Assistant Archivist

This job has now expired
Lambeth, London
Fixed Term Full Time
£26681 rising to £28304 after probation

Lambeth Palace Library, founded in 1610, is the historic library and record office of the Archbishop of Canterbury. It is the principal repository for archives of the Archbishop and associated officials or institutions. It is freely open for public use, serving as a research centre specialising in ecclesiastical history but with far wider-ranging archive, manuscript and printed collections.

The Church of England Record Centre (CERC) holds the archives of a variety of historical central Church of England bodies, which document the evolving organisation and activities of the Church of England since 1704. CERC also provides a records management service to the National Church Institutions and advice to the wider church.

We are looking for two Assistant Archivists to join us. One will be based at Lambeth Palace Library (LPL) and the other will be based at the Church of England Record Centre (CERC). Collections of both LPL and CERC are scheduled to be moved to a new bespoke library in the grounds of Lambeth Palace during 2020.

As an Assistant Archivist, you will help us to make our collections of archives and manuscripts accessible to the public, mainly through the provision of archive cataloguing, the reading room and enquiry services. You will also play a key role in supporting our move to our new building on the Lambeth Palace site.

If successful, you will be offered a contract which is expected to last for 2 years. Our normal hours of work are 35 per week, Monday to Friday however the Lambeth Palace Library Reading Room remains open on Thursdays until 7.30 pm. The holder of the LPL post will be expected to support this by working approximately one evening every three weeks on a rota basis, until 8.00 pm.

Interviews will be held on Friday 10th May 2019 at CERC.

In return we offer a unique environment with opportunities for continuous learning, generous annual leave for work life balance, season ticket loans and a range of benefits including discounted entry to attractions and what we feel is a market leading package when it comes to our pension scheme.

The Role

  • Cataloguing archives using CALM for Archives software, for web delivery via our online catalogue.
  • Reading room supervision on a rota basis, with responsibility for security whilst on duty there.
  • Providing other services to readers, including answering enquiries and contributing to our reprographic services.
  • Developing a working knowledge of our collections: archival, manuscript and printed.
  • Contributing to outreach work as required.
  • Supporting the Library’s and CERC’s move to a new building on the Lambeth Palace site, by preparing collections and their metadata, and carrying out activities supporting the move itself.
  • Working at the alternative location (Lambeth Palace Library or CERC) on tasks similar to those listed above, as required.
  • In the course of these duties, to retrieve and transport items in diverse formats (e.g. volumes and boxes) and varying conditions from a range of storage areas, some accessed via stairs, across the Library’s historic premises in accordance with procedures relating to manual handling and working at height.
  • Carrying out any other Library or CERC duties as required.

Tell us how you meet the requirements for the role :



  • Good IT and keyboarding skills, including Microsoft Office.
  • Good oral and written communication skills.


  • Experience of archive reading room/public service work.
  • Experience of working with archive cataloguing software, preferably CALM for archives.
  • Familiarity with current descriptive and authority standards.

Personal Attributes:

  • Ability to work unsupervised and as a member of a team.
  • Good interpersonal skills and the ability to deal politely, confidently and efficiently with members of the public.
  • Ability to organise own work and prioritise duties.
  • Ability to work under pressure and to meet deadlines.
  • Ability to work methodically and accurately showing attention to detail.
  • Ability to work to agreed standards.


  • Good level of education including an honours degree or equivalent, preferably in history.
  • A professional qualification in archives management or equivalent experience.



  • Experience of supervision of members of the public consulting archive collections.
  • Good knowledge of British history.
  • An interest in ecclesiastical history and records.
  • Familiarity with CALM for records management.
  • Some knowledge of palaeography and Latin.

We in the National Church Institutions support the mission and ministries of the Church all over England. We work with parishes, dioceses (regional offices), schools, other ministries and our partners at a national and international level.

Excellence, Respect, Integrity

We follow these three values in everything we do, whether we are of Christian faith, another faith or no faith. To learn more about working for National Church Institutions and our benefits, please click here

As we are a member of the Armed Forces Covenant, we welcome all applications from those you have served in our Armed Forces and their families

We are committed to building a culturally diverse workforce. As part of this commitment, we welcome applications from people, regardless of their background. As a Disability Confident committed employer, it is important to note that there may be occasions where it is not practical or appropriate to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria* due to high volume. We limit the amount of interviews conducted to five applicants per open post we advertise.

*Where applicable depending on post requirements.