Whitechapel Gallery

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Would you like to be a custodian of a precious and historic archive collection?

Do you like working with researchers and improving access to archive material for the community?

Whitechapel Gallery is looking for an experienced Archivist to manage the Gallery’s Archive and Foyle Reading Room, ensuring that the collection continues to be recognized as an important historic resource and that our research facilities maintain the highest standard of service.


 To be responsible for managing the current environmental storage conditions in the archive repository and to alert and liaise with the appropriate Gallery departments to ensure the safety of the collections.

 To devise and produce a Collecting Policy, a Records Management Policy and a Lending Policy for the archives.

 To provide and manage the public service for all users of the archive: Hosting and assisting researchers, answering telephone and email enquiries, invigilating the Foyle Reading Room and the Archive Gallery when there is no attendant. In addition, to reproduce material with the use of a photocopier or scanner and to issue Reproduction and Copyright agreements.

 To manage the loans of archive material that are requested by institutions and to issue relevant agreements. Occasionally, to act as courier supervising archive material at other institutions.

 To be responsible for the outstanding ongoing cataloguing of archive material with the use of Modes software, taking in to consideration the Gallery’s central role in contributing to a wide research community.

 To work with the Curator Archive Gallery and other Archive staff to identify materials which are in need of conservation. To work with Gallery staff to identify ongoing record series for permanent preservation within the archive.

 To work with Exhibitions and Operations to develop appropriate and robust systems for the management of semi-current records and the retention and preservation of electronic record keeping.

 To work with Development to identify and develop bids to appropriate funding streams to support and extend the archives maintenance and exhibition programme.

 To represent and promote the Whitechapel Gallery Archive through talks, tours, meetings, production of articles and membership of appropriate professional and art institutions as requested.

 To manage volunteers and interns working at the archive. To support specialised volunteers who are working with the Books Collection and are managed by the Director’s office and train them to list and shelve books at the Reading Room’s library.

 Working with the Curator Archive Gallery and Assistant Curators to identify and access materials for displays and exhibitions as requested.

 To develop a future digitisation programme for the collections and to work with the Curator Archive Gallery, Communications and Operations to display and maintain website content and online finding aids.

Conditions of work

  • Contract: Permanent, 4 days a week with the possibility of increasing to 5 days a week after 12 months.

  • Hours of work: 4 days per week 9.30am – 5.45pm, plus some occasional weekend and evening work, which will be compensated by time off in lieu

  • Starting salary: Pro-rata of £26,000-27,000 pa, depending on experience



 Either a Master’s degree or other postgraduate qualification in Archives and/or Records Management, which is recognised and accredited by the Archived and Records Association


 Three years of work experience in institutional archives

 Sound knowledge of recognised archival standards and practice, including those relating to archival cataloguing (ISAD(G), ISAAR(CPF) for example

 Excellent communications and presentation skills

 Proven good IT skills including Word, cataloguing databases, Excel, Powerpoint and email

 Strong administrative and organisational abilities with close attention to detail

 Tact, confidence, and maturity to liaise with a wide range of people

 Ability to work to deadlines and as part of a team

 A willingness and ability to work well both autonomously, including lone working on occasions, and as part of a small but busy team;

 A willingness to fetch and carry boxes, heavy files and other material with the appropriate training and equipment


 A degree in Fine Arts, Art History, History, Library Studies or other relevant discipline.

How to Apply

Please complete the application form and equality & diversity monitoring forms, available to download on the website and return to by midnight on Monday 25th November 2019.

Interviews will be held on Wednesday 4th December 2019.

We requests no contact from agencies or media sales.

The Whitechapel Gallery strives to be an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. Charity number: 312162 Company number: 4093862

Posted on November 6