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- Digital Curation
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- Online Marketing
- Notes and Tips for a Communication Strategy in Cultural Institutions
- Google Analytics
- Video: How to successfully unite new media and culture?
- Video: The new economies and the empowerment of artists
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- VIDEO: Lectures from Symposium
Professional Profiles in the Museum: Introduction, Tips and Practice
Do you ever wonder what it is like to work in a museum? How many people are needed to efficiently run an institution such as MGLC? Here is a brief summary of the essential staff in a museum and a short explanation of their roles. Depending on the size of the institution, the tittles or names of the professions may vary, as well as the numbers of professionals employed – which is why only the most common museum professions are discussed, not linked to any particular institution. For example, in a big museum there can be several curators, restorers and registrars with assistants, whereas in a small gallery there may be just one curator who takes on all the tasks of the before-mentioned.
Director: The director is the person that coordinates and supervises the work in a museum – every activity, every event and every new piece that comes to the institution. He is a professional specialized in museum activity. He represents the institution and, as its face and voice, is also in charge of guiding fundraising and charity events.
Assistant Director: His job is to ensure the smooth-running of the management department. He assists the director, organizes and prepares meetings, keeps and administers records, manages agendas and correspondence. He is also in charge of the financial aspects of the museum, which means that he is the person that takes care of the budgets, expenses, employment of staff, also managing staff leave, absence and vacations.
Curator: The curator is the soul of the museum. He is responsible for planning, managing, cataloguing and storing the museum collections, as well as organizing permanent and temporary exhibitions, and deciding which art pieces should be exhibited or placed in storage.
Conservator: When the museum purchases a new painting in auction, the conservator is the first one to get his hands on it. His job is to ensure that the painting lasts as long as it can. He examines and documents the painting to find out the materials and the techniques used in its production (even from thousands of years ago), and decides the best treatment to avoid any further deterioration or changes to the artwork, when stored or exposed to the public. He is constantly researching new conservation methods and is able to reproduce the original techniques used to create the art piece in order to restore it appropriately.
Registrar: The registrar works closely with the curator, organizing and managing the transfer of museum artefacts from storage to display and back. He coordinates the setting up and dismantling of exhibitions, as well as the shipping and receipt of artworks. He is responsible for the analysis, labelling and proper storage of the art works once received or removed from display. His task is also to ensure the proper handling and storage of the pieces, as well as managing the insurance and legal issues involving them.
Marketing Manager: He is the person in charge of planning and developing a strategy that helps to communicate the contents of the museum to different types of public. He works hand in hand with the director on the main goal of the institution. He understands the role of all of the museum departments and collaborates with them often to build strategies.
PR Manager: The public relations manager is the link between the museum, the visitors and the external collaborators of the institution, which includes possible sponsors, members of the media and press, potential groups of visitors, or other cultural institutions. His tasks include managing the museum’s relations, finding sponsors for its events, organizing press conferences and informing the media about the relevant activities of the institution.
Programme Coordinator: He is the person in charge of planning and developing programmes for museum visitors, taking care of the coordination and schedule of everyone involved, as well as guiding tours and providing teaching. A good programme coordinator is a creative, open, organized and positive person that enjoys good working relationships with the internal team, as well as any possible outside contractors to ensure an optimal working environment.
Librarian: The main role of a museum librarian is to archive material, however, depending on the institution, he can have several tasks as part of his daily routine. He is in charge of all documentary material, including archiving, collecting, cataloguing, preparing, exchanging, organizing and preserving of various materials. A librarian often helps other co-workers in the museum to collect information for the collections or future exhibitions. In the new digital era, a librarian might also be in charge of the digitalisation of the museum’s archives, or research new ways of improving the application of digital technologies in the museum’s archive.
Visitor’s Care and Security Assistant Manager: He is in charge of welcoming the visitors or clients to the institution, organizing the ticket office and taking care of the security and safety of the displayed art.
Besides these basic professions, museums usually have other help in the form of internal or external members of staff depending on the size of the institution. Some examples are:
- Exhibition Designer
- Lighting Designer
- Graphic Designer
- Special Events Manager
- Restoration Assistant
By Natalia Corbillón González