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Project Archivist (Literary Archives and Personal Papers)

Role Introduction

We are seeking an enthusiastic and committed individual with experience of arranging and describing archival collections, good communication skills and a flexible approach to join our busy, small team.

Eton College Library, established in the 1440s, houses over 150,000 rare books and manuscripts, which range in date from the 9th to the 21st century.  The collection is used by researchers and for teaching Etonians and groups from other schools. Regularly changing library exhibitions are open to visitors.

The Project Archivist’s responsibilities include cataloguing literary archives and collections of personal papers to international standards, arranging and rehousing collections, and contributing to the library’s conservation and collection management programmes. A relevant postgraduate qualification (or practical cataloguing experience) is required.

This is a fixed-term post from September 2022 that can be offered as a 7-month full-time contract (35 hours per week), or as a one-year part time contract (21 hours per week) by agreement with the successful candidate.

Please note: It is anticipated that interviews will be held in the week commencing 11 July and/or 18 July.

Informal enquiries are welcome. Please contact Dr Stephanie Coane, Deputy Librarian (s.coane@etoncollege.org.uk).

Due to the needs of the school and the department, we may interview suitable candidates before the closing date. This job may also close early if a large number of applications are received. You are advised to submit your application as early as possible to avoid missing your chance to apply.

Main Duties

Key responsibilities

Cataloguing and collection management:

  • Catalogue 19th – 21st-century literary archives and personal papers according to ISAD(G) and GLAM guidelines, using CollectionsIndex+ cataloguing software.
  • Arrange and rehouse collections as necessary, according to current archival standards. Contribute to rationalisation and review of storage arrangements and rehousing of library materials in storage areas
  • Identify and prioritise conservation/preservation needs, in consultation with other library staff and the Collections Care Conservator 
  • Perform bibliographic, biographical and historical research as necessary.
  • As directed, make recommendations regarding library policy in such areas as collection development (with particular reference to literary archives and collections of personal papers).
  • Maintain statistics of work carried out, monitor workflow against agreed milestones and prepare reports as required

Public services:

  • Shared responsibility for reader services and enquiry service 
  • Shared responsibility for covering the main library office regularly as part of a rota (acting as first point of contact for visitors and telephone enquiries) 
  • Support teaching and visits including special events such as the College’s St Andrew’s Day and Fourth of June open days
  • As directed, contribute to displays and exhibitions
  • Support digitisation projects
  • Contribute content to Collections social media and publications (web and print)
  • Commitment and promotion of equality, diversity and inclusion;
  • All positions at Eton are classed as ‘regulated activity’ as per the Keeping Children Safe in Education 2021 guidance, therefore a good understanding of safeguarding procedures is essential;
  • Commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, including by not limited to, completing safeguarding training as required, and ensuring any safeguarding updates issued by the College are read and understood;
  • Understand and comply with procedures and legislation relating to confidentiality.

The Ideal Candidate

Skills and Competencies Required


  • Knowledge of ISAD(G) and GLAM (Group for Literary Archives & Manuscripts) cataloguing guidelines
  • An archives or librarianship qualification and/or relevant practical cataloguing experience
  • Experience of arranging and describing archival collections, and experience of electronic archival cataloguing
  • Ability to skim and understand an extensive and varied range of material
  • Ability to work efficiently and accurately and to complete tasks by set deadlines
  • Ability to work successfully both independently and within a team
  • Demonstrable interest in or knowledge of 19th- and 20th- century British literature and history
  • Good communication skills
  • Good IT skills, including basic to intermediate ability in Microsoft Office suite


  • Knowledge of MARC21, AACR2, DCRM(B) and LCSH cataloguing standards
  • Experience of arranging and describing collections of personal papers and/or literary archives.
  • A first degree (or equivalent) in English literature or other discipline relevant to the modern collections
  • Understanding of preservation and conservation management in libraries and archives
  • Experience of using rare books and/or manuscripts in exhibitions and/or engagement or outreach projects
  • Familiarity with CollectionsIndex+ (training will be given)


Eton College offers a wide range of benefits, including an 11% employer contribution to your pension (with 4.9% employee contribution), Employee Assistance Programme, enhanced Maternity / Paternity scheme, free eyecare vouchers, a cycle to work scheme, subsidised lunches during term time, free access to the College’s sport and leisure facilities and discounts at local retailers and businesses.

About the College

We are an equal opportunities employer and are seeking applications from suitable candidates from all backgrounds. We are dedicated to creating and sustaining an environment that values individuality and difference and celebrates the diversity of both staff and pupils by fostering perseverance, tolerance and integrity. We believe in equal opportunity for everyone, irrespective of age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or socio-economic background.

If you have any queries about the application process or any problem with submitting your application online, the Recruitment Team will be happy to help. Should you require any reasonable adjustments to be made or facilities provided to enable you to apply online, please do not hesitate to contact us on recruitment@etoncollege.org.uk so we can make adjustments accordingly. 



Eton College is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, and applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening appropriate to the post, including reference checks with past employers, an Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service and, where applicable, a Barred List, Prohibition and EEA checks. If you are successful in your application, you will be required to complete a DBS Disclosure Application Form.  Any information disclosed will be handled in accordance with any guidance and/or Code of Practice published by the DBS. The College is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and therefore all convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings (including those which would normally be considered as “spent” under the Act) must be declared, subject to the DBS filtering rules. It is a criminal offence for any person who is barred from working with children to attempt to apply for a position at the College.

Eton College


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