RA020921 - Curator of Asian & African Collections

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Posted: 23/09/2021 10:41
Start Date: Not Available
Salary: £29,00-£33,000 (depending on experience)
Location: Leeds
Level: Technical
Deadline: 26/10/2021 23:59
Hours: 36.00
Benefits: T&Cs to be discussed at interview
Job Type: Fixed Term

Please access the Application Form HERE

Please note you will need to download an application form as directed and upload it via our recruitment system in the space provided.  We cannot accept CVs in place of an application form.

 

Curator of Asian & African Collections

£29,00-£33,000 (depending on experience) maternity cover until January 2023.

The Royal Armouries is the United Kingdom’s national museum of arms and armour and one the most important collections of its type in the world, housed at its headquarters and flagship museum in Leeds, its historic home at the Tower of London, and the Victorian Fort Nelson in Hampshire.

We are seeking a non-permanent maternity cover for the Curator of Asian & Africa Collections in the Edged Weapons & Armour Department, part of the Collections Directorate, based at the Leeds museum.

This is an exciting opportunity to shape the development and study of our internationally recognised collection. Your main duties will be the day-to-day management of the Asian & African collections including cataloguing and providing collections access; answering enquiries; providing expert advice; exhibitions & display work; line management and research.

The ideal candidate will have proven expertise in Asian and/or African arms & armour and extensive experience of working with museum collections. They will be an excellent team player who is hard working, open, thorough, adaptable, organised and engaging. 

This position is a non-permanent Maternity cover contract, working full time, 36 hours per week, 5 days out of 7 until January 2023.  Weekend, Bank Holiday and evening working will occasionally be required, as will some travel.

An Enhanced Disclosure and other security checks will be requested in the event of a successful application.  However, a criminal record would not necessarily be a bar to employment.  Any decision made would depend upon the nature of the position and the circumstances and background of the offence.

Closing date: Tuesday 26th October 2021

Interview dates: Wednesday 10th & Thursday 11th November 2021

 

Job Purpose and Full Description

To curate, manage and develop the Royal Armouries Asian & African, ‘Oriental’, collection of arms & armour (mostly comprised of objects from Asia and Africa from before 1900) in line with the targets and objectives.  To act as an expert on the subject of Asian & African arms & armour in general and the Royal Armouries’ collection in particular.  To provide accurate information to improve specialist and general understanding of the Museum’s Asian & African collections through all appropriate means. To work alongside Collections Directorate colleagues and to support collaboration between the Collections, Public Engagement, Operations and Finance Directorates.

Key Tasks

  • Demonstrate, maintain, develop, record and deploy expert knowledge about the Royal Armouries Asian & African collections, and of Asian & African arms & armour in general, leaving a legacy for the future.
  • Facilitate the interpretation, management, access and care of the Royal Armouries Asian & African collections.
  • Answer enquiries across collections areas and in particular in the specialist area of Asian & African arms & armour.
  • Undertake the cataloguing, auditing and organisation of the collections, especially in the specialist area of Asian & African arms & armour.
  • Undertake the improvement and enhancement of data specifically relating to the Royal Armouries holdings of Asian & African arms & armour, through the Royal Armouries’ Collections Management & Access System.
  • Provide intellectual and specialist support to the loans programme including the couriering, installation, site visits and loan reports associated with main collection loans.
  • Provide intellectual and specialist support to the conservation programme, specifically in relation to Asian & African arms & armour.
  • Undertake acquisitions and disposal activity in his/her area of subject responsibility (Asian & African arms & armour) and in line with the Royal Armouries Collections Development Policy and Acquisition Plan.
  • Champion and facilitate the delivery of the Royal Armouries Research Strategy and Plan, devising and carrying out collection and subject-related research projects or assignments as directed by the Royal Armouries Research Steering Group.
  • Contribute to the Royal Armouries standing as a major and recognised centre of expertise on arms and armour, through communication with specialists and specialist communities by all appropriate means.
  • Broaden access to the National Collection of Arms & Armour, particularly in relation to Asian & African collections, by placing this in a wide range of contexts.
  • Support the development and implementation of Royal Armouries Programmes by providing ideas, subject-specific expertise, knowledge and skills in developing and delivering (not limited to):
    • Temporary exhibitions and installations
    • Gallery and display redevelopment
    • Internal events (e.g., tours; lectures)
    • External activities (e.g. conferences; networks)
    • Publications (including digital outputs)
    • Filming and media work
  • Line manage an Assistant Curator and/or Curatorial Assistant.
  • Guide, mentor and manage Assistant Curators, Curatorial Assistants and other staff to ensure continuing professional development and succession planning.
  • Supervise work placements and volunteers.
  • Represent the organisation’s Asian & African collections on appropriate internal committees and project teams.
  • Ensure full compliance with organisational collections policies and procedures, specifically in the areas of collections management, development, care and access.
  • Contribute subject-specific expertise, knowledge and skills in the area of Asian & African arms & armour to support specific commercial initiatives.
  • Undertake any other duties commensurate with the grade.

Expected Individual and Team Behaviours

The post-holder will be expected to:

  • Foster mutual respect
  • Encourage and deliver collegiate collaboration
  • Evidence effective and open communication
  • Demonstrate accountability
  • Display commitment and enthusiasm
  • Protect the reputation of the museum

Relationships

  • Work closely with Curatorial and Collections colleagues to support the activities of the museum
  • Liaise with members of the Public Engagement, Operations and Finance Directorates and demonstrate a willingness to collaborate
  • Contribute to initiatives to build and maintain relationships with external partners

Staff Benefits

  • 36 hour contract
  • Access to the Bike2Work scheme
  • Access to EAP Employee Assistance Program
  • 27.5 days holiday plus Bank Holidays
  • Discounted Parking with Citi Park
  • 25% off staff shop
  • 10% off food in on-site café
  • Pension scheme max employer contribution is 9% 

Physical Conditions

  • Five days out of seven
  • Occasional weekend and bank holiday working
  • Occasional ‘unsociable hours’ duties
  • Based in Leeds, but travel to Fort Nelson and the Tower of London will be required.  Other UK and foreign travel will be required.
  • Some lifting and ladder work

Functional Expertise

Deploy practical, research and analytical expertise and knowledge in the specialist area of Asian & African arms & armour as directed to achieve the delivery of objectives and targets.

Line Management

The Curator of Asian & African Collections reports to the Keeper of Edged Weapons and Armour (who has overall curatorial responsibility for the European Edged Weapons, European Armour and Asian & African collections and staff) in the Collections Directorate (led by the Director of Collections).

The Curator of Asian & African Collections has direct line management responsibility for an Assistant Curator and/or Curatorial Assistant.  The Assistant Curators/Curatorial Assistants must work across all collections areas (European Edged Weapons, European Armour and Asian & African collections) in the Department of Edged Weapons & Armour. The Curator of Asian & African Collections must provide management, guidance & mentoring for all Assistant Curators/Curatorial Assistants in the Department of Edged Weapons & Armour on issues relating to Asian & African Collections.

 

Person Specification

 

Selection Criteria

E = Essential for applicants to meet relevant standard.

D = Desirable for applicants to meet the relevant standard.

CRITERIA

 

STANDARD

E/D

EVIDENCE

Qualifications

Educated to degree level or equivalent in a relevant subject

E

Certificates / Application

Museum studies or heritage management qualification, or equivalent experience

E

Certificates / Application

Extensive knowledge of Asian & African arms & armour

E

Application and interview

 

Full, UK valid, driving licence

D

Application

 

Work and Experience

Experience of working with Asian & African arms & armour

E

Application and interview

Substantial experience of working with museum collections

E

Application and interview

Substantial experience of successfully using relevant computerised cataloguing/collections management systems

E

Application and interview

Experience of undertaking a range of collections management functions and disciplines

E

Application and interview

Experience of successfully delivering lectures, seminars & tours

E

Application and interview

Experience of answering requests for information about collections from professional bodies and the general public

E

Application and interview

Proven recent record of producing popular and academic publications for different audiences

E

Application and interview

Previous successful experience of using collections to deliver re-displays and exhibitions

E

Application and interview

 

Basic knowledge of Project Management

E

Application and Interview

 

Management and mentoring experience

E

Application and Interview

 

Experience of media work (e.g. newspaper articles, speaking to camera/interviews etc.)

D

Application and interview

 

Skills and Knowledge

Knowledge of collections management policies and procedures

E

Application and interview

Proficient in Microsoft Office packages, including Word, Outlook and PowerPoint

E

Application and interview

Knowledge of the Royal Armouries Asian & African collection

D

Application and interview

Knowledge of health & safety at work procedures and regulations

D

Application and interview

Knowledge of one or more foreign languages

D

Application and interview

 

Aptitudes

Ability to prioritise conflicting demands

E

Application and interview

Ability to work flexibly and adapt to change

E

Application and interview

Ability to work effectively with own team and wider RAM departments

E

Application and interview

Ability to make the collection and subject matter accessible to different audiences

E

Application and interview

Ability to pass on knowledge to others in the museum using methods appropriate to the learner (mentoring & management)

E

Application and interview

 



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