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Records Specialist Empire and Commonwealth - job post

The National Archives
3.9 out of 5
Norge
Fast, Heltid
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Records Specialist Empire and Commonwealth

Apply locations Kew time type Full time posted on Posted 2 Days Ago job requisition id JR200217

As the living, growing home of our national story, The National Archives is already a special place to work. We’re an institution nearly 200 years old with a collection spanning 1,000 years of history. But it’s where we go next that makes things really interesting .

In our strategic vision: Archives for Everyone, we set ourselves the challenge of becoming the 21st Century national archive - a different kind of cultural and heritage institution: Inclusive, Entrepreneurial, Disruptive. We won’t become this overnight. It will take time, focus, effort and daring.

That’s where you come in. Because we can’t do this without you.

Job Overview

Salary: £31,178 - £38,762

Job Grade: Band E (Higher Executive Officer)

Contract Type: Permanent

Closing date: Sunday 31st July 2024 at midnight

About the role

The National Archives is currently recruiting a Records Specialist, Collections Expertise & Engagement (CEE) department, to work with records relating to the history of the British Empire and Commonwealth.

What you’ll be doing

The National Archives is a non-ministerial government department, home to over 1,000 years of documents. In CEE we are passionate about using our expert knowledge of those collections to inspire audiences and make them think differently about archives. The Records Specialist (Empire and Commonwealth) will be part of the CEE team that supports a diverse audience of public, students, academics and the wider archive and government sector to use the records at The National Archives. You will develop a general knowledge of the National Archives’ records and use this knowledge to respond to public enquiries in our day-to-day advisory service, onsite and online. Additionally, you will develop a deep knowledge of records at The National Archives related to the British Empire and Commonwealth from 1782 to the present, in order to provide specialist support.

The records of the British Empire and Commonwealth at The National Archives are one of the world’s most important and challenging archives for global history and have a vital role to play in inclusive, productive conversations about the British colonial past and shared heritage, both within the UK and overseas. You will be passionate about those possibilities. You’ll work innovatively and collaboratively to explore the collections and find ways to surface diverse voices and histories in line with The National Archives’ values, and its ambitions to be Inclusive, Entrepreneurial and Disruptive. You will build specialist knowledge of these collections in order to advise both community and academic researchers and to collaborate with colleagues across The National Archives on a variety of types of project, for example with those who work with schools, with government departments, on research development, or on our events and exhibitions programme.

Why work for us

In this role you will experience both challenge and variety, from dealing with queries in the reading room, to developing cataloguing projects, to opportunities to extend networks in the heritage sector in the UK and overseas. You will take on responsibilities within the team of specialists ‘Overseas and Defence’, and within the department, whilst having scope for pursuing individual projects and professional development centred on access to and understanding of our collections.

You will be supported in extend your skills in managing collaborative projects, to develop networks among communities of interest and researchers in the UK and overseas, and in seeking grant funding to further these activities.

TNA boasts a collegial working environment and the excellent Civil Service benefits package. This includes flexible working, an on-site gym, wellbeing resources and an opportunity to join the Civil Service Alpha Pension Scheme.

Person specification

We are looking for applicants with specialist knowledge of British colonial/post-colonial history gained in either academic or professional contexts, and experience of using or working with relevant historical collections. You will need to be able to engage in discussions on challenging historical topics sensitively and imaginatively, as well as communicate effectively to a wide range of audiences.

A combination of onsite and home working is available and applicants should be able to regularly travel to our Kew site for a minimum of 60% of their work time.

The post may require working some evenings and some Saturdays to support public service and engagement activities. Time off will be arranged in compensation for these contributions.

Must be prepared to travel to other Government departments as required.

How to apply:

To submit your application please click the 'Apply' button on this page.
You will be asked to complete three tasks relating to aspects of the role.

Selection process

From the initial applications we will invite selected candidates to an assessment day that we intend to hold on the 15th August. From that assessment day we will make a further selection of candidates who will be invited to attend a short online interview that we intend to hold on the w/c 26th August.

We encourage applicants who may benefit from adaptions to the interview process, for example for disability or neurodiversity reasons. We can work with candidates to identify and implement reasonable adjustments, for example, this could relate to the assessment format or environmental factors.

Job Description

Job Purpose

In the Collections Expertise & Engagement (CEE) department, we are passionate about using our expert knowledge of our collections to inspire audiences and make them think differently about archives.

The Records Specialist (Empire and Commonwealth) will be part of the CEE team that supports a diverse audience of public, students, academics and the wider archive and government sector to use the records at The National Archives. The post holder will develop a general knowledge of the National Archives’ records and use this knowledge to respond to public enquiries in our day-to-day advisory service, onsite and online. Additionally they will develop a deep knowledge of records at The National Archives related to the British Empire and Commonwealth from 1782 to the present in order to provide specialist support.

The records of the British Empire and Commonwealth at The National Archives are one of the world’s most important and challenging archives for global history that have a vital role to play in inclusive, productive conversations about the British colonial past and shared heritage, both within the UK and overseas. The postholder will be passionate about those possibilities. They will build specialist knowledge of these collections in order to advise both community and academic researchers. They will also use that knowledge to collaborate with colleagues across The National Archives on a variety of types of project for example, those who work with schools, with government departments, on research development, or on our events and exhibitions programme. In particular, the postholder will work to support access to our collections for underrepresented audiences in line with The National Archives’ values, and its ambitions to be Inclusive, Entrepreneurial and Disruptive.

