Curator of Transportation History


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About this position

The Curator of Transportation History oversees the collections of the Crawford Auto Aviation Museum.

RESPONSIBILITY: Reports to Chief Curator

CLASSIFICATION: This position is classified as full time, professional and is exempt from overtime compensation

SUPERVISION: Supervises subordinate staff, interns, and volunteers


1. Works closely with curatorial, registrarial, education, and exhibition staff at WRHS
2. Maintains liaison with professionals (academic and museum) in the areas of automotive, aviation, and transportation history.
3. Maintains liaison with special interest groups, organizations, associations, and collectors in the fields of automotive, aviation, and transportation history.


1. Organizes and facilitates research into the history of automobiles and aviation of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio within the context of urban, social, and technological history.

2. Identifies and recommends historical artifacts and materials in automotive and aviation history for acquisition by WRHS. Surveys and analyzes materials held by the WRHS as well as materials held by other research facilities and also material held by private individuals, corporations, and institutions.

3. Creates and maintains records on the automotive and aviation collections, utilizing the WRHS computerized database, cataloging, and project management software. To this end gains working knowledge of the use of the computerized cataloging system put into place at WRHS, both in the museum and library.

4. Coordinates with the registrar the donation and lending of materials to and from WRHS for use in museum exhibits, programs, and publications.
5. Works in compliance with the stated conditions of the Crawford Trust which include:
a. Maintaining the size, quality and prominence of the Crawford Collection.
b. Maintaining, preserving and restoring the items in the collection that will ensure their ongoing historical and educational value.

6. In collaboration with WRHS collections, exhibition, and education staff takes the lead in developing exhibits and programming on the history of automobiles, aircraft, and related transportation technologies. Assists in the installation of exhibits and the delivery of programs.

7. Prepares oral, written, and visual historical lectures, essays, and summaries for use in exhibits and publications as well as public presentations, both internal and external to WRHS.

8. Serves as community liaison for the automotive and aviation collections at WRHS; serves as the spokesperson for the WRHS automotive and aviation collections by participation in professional conferences, meetings, and organizations.

8. Performs appropriate professional duties as assigned and requested by the Chief Curator.


1. B.A. & M.A in American History, History of Technology, Museum Studies, or related field.

2. Demonstrated knowledge of American social, cultural, and technological history, with a focus on the 19th-, 20th-, and 21st- centuries.

3. Minimum of three years of professional experience in a museum.

4. Demonstrated knowledge of online cataloging systems and web-based information-sharing technologies.

5. Demonstrated skills in budgeting and planning.

6. Demonstrated excellent writing, editing, and verbal communications skills.

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Western Reserve Historical Society is the oldest cultural institution in Northeast Ohio, the region's largest American history research center, and one of the leading genealogical research centers in the nation.

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Cleveland History Center
10825 East Boulevard
Cleveland, Ohio 44106 ↗

(216) 721-5722

Thursday: 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Friday, Saturday, & Sunday: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm