Oral History Program Manager – MN History Center (St. Paul, MN)

#1646 Oral History Program Manager


Requisition ID: 1646

JOB TITLE:    Oral History Program Manager

OPEN TO:    This job is open to all applicants.

LOCATION:    History Center – 345 W Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102

SALARY:    $4,411.00 monthly minimum, commensurate with experience

STATUS & HOURS:    Full-time, regular (approximately 2,088 annual hours) position.

BENEFITS:     Eligible to participate in the State Employee Group Insurance Program and a retirement program with employer contribution.  Generous vacation and sick time accruals with additional paid holidays.

DEPARTMENT:    Collections

CLASSIFICATION:    15K Supervisory


HIRING MANAGER:    Director, Collections

POSTING DATE:    July 18, 2022

DEADLINE DATE:    Open until filled; applications received prior to September 30, 2022 will receive priority consideration.

TO APPLY:    Interested applicants must apply online at the Minnesota Historical Society’s career center at www.mnhs.org/jobs and include a resume and cover letter by the application deadline date.

DESCRIPTION:  This position exists to provide vision, management, and sustained leadership to the Oral History Program (OHP) at the Minnesota Historical Society, establishing MNHS’ position as an authority in the field of oral history and to advance access to and use of oral histories related to Minnesota history and culture. The incumbent is charged with developing, managing, documenting, interpreting, and growing use of the oral history collection in an integrated manner and in concert with other MNHS collecting areas. Drawing upon professional experience and ongoing participation with the field of oral history nationally, the Senior Manager of the Oral History Program sets direction for oral history collection and curation that serves not only MNHS’ strategic plan and its objectives, but also MNHS’s diverse community of stakeholders, partners, and the people of Minnesota. The incumbent is an active contributor to the field of oral history at a national level, guides oral history creation and collecting at the highest professional standards, and works cross-functionally to ensure that oral history plays a core part of MNHS Collections, its mission, and its communities.

Working independently as well as part of a team, the Oral History Program Manager works with colleagues to build an integrated and sustainable oral history program; to steward and provide access to MNHS oral histories through research, programming, and exhibits; and offer intellectual guidance to Library catalogers, reference staff, and other colleagues. The successful candidate should have extensive knowledge of the field of oral history, a demonstrated interest in Minnesota history, culture, and lives of Minnesotans; and a commitment to and experience with fostering and maintaining equitable and respectful partnerships within a large organization with a diverse public.

SUMMARY OF WORK:  1) Establish and lead the Oral History Program at MNHS; 2) Work with colleagues across MNHS to promote access to and engagement with the MNHS Oral History Program; 3) Represent MNHS broadly, including as a member of professional organizations and contribute to the advancement of the field of oral history locally and nationally; 4) Collaborate across MNHS to advance MNHS strategic plan objectives, including contributing to MNHS’s commitment to sharing Minnesota history through community engagement and partnerships; and 5) Provide management oversight to unit staff.


  • M.A. in American History, American Studies, Public History or related field along with academic training in the theory, methodology, and curation of oral history.
  • Three years program development and leadership experience.
  • Significant experience conducting and editing oral history interviews.
  • Excellent interpersonal communications skills and the ability to work with tact and diplomacy with a wide range of stakeholders including donors, community members, and the MNHS Executive Council.
  • Experience working successfully with diverse communities, partners, and stakeholders.
  • Valid driver’s license.
  • Ability and willingness to travel.


  • Developing, implementing, and managing long-term project plans.

  • Supervising staff, including mentoring, performance management, hiring, and scheduling.

  • Training staff on customer service and communicating program information.

  • Synthesizing research findings into coherent themes and narratives.

  • Thinking imaginatively and problem solving.

  • Multitasking, working effectively under pressure to meet deadlines, prioritizing and adapting to changing priorities.

  • Working independently and taking individual initiative while also being able to collaborate effectively and contribute positively in a team environment.

  • Strong analytical and organizational skills with a demonstrated results orientation.

  • Communicating clearly and accurately both orally and in writing.

  • Recognizing and respecting confidential information.

  • Developing, administering and monitoring program budgets.

  • Strong computer skills working with PDF, sound files, Word, Excel, Outlook, and Photoshop.


  • Traditional and digital technologies supporting oral histories, including best practices for equipment and formats.
  • History research methodology and data gathering techniques, including ability to conduct original research in primary source collections.
  • Minnesota history and culture.


  • Ph.D in American History, American Studies, Public History or related field.
  • Curation of an active oral history collection.
  • Record of academic publishing particularly in the area of oral history.
  • Demonstrated experience in project, program, and budget management.

Should you have questions with the application process, email humanresources@mnhs.org or call MNHS Job Line at 651-259-3181.   At MNHS, we don’t just accept difference — we celebrate it, we support it, and we thrive on diversity for the benefit of our employees, our products and services, and our community. The Minnesota Historical Society believes that an inclusive culture among our team members is critical to our success as a historical society and museum, and we seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. The Minnesota Historical Society is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and employer.