Robert R. McCormick served in the First Infantry Division during World War I fought during the Battle of Cantigny in 1918. This battle affected him so strongly that after the war he renamed his Wheaton farm in its honor. Organized on June 8, 1917 for duty on the Western Front in World War I, the 1st Infantry Division was first permanent division in the regular Army and has seen action in all American wars since 1917, except the Korean War. Today museum visitors can witness the sights, sounds, and soldiers’ stories from the First World War through modern times. Visitors can encounter, question, and form their own views of our military past and present. The museum and grounds were fully renovated in 2017, and admission is always free.
Opportunity: Collections Manager
We are looking for a Collections Manager who will be responsible for the preservation, care, and use of the permanent collection of more than 15,000 three-dimensional artifacts. Specifically, this position manages and supervises proper handling, conservation, documentation and storage to preserve and interpret objects that represent the history of the 1st Infantry Division in the broader context of American military history. The ideal candidate brings at least two years of experience working in a museum collections department and is familiar with 20th and 21st century United States military material culture. This is a great opportunity for someone who enjoys caring for and sharing the museum’s vast collection to make that knowledge accessible to others. This is a full-time position that reports to the Chief Curator.
Directs the care, documentation, and inventory of the three-dimensional permanent collection, including supervising access and activity in storage areas and cataloguing objects into museum’s PastPerfect database
Responsible for conservation of objects, including pest monitoring, housing projects and storage upgrades, condition reporting, recommending conservation priorities, arranging for off-site conservation, and overseeing the budget for conservation supplies
Monitor collections and artifacts on exhibit, including environmental data loggers, security issues, disaster preparedness, and coordinating an annual cleaning routine
Prepare reports on artifact collection at the direction of the Curator of Collections, responsible for annual firearms inventory and other inventories as requested
Attend exhibit planning and design meetings and collaborate with the Exhibits and Collections Processing Technician to create basic and specialized mounts/supports, assist with case preparations, assist with artifact installations/de-installations, and design and implement a rotation plan for artifacts on display at the First Division Museum or other museums
Promote the use of the collection by researchers and the general public
Represent the First Division Museum at programs, events, and professional museum/history conferences
Coordinate movement of permanent collection when needed and help oversee outside contractors hired to assist with collection moves and installations/de-installations
Emphasize best practices regarding safety in the workplace including the safety of volunteers during motor pool operations; follows established safety rules for the use of personal protection equipment, the proper operation of tools/machinery, and the handling of a variety of materials; and reporting any unsafe conditions to respective supervisor
Bachelor’s degree in history, anthropology, or related field; master’s degree in a museum studies preferred
A minimum of two years of professional work experience in a museum setting and knowledge of 20th and 21st century United States military history
Comfort with subject matter that can be challenging and at times disturbing as it deals with war and its consequences, and sensitive cultural subject matter
Strong interpersonal communication skills and customer service orientation
Efficient and effective multi-tasking and time management skills
Detail-oriented, inquisitive, and thoughtful
Team player, with the ability to work independently when needed
Demonstrated passion for the Foundation’s values with commitment to deliver results measured against the Foundation’s mission
Basic computer skills including use of Microsoft Office Suite, proficiency in PastPerfect
The following physical abilities are required for the position: communicate verbally with visitors and staff; hear visitors’ voices; be physically able to stand for 4-5-hours at a time; be physically able to lift and carry 50 lbs. using proper safety precautions; ability to work in variable weather conditions; comprehend and speak English extensively and clearly with the public; display ability to respond in emergencies; and tolerate reasonable noise in the environment
Must be available for occasional evening and weekend events and some travel
Must attend Cantigny Park’s Child Safety Training
Must attend First Division Museum training once a year
All offers are contingent upon successful completion of a criminal background check and drug screening
Internal Number: 6302608158
About First Division Museum at Cantigny Park
The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is dedicated to fostering communities of educated, informed, and engaged citizens. Through philanthropic grant-making and Cantigny Park, the Foundation works to make life better in Chicagoland. The McCormick Foundation, among the nation's largest foundations with more than $1.5 billion in assets, was established in 1955 upon the death of Col. Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune.
Cantigny Park, part of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, is the 500-acre Wheaton estate of Robert R. McCormick. It is home to the McCormick House, First Division Museum, formal gardens, picnic grounds, walking trails and a Visitors Center with banquet and dining facilities.