Collections Research Volunteer

Greenwich, London (Greater)
05 Oct 2017
19 Oct 2017
Arts and Culture
Short Term

The National Maritime Museum, part of Royal Museums Greenwich, is the world’s largest maritime museum. Its forthcoming Exploration Wing will bring four new permanent galleries to the NMM, spanning Pacific and polar exploration and Britain’s maritime past. Opening in 2018, the new Endeavour galleries – Pacific Encounters, Polar Worlds, Tudor & Stuart Seafarers and Sea Things – will exhibit 1000 more objects from our collection, and provide access to areas of the museum previously closed to our visitors.

This voluntary role will support RMG’s curatorial team in researching and documenting lesser-known parts of the collection, thus making items available for future reference and study. The volunteer will work with archival documents and historic photographs, transcribing, taking reference images and helping a curator to develop these collections. They will also provide administrative assistance in support of galleries, events and other curatorial projects.

The successful candidate will gain experience of RMG’s unique manuscript and photographic collections. They will also gain knowledge of a curatorial department at a national museum.

Reporting to: Curator, World Cultures

Key Responsibilities:

  • Transcribing archival documents and taking reference images of RMG collection items
  • Conducting research at RMG archives in Greenwich and Woolwich
  • Presenting and collating data, digital assets etc.
  • Providing administrative assistance in organising RMG events such as seminars

Skills and Experience:


An interest in maritime history and demonstrably good research skills

Knowledge of how to handle manuscript collections

Experience of conducting research with archival manuscripts and/or historic photographs

Excellent organisational skills and experience of working with minimal supervision

Ability to process data and make it available to others

Accuracy and high attention to detail

Excellent IT skills and a high standard of written and spoken English

Educated to degree level in a relevant subject, or equivalent experience


Experience of transcribing manuscripts

Experience of using collections management systems

Awareness of the issues surrounding sensitive and controversial histories

Time Commitment:

Ideally 1 weekday per week between 10.00 - 16.00, although we can be flexible. In addition, we will occasionally need help with evening events. Volunteers are asked to commit to 3 months initially with the possibility of an extension.

Travel can be reimbursed up to a limit of £10 per return journey (conditions apply). Please note we are unable to provide parking facilities.

How to apply:

Please apply via RMG’s website.

Direct any enquiries to

Alternatively you can call RMG’s Volunteer Programme Manager, Helen Webb, on 020 8312 6543.

Closing date Thursday 19 October 2017

Informal interviews planned for November 2

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