The post holder will work innovatively and collaboratively to carry out their own exploration of the collections and find ways to surface diverse voices and histories. With support and professional development where necessary this will include leading cataloguing projects, developing new forms of audience engagement, or co-producing research. They will be supported to extend their skills in managing collaborative projects, to develop networks among communities of interest and researchers in the UK and overseas, and in seeking grant funding to further these activities.

Role and Responsibilities

Access to collections

  • To share knowledge of the records in your specialist area and develop resources to support community researchers, academics and staff at The National Archives in accessing the collections;
  • To respond to public enquiries onsite and online through Collections Expertise and Engagement’s public information services, proactively working with colleagues to develop and improve these;
  • To work on improving access to records in your specialist area through managing projects that increase the quantity and quality of our catalogue descriptions;
  • To promote user participation in increasing access to the collection and seeking opportunities and resources to support volunteering, student placements, and community co-curation;
  • To provide knowledge and expertise to a range of corporate stakeholders (e.g. input to digitisation projects, commercial product delivery, press events and media interviews, VIP tours).
  • Supporting government stakeholders answering their enquiries, and assisting in the transfer of government records into our collections.

Engagement with collections

  • To proactively find ways to engage underrepresented and non-research audiences, seeking out opportunities to understand the interests and needs of diverse communities whose heritage is reflected in our collections;
  • Working with colleagues across The National Archives on projects at a range of scales including social media content, digital content, online curation, educational resources, events and exhibitions;
  • Working with colleagues within Collections Expertise & Engagement and Research & Academic Engagement to engage academics and research students with our collections, through presenting at workshops, developing grant proposals, or other opportunities

Developing knowledge and expertise

  • Developing specialist knowledge of our records on the history of the British Empire, decolonisation, and the Commonwealth from 1782 to the present;
  • Undertaking appropriate training and personal development opportunities;
  • Staying up to date with academic and archive sector discussion on histories of the British Empire and Commonwealth and on working with colonial collections, including attending and presenting at specialist events, conferences, or publication (blogs, papers or other written outputs).

Working Conditions

  • Normal office environment
  • Display Screen Equipment user
  • Moving items up to 10kg in weight
  • May come into contact with distressing material

Person Specification

Essential

  • Specialist knowledge of British colonial/post-colonial history as evidenced through qualifications or experience;
  • Experience of working with archival collections relevant to British colonial/post-colonial history and demonstrable understanding of archival catalogues;
  • Ability to engage in discussions on challenging historical topics sensitively and imaginatively (e.g. contributions to social media, events, or educational resources);
  • Ability to communicate complex topics effectively to non-specialists (e.g. through teaching, public events, customer service, or digital content);
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and negotiation skills, and ability to interact well and build effective relationships and networks;
  • Ability to handle a varied and demanding workload, to work collaboratively to deliver projects to time and to budget and to manage own priorities within a supportive team environment;
  • Ability to retrieve, organise and analyse information with a high attention to detail;
  • Commitment to own learning and professional development.

Desirable

  • Experience of public speaking (delivering training or teaching, or presentations to academic or professional audiences);
  • Experience of designing and managing small-scale projects;
  • Experience of supporting students, volunteers or researchers working with heritage collections;
  • Experience of using collections at The National Archives.

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The Civil Service is committed to attract, retain and invest in talent wherever it is
found. To learn more please see the Civil Service People Plan and the Civil Service
D&I Strategy .

Benefits

Generous benefits package, including pension, sports and social club facilities, onsite gym, discounted rates at our on-site cafe and opportunities for training and development. Annual leave entitlement of 22 days per calendar year (rising to 25 after the first year, and incrementally to 30 days after six years) and 10½ days public and privilege holidays per annum.

Any move to The National Archives from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax-Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/ ( opens in new window)

Reasonable adjustments

If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:

  • Contact The National Archives via careers@nationalarchives.gov.uk as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs

  • Complete the ‘Reasonable Adjustments’ section of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Security

Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks (opens in new window)

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals

  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland

  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK

  • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities with settled or pre-settled status under theEuropean Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window)

  • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities who have made a valid application for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)

  • individuals with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain who were eligible to apply for EUSS on or before 31 December 2020

  • Turkish nationals, and certain family members of Turkish nationals, who have accrued the right to work in the Civil Service

Further information on nationality requirements (opens in new window)

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code (opens in new window) sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles . (opens in new window)

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.

This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative . (opens in new window)

Contact point for applicants:

  • Name: The National Archives Recruitment Team

  • Email: careers@nationalarchives.gov.uk

Further information

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact The National Archives via email: careers@nationalarchives.gov.uk If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission at https://civilservicecommission.independent.gov.uk/recruitment/recruitment-complaints/ (opens in new window)

The National Archives need passionate, ambitious and innovative individuals to help us change the way people think about archives.

We employ more than 500 staff in a diverse range of roles, from records specialists and researchers to web developers and marketing assistants – and we want you to join us.

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