Wallace Correspondence Project Archivist Post is Advertised

*Job Announcement*

Archivist - Alfred Russel Wallace Correspondence Project

Salary: Starting from £31,327 per year

Employment Type: Fixed Term, ending 31 August 2020

Hours Per week (exclusive of lunch breaks): 35

Annual Leave: 30 days, in addition to public and bank holidays.

Work Location: Buckhurst Hill, Essex IG9, UK, or vicinity (expected to be near a Central Line station, about 35 minutes by Tube from central London).

Closing Date: midnight 12 February 2018

Interview Date: Expected to be late February/early March 2018

Thanks to a recent generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation (USA), the Wallace Correspondence Project (WCP) is seeking to recruit an Archivist who will work closely together with the two others in our small project team. The WCP was founded in 2010 and the current grant is hosted and managed by The Charles Darwin Trust, an educational charity set up in 1999 by members of the Darwin family (see http://www.charlesdarwintrust.org).

The WCP aims to locate, digitize, catalogue, transcribe and interpret the surviving correspondence and other manuscripts of the great 19th century naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913). Wallace has many claims to fame, not least that he is the 'father' of evolutionary biogeography and the co-discoverer with Darwin of the process of evolution by natural selection. He also made many other important contributions to subjects as diverse as glaciology, land reform, anthropology, ethnography, epidemiology, and astrobiology.

The WCP's mission is to make Wallace's inspirational life and ground-breaking work better known to contemporary audiences, through the publication online of his collected manuscripts for the first time. Our online archive will be an important primary resource for students of the history of science, cultural studies and 19th century society. For more information see http://www.wallaceletters.info

The Role

The Archivist will be responsible for attempting to locate previously unknown Wallace-related manuscripts in institutions worldwide and obtaining digital scans of them; carrying out the process of due diligence with respect to IP; cataloguing newly discovered letters using the project's MS Access database; linking scans and transcripts of the documents to the relevant database records; meticulously checking and correcting the metadata in the database; writing detailed summaries of letters; managing the work of volunteers; and writing articles about the project and posts for the WCP News blog.

Desirable Skills & Experience

  • A good honours degree (or equivalent qualification), preferably in history or biology.
  • Postgraduate qualification in Librarianship/Archives and Records Management or similar, or previous employment on a similar project.
  • Excellent spoken and written English.
  • Proven cataloguing experience, using databases.
  • Very good IT skills, with excellent knowledge of Microsoft Office applications.
  • Proven experience of using a variety of Web-based archives and library information systems.
  • Ability to transcribe manuscript documents with a high level of accuracy.
  • Ability to write summaries of complex text.
  • Knowledge of British and international copyright laws.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to work effectively with academics and the general public.
  • Proactive and able to take the initiative.
  • Ability to work alone or as part of a team and meet deadlines.
  • Excellent planning skills with the ability to manage multiple tasks.
  • Excellent negotiating skills.
  • Experience of outreach and promotion of archive collections.
  • A demonstrable interest in the history of science, preferably biology.


  • Applicants must have the right to work in the UK.
  • This position is limited to the project duration specified.


Application is by email to blaberus1@ntlworld.com  You should provide a covering letter (600 words maximum) explaining your skills, aptitudes and suitability for this role; a curriculum vitae; and the contact details for two referees, one of which is your most recent employer. Please enter "WCP Archivist job application" in the subject line of your email.

For a pdf version of the above CLICK HERE

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith