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Assistant Archivist

Please Note: The application deadline for this job has now passed.


Lambeth Palace Library (www.lambethpalacelibrary.org), founded in 1610, is the historic library and record office of the Archbishops of Canterbury.  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.  It is maintained by the Church Commissioners.

The collections range in date from the 9th century to the present day.  There are some 200,000 printed books (30,000 earlier than 1700), 5,000 manuscripts (600 of which are medieval), and large quantities of archives from the Middle Ages onwards.  The Library continues to receive the modern papers of the Archbishops of Canterbury.

Post Introduction

As Assistant Archivist, you will assist in making the Library's collections of archives and manuscripts accessible to the public, through the provision of Reading Room and enquiry services, archive cataloguing, and other work as required.

Normal hours of work are 35 per week, Monday to Friday with an hour’s unpaid break for lunch. The Library Reading Room remains open on Thursdays until 7.30 pm and you will be expected to work approximately one evening every three weeks on a rota basis, until 8.00 pm.

Interviews will be held on the 28th February 2018

Main Responsibility

  • Supervising the Reading Room on a rota basis, with responsibility for security whilst on duty there.
  • Providing other services to readers, including answering enquiries in whatever format, and contributing to the Library’s reprographic services.
  • Cataloguing archives using CALM for Archives software, for web delivery via the Library’s online catalogue, in particular the papers of Archbishop George Carey (1991-2002).
  • Developing a working knowledge of the Library's collections, archival, manuscript and printed.
  • Contributing to the Library’s outreach work as required, including co-ordination of academic classes on the manuscript and archive collections.
  • 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 duties as required.

The Ideal Candidate



  • 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, and a professional qualification in archives management.



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

About Us

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.

Benefits- We offer a competitive salary package, a flexible* 35-hour working week for work-life balance and a minimum 25 days holiday plus 3 defined organisational days leave and an attractive defined pension scheme.

We are committed to building a culturally diverse workforce and strongly encourage applications from underrepresented groups. We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from people, regardless of their background.

*Where applicable depending on post requirements.

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