Archive and Collections Lead
Working Hours: Full-time
Salary: Up to £35,000 per annum
Primary Location: Essex Record Office, Chelmsford
Closing Date (Period for Applying) - External: 31 March 2019
Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dynamic local authorities in the UK, serving a population of 2 million residents, and has a very successful track record of delivering transformational change. We have an ambitious transformation agenda – one with the scope to reach every part of the council. We are changing the way we think, the way we work, and the ways in which we deliver our services. We are committed to becoming a place where individuals, partners and communities feel proud to play their role and genuinely want to belong. We’re immensely proud of our flexible working options.
The Essex Record Office is an Accredited Archive Service which preserves records reflecting the rich and diverse history and culture of the county of Essex. As well as providing access to documents spanning a thousand years of our history, we also hold extensive audio-visual collections in the Essex Sound and Video Archive and act as custodians of the artworks owned by Essex County Council.
The Essex Record Office has enjoyed a reputation as an innovative archive service, and we are proud of our achievements in recent years in developing income generating activities and in delivering interpretation and outreach projects with high impact. It is an exciting time to join us – and play a role in shaping our future direction – as we aim to become more resilient by improving our fundraising and having a greater impact on social outcomes for people and communities in Essex, as well as continuing to develop our commercial activities.
The Essex Record Office is a major element within Essex County Council’s Culture and Green Spaces service. Culture and Green Spaces aims to deliver exceptional customer experiences, demonstrating the benefit of Essex’s strategic location, and with the objective of developing a financially sustainable operation.
Your role will be to lead, manage and champion the work of the Archive and Collections Team (Archivists, Conservator and Digitisers) in collections care and interpretation; you will lead on collections development, cataloguing, digitisation and commercial licensing for paper, audio-visual and electronic records, and on collections care for Essex County Council’s art collection.
You will play a vital role in ensuring the preservation of our diverse collections and in opening them up to a variety of audiences.
We are seeking a committed professional with substantial experience of managing collections and experience of managing a team.
Working closely with the Customer Service Lead to support the Essex Record Office Manager, you will have the opportunity to influence and shape the direction of the Essex Record Office, working with our passionate and dynamic team to deliver a high quality, innovative, engaging and resilient archive service.
The role will be based at the Essex Record Office in Chelmsford.
Applicants with a background in Archive Management, Records Management, Information Management, archaeology, museums, galleries (and similar sectors) would be welcome.
Key areas of responsibility
Collection management and development
- To lead on collections development, collections management, interpretation and the development and implementation of systems for the management of and provision of access to digital archives and objects
- To take a proactive, strategic approach to collections management and development
- To be responsible for maintaining the highest standards of collections management and cataloguing
- To direct the work of the Archive and Collections Team in developing preservation strategies and conserving archives, ensuring archives are packaged appropriately and stored securely in accordance with national/international standards
- To locate, survey and negotiate acquisition of archives and maintain excellent relationships with donors and depositors
- To contribute to policy-making and business planning for the Essex Record Office
- To assist in the development of creative approaches to increase the resilience of the service in terms of its contribution to Essex County Council’s strategic aims and its social impacts as well as its funding and commercial income.
- To provide professional direction for the Archive and Collections Team, planning and supervising their work and overseeing their training and development
- To manage the performance of the team to ensure timely delivery of excellent services, undertaking appraisals, dealing with any performance issues, and promoting opportunities
- To keep abreast of professional issues within the field
- To report on performance and service development internally and to stakeholders, funders and partners.
- To build on and enhance existing digital delivery such as Essex Archives Online and Essex Sounds
- To meet digital preservation challenges, leading on development and implementation of digital preservation systems and processes
- To lead on digital collecting
- To oversee the digitisation programme and commercial operation of the digitisation studios
- To keep up to date with developments in the archive and heritage sectors and ensure the ERO embraces best practice and maximises opportunities
- Keeping abreast of new technology, particularly in relation to providing access to and interpretation of collections, and delivering high quality customer-focussed services
- To work with the Fundraising Officer in preparing external funding applications and in securing external funding to support the work of the archives
- To identify opportunities to enhance work on collections by working in partnership with other heritage providers, volunteers and/or community groups, and providing oversight of such projects
- To direct and oversee the commercial operation of the digitisation studios (images and audio-visual)
- To direct and oversee external commercial work by archivists and conservator
- To optimise income opportunities through the ERO’s online subscription service and image licensing
- To assist in the development of creative approaches to income generation and sustainability
Advocacy and outreach
- To develop archive research opportunities from the public, academics and other colleagues
- To support the championing and promoting of archives within Essex County Council and externally
- To contribute to the outreach and engagement programme
Knowledge, Skills and Experience:
You will need:
We offer an excellent benefits package to all our employees. It is important to us that you have a healthy work/life balance, which is why we offer flexible working solutions. The package also includes a great central location, which is easily accessible to all road and rail links, a clear career path which will encourage gifted, committed individuals to grow with the opportunity for progression and promotion, a local government pension scheme, minimum annual leave of 26 days per year, discounted shopping and much more. More information can be found on https://www.workingforessex.com/benefits
As part of employment with Essex County Council (ECC) should your role require a DBS check you will be required to register with the DBS update service. The DBS update service ensures all registered DBS certificates are kept up to date and allows authorised parties to view the status of your certificate. This is an annual subscription and you will be responsible for ensuring this is maintained. For further information on the DBS update service please visit: https://www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service
Essex County Council is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults, and expects all employees and volunteers to share this commitment.
We seek the best talent from the widest pool of people as diversity is key to our success.
If you have any queries regarding this role, or require anything further, please contact the Essex Recruitment Team on 033 005 83330*
*Calls to this number are charged in the same way as calls to numbers starting 01 or 02, please check with your service provider