions Curator will work collaboratively with the Director and the Chief Archivist to ensure that acquisition and archival policies are carried out effectively and in-line with Office and Museum goals, coordinate information sharing about acquisitions, coordinate participation of staff on intra-office working groups and in other initiatives, and guide day-to-day staff activities to serve the needs of researchers and other NIHD constituents.

This is a full-time donated position (non-Federal) paid with the Museum’s private funds. Salary is commensurate with experience.

How to Apply

Visit the application site for additional information, a more detailed position description, and to complete an application.

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