Collections Cataloguer

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National Trust
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September 06

Fixed Term f/t or p/t (until 28/02/22)


8757.9 km from El Salvador

Ends: Sep 19th

Ref: IRC107676


We care for over 1 million collections located across our properties in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Our ‘world collections’ are an emerging area of focus. These collections bridge the categories of ethnography, decorative arts, textiles and dress, archaeology, toys, metalwork, and more. The world collections share diverse global origins and speak to the influences of many cultures in their production.

The National Trust is undertaking the delivery of new programmes of interpretation using our world collections, and we are seeking two Collections Cataloguers to support the objectives of this project. The cataloguing roles will support the editing of outdated language on our collections management system, as well as improving the lack of research and information available online about our world collections.

This role is part of a short-term project, offered on a fixed-term basis until the end of February 2022.

Are you excited by the prospect of new research, creating national connections, and improving public access? Your practical cataloguing skills and world collections research will enable us to promote our under-researched collections to external audiences, and ensure collections can readily support the diverse ways we communicate history publicly.

What it's like to work here

These posts are contractually based at our offices in London. There will be an opportunity to explore and agree remote working arrangement, and/ or access to other office locations across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, in order to strike the right balance for you and the Trust. As a guide, presence in the London office is expected 1 day per month.

These posts are available as full-time or part-time (job share). If you are interested in part-time working, we are open to discuss your preferred working pattern at interview stage, but there is a minimum expectation that you can dedicate 2 full working days of time per week according to your preferred pattern.

We’re a highly collaborative organisation and, in order to get to know the collections and forge effective working relationships with your colleagues, your role will require occasional travel to Trust properties. There will be an expectation that you can travel to sites for collection research and reviews when deemed necessary. Most meetings will be held virtually, and there is scope to discuss flexible working arrangements.

What you'll be doing

Your work will strategically support exhibitions, publications, digital content, and other public outputs focusing on thematic areas of the world collections relating to national interpretation plans. Part of this strategy is the re-examination and revision of the language we use to describe and share the stories of our collections. Your highest priority will be updating the outdated language or incorrect information presented to the public on Collections Online. Cataloguers will also have the opportunity to update records with existing research and conduct new research to enhance our world collections information.

Enhancing the world collections on the collections management system (CMS) will support collections discoverability, help us define future thematic research projects, and share our findings online with the public.

The backlog of CMS records requires work that ranges from simple language changes to the full enhancement of collections information. There will also be opportunities to address narratives of under-represented histories in relation to historic slavery, colonialism, provenance, and representation (or lack thereof) within collections. You’ll undertake research were needed and input results of in-depth research carried out by others to the CMS, ensuring high-quality, research-led cataloguing standards.

You’ll promote access for everyone in dynamic and imaginative ways, thinking about broad audiences whilst collating and recording information, contributing information to our websites ( and, and promoting online collections contents.

Feeding into broader curatorial processes and working with an awareness of evolving strategies around the world collections, you’ll be proactive about how cataloguing can enhance these – as well as our overarching curatorial and directorate – aims. And you’ll engage with the wider organisation, attending and actively participating in internal and external meetings and events, working with relevant internal and external colleagues as required and embodying the Trust's values and behaviours.

Who we're looking for

We are looking for someone with experience of working with collection databases in a heritage environment (museums, archives, libraries, charities, etc.). Experience writing and/or editing online articles and content would be advantageous, as is previous research experience involving collections. If you have a particular collection specialism, please let us know.

To succeed in this role, you’ll need:

  • Experience in cataloguing collections in a heritage or commercial setting
  • Experience of conducting provenance research and tracing the historic ownership of many different categories of collections
  • Experience of creating methodologies and approaches for collections research and/or ways to address records documentation
  • Research experience in global arts or global histories, and experience communicating that research to external audiences
  • Awareness of museum standards of ethical cataloguing practices
  • Ability to work with diplomacy on a sensitive project
  • Excellent communication and English language skills, the ability to write clearly and succinctly in an accessible but informed style
  • Experience in the use of web and / or digital technologies in the museum sector
  • A high level of accuracy and attention to detail

The package

The National Trust has the motto ‘For everyone, for ever’ at its heart. We’re working hard to create an inclusive culture, where everyone feels they belong. It’s important that our people reflect and represent the diversity of the communities and audiences we serve. We welcome and value difference, so when we say we’re for everyone, we want everyone to be welcome in our teams too.

Wherever you’re from, and whatever your background, we want to hear from you – and it doesn’t matter if you’re jam first, cream first, or even if you don’t like scones at all. Everyone is welcome.

Benefits for working at the National Trust include:

  • Flexible working whenever possible
  • Free parking at most locations
  • Free entry to our properties for you, a guest and your children (under 18)
  • Substantial pension scheme of up to 10% basic salary

Click here to find out more about the benefits we offer to support you.

Skill & Language
1 - 3 years
2 candidates
November 07
Full Time
Experience Level
London, England
National Trust5 jobs · Swindon, England
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