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Curator of Cultural History

Date Posted:  May 12, 2023
Requisition ID:  425088

Indianapolis, IN, US, 46204


Work for Indiana

Grow your career with the State of Indiana! With more than 50 executive branch agencies, the State of Indiana is a diverse workforce offering employees stimulating and challenging projects across a broad scope of career opportunities. As a State of Indiana employee, you impact the well-being of Indiana’s communities every day.


At the State of Indiana, we don’t just talk about diversity and inclusion - Our goal is to create a welcoming, accessible, and equitable workplace, with a workforce that is representative of the State of Indiana population. As a proud equal opportunity employer, reasonable accommodations may be available to enable individuals with disabilities to complete the application and interview process, as well as perform the essential functions of a role.


Next Level benefits at the State of Indiana are here! Be sure to review our expanded benefit package offerings below.


About the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites:
The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites (ISMHS) is a statewide museum system with 12 locations, including a central museum based in Indianapolis. Our mission is to serve as a catalyst for informal lifelong learning that connects the stories of real people, places, and things. Our values are Inclusion, Integrity, Stewardship, and Transparency. First among our strategic priorities is to engage and serve an expanded and diverse audience through transformative experiences: Collections. Exhibits. Programs.

Salary Statement  

The salary for this position traditionally starts at $55,000. 

About the Job:

The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites (ISMHS) is looking for an experienced curator to serve as Curator of Cultural History and help advance the museum's mission to serve as a catalyst for informal lifelong learning that connects the stories of real people, places and things. The Curator of Cultural History plays a key role within the ISMHS museum system, serving as curator across a broad range of subjects, including popular culture, sports, military history, communications technology, music, performing and literary arts as well as providing curatorial support for historic sites. 

The Curator of Cultural History is part of the Curatorial, Collections and Research division, reporting to the Senior Curator of Arts and Culture. The position is based in Indianapolis and involves work across Indiana. For more information about ISMHS, please visit 

A Day in the Life:

The essential functions of this role are as follows: 

  • Recommend collections strategies and acquire artifacts in areas of responsibility, including contemporary and responsive collecting.\
  • Develop expertise related to a broad range of subjects. 
  • Support historic sites within areas of expertise.
  • Conduct research to determine the authenticity, history and relevance to Indiana history of items within the cultural history collection, including documentation and cataloging.
  • Work with division to make collections more accessible.
  • Serve on cross-departmental exhibition, engagement and planning teams.
  • Build and cultivate relationships and partnerships between the museum system, community groups and individuals.
  • Develop relationships with colleagues at peer institutions to share resources and exchange information.
  • Encourage and facilitate use of ISMHS collections by external researchers.
  • Write and give public presentations for specialist and popular audiences.
  • Respond to public inquiries related to areas of responsibility.
  • Assist with marketing and communication efforts related to collections, including media and interviews.
  • Support institutional development, including aiding with grants and donor stewardship.
  • Assist senior curator with section administration as needed.

What You'll Need for Success:

You must meet the following requirements to be considered for employment: 

  • At least five years full-time relevant experience in a museum or similar setting. Supervisory experience preferred.
  • MA or equivalent in American studies, history, public history or related field with knowledge of and experience working with the material culture of the United States. Knowledge of Indiana history is a plus. 
  • A combination of education and relevant experience that provides the needed knowledge and skills will also be considered. 
  • While experience in all of the subject areas covered by this position is not necessary, it does require a firm foundation on which to build and the interest and ability to dive into new subjects.
  • Passion for museums and the impact they can have in their communities.
  • Adherence to professional standards and ethics as set by the American Alliance of Museums, including handling and display of artifacts and specimens.
  • Excellent and effective oral and written communication skills
  • Effective public speaking skills and ability to engage with a diverse range of audiences.
  • Ability to work on cross-departmental teams, collaborate with colleagues with different perspectives and backgrounds, and facilitate team decisions.
  • Ability to organize and prioritize numerous projects and assignments to maintain workflow and meet deadlines.
  • Experience with digital humanities is a plus.

Supervisory Responsibilities/Direct Reports:

This role does not provide direct supervision to direct reports; however, supervision may be assigned based on agency needs.

Benefits of Employment with the State of Indiana:

The State of Indiana offers a comprehensive benefit package for full-time employees which includes: 

  • Three (3) medical plan options (including RX coverage) as well as vision and dental plans
  • Wellness Rewards Program: Complete wellness activities to earn gift card rewards
  • Health savings account, which includes bi-weekly state contribution
  • Flexible work scheduling options, including the potential for hybrid remote work for employees whose work may be performed outside state facilities
  • Deferred compensation 457B account (similar to 401k plan) with employer match
  • Two (2) fully-funded pension plan options
  • A robust, comprehensive program of leave policies covering a variety of employee needs, including but not limited to:
    • 150 hours of paid new parent leave
    • Up to 15 hours of paid community service leave
  • Combined 180 hours of paid vacation, personal, and sick leave time off
  • 12 paid holidays, 14 on election years
  • Education Reimbursement Program
  • Group life insurance
  • Referral Bonus program
  • Employee assistance program that allows for covered behavioral health visits
  • Qualified employer for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
  • Free Parking for most positions
  • Free LinkedIn Learning access


Equal Employment Opportunity:

The State of Indiana is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to recruit, select, develop, and promote employees based on individual ability and job performance. Our policy is to provide equal employment opportunity to all people in all aspects of employer-employee relations without discrimination because of race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental disability, or veteran status. We will comply with the spirit as well as the letter of all applicable state and federal laws. 


If you are a qualified individual with a disability and require reasonable accommodation in completing this application, you can request assistance by contacting the Indiana State Personnel Department at [email protected]


The State of Indiana has established a culture that welcomes equity, inclusion, and opportunity for all employees and applicants. We encourage you to apply if you feel you have the transferrable skills to be successful in this position and we look forward to reviewing your application.


Current Employee? Click here to apply.

Nearest Major Market: Indianapolis