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Lead Curator – African Collections

  • Organisation:The British Library
  • Location:St Pancras, London
  • Salary:£39,000 per annum
  • Contract type:Permanent / Full-Time

The British Library holds an extensive and growing collection of contemporary and heritage material from and relating to Africa, including printed books, journals, newspapers, reports, manuscripts and digital resources.

This role offers an exciting opportunity to join the British Library and to lead on developing, managing, promoting and making accessible the Library’s African collections. The Lead Curator, African Collections will specifically be acquiring and cataloguing publications from and in the languages of Africa south of the Sahara, as well as engaging with items in a number of formats. They will be responsible for projects and activities relating to this collection, and associated budget and staff, as well as taking a leading role in developing future major programs and partnerships, working collaboratively across the Library and with external partners. They will interpret, promote and make accessible the collection to diverse users and audiences through public engagement activities, documentation and digitisation projects, research, exhibitions, and cultural events.

The successful candidate will have a first degree or equivalent in a discipline relevant to African collections, a good knowledge of the history and cultures of Africa south of the Sahara, exemplified by a research or other relevant output, and a good working knowledge of one or more African languages. They will have experience in managing heritage and contemporary collections in a library, archive or museum setting, and in managing resources and/or projects. Excellent communication and organisational skills are essential to this post, and experience of working with diverse audiences would be desirable.

As one of the world’s great libraries, our duty is to preserve the nation’s intellectual memory for the future and make it available to all for research, inspiration and enjoyment. We have well over 170 million items, in most known languages, with three million new items added every year. We have manuscripts, maps, newspapers, magazines, prints and drawings, music scores, and patents, including a growing digital collection, and we make our collection and programmes available to all. We operate the world’s largest document delivery service providing millions of items a year to customers all over the world. What matters to us is that we preserve the national memory and enable knowledge to be created both now and in the future by anyone, anywhere.

In return we offer a competitive salary and a number of excellent benefits.  Our pension scheme is one of the most valuable benefits we offer, as our staff can become members of the Alpha Pension Scheme where the Library contributes a minimum of 20.6% (this may be higher dependant on grade. Another significant benefit the Library provides is the provision of a flexible working hours scheme which could allow you to work your hours flexibly over the week and to take up to 5 days flexi leave in a 3 month period. This is on top of 25 days holiday from entry and public and privilege holidays.

For further information and to apply, please visit www.bl.uk/careers quoting vacancy ref: 04140

Closing date: 13 July 2022

We are able to provide sponsorship under the UK Skilled Worker visa for this role, as it does meet the eligibility criteria required for this immigration route

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