Senior Conservation Scientist

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The National Archives
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Thursday, 13 May, 2021 - 23:45

The National Archives are currently recruiting a heritage/conservation scientist in the Collection Care Department.
The post is a one year fixed term role, with possibility for extension, starting 1st of July 2021.

Full details and to apply:

The National Archives Collection Care Department supports an ambitious heritage science and conservation research programme that delivers high-quality, archival-sector leading research outcomes. The Senior Conservation Scientist is part of a team of professionals responsible for the care of The National Archives' physical collection. The aim of the role is to provide imaging and analytical expertise necessary to support and deliver heritage science projects that enhance understanding and aid in the conservation of our collection.

Your role will support Collection Care's research priorities by undertaking a range of non-destructive analytical requests. You will participate in collaborative funded projects, and support the in-house imaging and analyses needs of the Collection Care department as well as other teams in the organisation such as the Collections Expertise and Engagement, Education, Events and Exhibitions.

In particular, the role will support our current AHRC/NEH project 'Digital Approaches to the Capture and Analysis of Watermarks Using the Manuscripts of Isaac Newton as a Test Case'. You will carry out reflected and transmitted light imaging and image post-processing of watermarks on documents attributed to Isaac Newton in the collection of The National Archives. The aim is to provide the data to train computer-vision analysis across formats, with particular reference to the unlocking of latent information in existing image repositories and the use of the IIIF standard to make computer vision operate at scale across dispersed watermark collections.

National Archives are looking for a highly motivated researcher with extensive knowledge of advanced imaging, and non-destructive analytical methods for the study of heritage materials, bringing technical skills to support innovative solutions for the understanding, care and conservation of a large archival collection, which covers over 1000 years of history and includes paper, parchment, wax, films, photographs, and documents executed in a variety of historical and modern inks.

National Archives are an equal opportunities employer welcoming applications from all sections of the community and from people of diverse ages, experience and backgrounds, including people with disabilities. We are keen to explore the widest possible pool of talent for this role. We particularly welcome applications from black and minority ethnic candidates.

Essential criteria:
• Possess post graduate degree, or equivalent work experience, in science, heritage science, or conservation and significant experience working in heritage science or conservation research
• Demonstrable experience with a range of analytical and imaging equipment, and preferably its use in heritage settings: e.g. multispectral imaging, FTIR-ATR/DRIFTS, XRF, FORS, Raman, micro-fade testing, microscopy
• Experience in developing and managing research requests and projects and delivering outcomes on time and within budget
• Strong problem-solving and decision-making skills at cross-departmental level
• Excellent interpersonal and negotiation skills; the ability to communicate effectively at all levels within the organisation and with a wide range of external customers
• Strong organisational skills; a demonstrable ability to work independently and deliver to very tight deadlines
• Very good writing skills and demonstrable experience of publishing to a high academic standard
• Very strong IT skills, especially in data handling, manipulation and presentation

Desirable criteria:
• Experience working in a cultural heritage environment