Medieval Records Specialist, The National Archives

Medieval Records Specialist (1495601)

The National Archives

Application deadline: 24th June 2016

Job description

This is an exciting and challenging opportunity to put medieval records at the heart of Archives Inspire – The National Archives’ ambitious plan to transform the way the public thinks about archives.

As part of the medieval records team, you will develop a deep knowledge of, and promote understanding of and access to, the collection of medieval records (and in particular, medieval legal records) held by The National Archives through innovative and interdisciplinary research.

You will initiate and oversee access improvement projects (including cataloguing), develop training and research guidance, and take forward The National Archives’ pioneering programme of archival training for postgraduates.

You will also work in our advisory service, delivering research advice on using medieval, early modern and modern records onsite and online, and represent The National Archives’ knowledge function internally and externally.

In every aspect of your role, you will be expected to seek opportunities to engage with and exploit the tools and techniques of digital humanities in collaboration with colleagues and researchers.

  • To develop specialist knowledge of The National Archives’ medieval records, with particular emphasis on legal records (henceforth, your ‘specialist area’).
  • To improve and share knowledge of your specialist area through the creation and delivery of innovative research guidance, talks, training, and publications, aimed at multiple and diverse audiences, including public history researchers, academics and staff.
  • To develop and lead cataloguing and access improvement projects in your specialist area, where possible securing external resources to deliver the project work.
  • To contribute to the medieval team’s engagement with digital humanities to exploit the tools and techniques of this field to improve access to and deepen knowledge of medieval collections.
  • To develop and lead research projects for external grant funding bids, and contribute to the management of The National Archives’ involvement throughout the bid process in collaboration with colleagues.
  • To engage with the academic and research sectors, promoting The National Archives’ collections and enhancing our reputation for high-quality research within your specialist area, through contributions at academic events and to publications.
  • To represent The National Archives on partnership research projects and collaborative initiatives with academic institutions and IROs, including the possibility of co-supervising doctoral research.
  • To take forward the development and delivery of archival and collection-based training to postgraduate students, and collaborate with colleagues to improve this training and widen its scope.
  • To proactively promote the value and importance of records knowledge to an external audience, with particular emphasis on the academic and public history sectors, and work with colleagues to develop inspiring public programmes and events.
  • To deputise for the Principal Records Specialists as appropriate.
  • To participate in the delivery of Advice and Records Knowledge (ARK) public information services.
    • provide advice to users of the public records by performing approximately 5 public duties per week.
    • work with colleagues to develop innovative ways of delivering the public advice service and joining up the onsite and online services.
    • To contribute knowledge and expertise as required within The National Archives (e.g. input to digitisation projects, commercial product delivery, service delivery enhancements, media interviews, VIP tours, educational products).

For more details and to apply, click here.


Training – Ottoman and Archival Studies


Training Programme on Ottoman and Archival Studies

London; Oxford;  Surrey; Birmingham

23rd – 27th May 2016

Registration deadline: 29th April 2016

Keynote Speakers:

Dr Fred Anscombe Head of Department of History, Classics and Archaeology Birkbeck, University of London

Dr Colin Heywood Maritime Historical Studies Centre, University of Hull, UK

Dr Nur Sobers-Khan British Library, Lead Curator for South Asia

The London Centre for Social Studies (LCSS) is proud to announce a 2nd Training Programme on Ottoman and Archival Studies to be held in collaboration with some of the UK’s leading research and academic institutions and led by renowned Ottoman experts.

The Programme is designed to fill the gap for much-needed short-term programmes aimed at helping researchers and students working in the field of Ottoman Studies. As a result, the Programme will give you access to the finest Ottoman resources available in the UK and guide you on key archival research methods.

Over the course of the week, you will visit world-famous libraries and archives including the Ottoman manuscripts collection at the British Library; the Weston and Oriental Institute Libraries at Oxford University; the Wellcome Library; the UK National Archives; and the Mingana Collection of Manuscripts at Birmingham University.

In each of these institutions you will be able to explore fascinating original documents illustrating the diversity and wealth of the Ottoman heritage in arts, literature, science, law, diplomacy, medicine, astronomy, and naval warfare. You will also learn about Al-Furqan Foundation’s Digital Portal, which contains catalogues of Islamic manuscripts held in libraries around the world as well as other unique reference sources in the field of Islamic written heritage.

While you will attend a number of fascinating talks on relevant topics by well-known experts in the field, the Programme also includes a seminar-discussion co-hosted by the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman & Modern Greek Studies at the University of Birmingham, where you will have the opportunity to present and discuss your own research.

The content of the Programme includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • The current state of Ottoman studies: trends and challenges
  • Ottoman Historical Studies since 1909: early scholars in the context of Archival Research
  • Research on the court registers (siciller): methodologies and results
  • An overview of medieval and early modern-era Ottoman sources at the UK National Archives (includes: tax documents, customs accounts, port books, state papers)
  • An overview of modern-era Ottoman sources at the UK National Archives (includes: Foreign Office & Colonial Office registers and indexes, Cabinet papers, maps and photographs)
  • Understanding archives as key to understanding records
  • A hand-written book vs. a hand-written archival item: differences and misconceptions
  • The Arabic script and its role in preservation of knowledge in the Ottoman Empire
  • The diversity of languages of the Ottoman Empire
  • A viewing of the Ottoman manuscripts and rare books held in the beautiful Bahari Room at the Weston Library at Oxford University.

We are looking forward to welcoming you to this exciting and diverse programme!

Contact for enquiries:

Rosa Vercoe

LCSS reserves the right to amend the content of the Programme in the event of unforeseeable circumstances