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- Head of Large Objects (IWM Duxford)

Narrative and Content
Application Form
36 hours net / 41 hours gross
IWM Duxford
£35,500 per annum + 20.9% employer pension contribution

You will provide professional leadership for IWM’s internationally important collection of Large Objects – encompassing aircraft, vehicles, boats and artillery pieces. The collection contains numerous unique examples of type, many with detailed conflict histories. The aircraft collection is the largest in the United Kingdom, containing a wide range of types dating from the First World War to the modern day, facilitating effective interpretation of the immense impact aerial warfare has had upon combatants and civilian populations through this period. IWM is the only national museum with a collection of vehicles that represents all branches of British and Commonwealth forces and their allies and enemies throughout the 20th and into the 21st centuries. This enables the narration of personal stories across a range of demographics and nationalities, highlighting both the influence that mechanisation has had on the conduct of conflict and the impact it has had on individuals caught up in it. The collection is widely used by researchers; public, academic and commercial, whose interests range from the personal experience of conflict to the development of technology.

As IWM’s most senior large objects specialist, you will at all times demonstrate and develop a high level of knowledge and a breadth of expertise about the collection based on extensive research and experience. You will use this to drive the development and documentation of the collection, and support its commercial exploitation, public programme, research and the work of other teams and departments.

You will promote the use of the large objects collections, both within IWM and externally. You will steer the strategic development of IWM’s large objects collection through liaison across Narrative and Content and IWM as a whole.

You will also play a leading role in creating a working culture that is responsive, collaborative and committed, and an environment that welcomes curiosity and creativity. Finally, you will champion the Change programme and the opportunities it brings with it, both for IWM in its operations and activities and for our audiences.

Key duties

You will be expected to work independently as well as across different teams in order to contribute to and deliver the priorities of IWM - using your knowledge, skills, talent and potential to the best of your ability.

You will focus at all times on delivering excellent customer service, ensure value for money at all times while being professional, courteous and demonstrating the behaviours and attributes expected of all IWM employees. You will also adhere to all corporate standards, and use corporate systems as directed to ensure consistency of service, brand and operational standards.

You will drive the delivery and development of all services within your department, and contribute to the development of other areas as required.

You will be an experienced specialist in your area and take on broad responsibilities, working across departments effectively, with individuals, partner organisations and volunteers.

You should be able to lead, manage and motivate your staff, partners and volunteers in order to get the best out of them.

You will play a key role and in the development of corporate and departmental strategy and initiatives.

You will be expected to comply with corporate standards, and use corporate systems, processes and procedures– and undertake any necessary training as directed.

In addition, your duties will include:

1. To lead on the research, interpretation and development of IWM large objects collections, and the relevant sub-systems thereof, and to advise on their appropriate interpretative use and presentation.

2. To meet regularly with, coach, support and advise relevant curatorial specialists across the department, to ensure the quality of their work as regards their specialism, to identify training needs, and to contribute to their appraisals.

3. To work with curators, Heads of historical teams, the Head of Historical and Curatorial Development and the Department of Collections Management to develop the enhanced interpretation of the large object collections and to assist with the development of their documentation and digitisation.

4. In collaboration with Collections Management, to agree and advise curatorial teams on approaches to and standards for interpretation and cataloguing of the collections and ensure that these are upheld across IWM.

5. To liaise with Collections Management regarding the large object collection, and to inform IWM practice by establishing peer-to-peer relationships wlarge objectsith individuals and organisations that set and provide guidance on collections development, collections care and curatorial standards.

6. To develop academic research projects and meaningful partnerships that enrich understanding of our large object collections.

7. To put forward imaginative ideas for exhibitions and other elements of the public programme and to respond to requests from across IWM for knowledge and skills, co-ordinating, delegating and apportioning resource accordingly.

8. To support the Assistant Director (Narrative and Content), Head of Historical Development and work with the Heads of historical teams in identifying strategic priorities and development of corporate plans.

9. To facilitate among curators across IWM an understanding of our large object holdings, their unique qualities, their place within the material culture of conflict, and their potential for reaching our audiences.

10. To advise on large object conservation and restoration projects, providing curatorial briefs explaining the objectives of such and the projected fit and finish of the end-product. Liaison with conservation teams as projects progress to assist with queries of an historical and technical nature as they arise.

11. Identifying, sourcing, collecting and arranging the appropriate storage of original spare parts missing from exhibits held within the large objects collections of the IWM.

12. Maintenance and upkeep of a technical library to assist curatorial staff and large object conservators with the provision of pertinent technical data to ensure that any conservation and reinterpretation is authentic and historically accurate.

13. To support the Heads of historical teams in creation and development of content for galleries and exhibitions, as well as Learning, Development, Press, Publishing, Media, Marketing and Commercial outputs and activities

14. To develop academic research projects and meaningful partnerships that enrich our understanding of our collection.

15. To facilitate access to our collection, knowledge and skills to the public and to colleagues across

16. To apply excellent communication skills in working with audiences and stakeholders, both internal and external, and with other large objects specialists.

17. To work at all times as a team member, consulting with colleagues and sharing knowledge and information.

18. To ensure that all areas of activity deliver IWM brand values and comply with corporate priorities, standards and systems at all times.

19. Representation of IWM on external professional and academic boards and at conferences, workshops and seminars

20. To identify and implement learning and development needs of both yourself and your team.

21. Providing media interviews and giving tours and presentations to stakeholders and VIP visitors

Degree and/or postgraduate qualification in history or other relevant subject

Understanding of IWM and its purpose

Demonstrable knowledge of C20 & C21 British History and its international context

Demonstrable knowledge of frameworks – legal, ethical and professional – in which IWM operates, with practical experience of their application

Demonstrable experience in the application of digital image and documentation standards and technologies in a museum, archive or similar environment.

Demonstrable experience of working with vehicles and aircraft, shaping a large object collection through acquisitions and/or disposals and developing its public understanding through research and programmes.

A demonstrable ability to use Microsoft Office, email and the internet.

Project Management experience

Demonstrable experience of cataloguing large objects and writing about them for the public – books, exhibition text, web or print articles.

Demonstrable understanding of the complexities of the curation and care of large objects within a museum context.

To Apply

Apply via our online application form. Click apply at the bottom left of this page.

Please not we do not accept CV’s, you will be required to fill in an online application form.

The closing date for receipt of applications is 9 am, Monday 12 June 2017.

Interviews will be held on Tuesday 20 June 2017 at IWM Duxford.

We regret that if you have not heard from us within three weeks of the closing date your application, in this instance, has been unsuccessful.

IWM is committed to a policy of Equal Opportunities.

This opportunity is closed to applications.