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Job: Conservator of Photographs, Bradford

The National Media Museum is seeking a skilled and enthusiastic Conservator of Photographs to provide high quality interventive conservation. The post holder will be based at the National Media Museum in Bradford and will support our busy exhibition programme.

Your recognised conservation qualification or similar experience will be supported by demonstrable skills in interventive and preventive museum conservation on a wide range of photographic materials, with an understanding of conservation and collections care for 3-d mixed media objects; including condition checking and documentation .

You will be able to supervise volunteers and conservation interns and provide advice and support to colleagues working within the Curatorial, Corporate & Collections Information (Registration & Documentation) and Exhibitions teams. The role will also participate in the safe management of hazards within the collections, complying with current H&S regulations and in-house policies and safe working practices.

You will have excellent interpersonal skills and be confident communicating with a wide range of people.  You will have demonstrable skills in problem solving and prioritising, which will be supported by your previous experience within a museum or cultural heritage environment.

You will be able to demonstrate the ability to plan and execute your own work programmes, provide statistics and promote high conservation and collections care standards with the ability to use Collections databases (eg: Mimsy XG) and practical expertise in object handling.

CP/NMEM/NOV 12 - Conservator of Photographs

Posted: 12/11/2012 10:23
Start Date: Not Available
Salary: 21,302
Location: National Media Museum - Bradford
Level: Conservation
Deadline: 30/11/2012 23:59
Hours: 36.00
Benefits: SMG Museum Benefits
Job Type: Full Time - Permanent

Interviews will be held in week commencing 10 December 2012.


All shortlisted applicants will be asked to bring a portfolio of their conservation work with them to their interview. The portfolio should mainly focus on photographic conservation and collections care.


Click here for more or to apply 


Application Details

When you apply you will be asked to upload one document in Microsoft Word format which includes both your CV and a covering statement. In your covering statement please state why you feel you are suitable for this role? Please focus on the experience you consider to be most relevant to this role.

Purpose of the Job

To preserve the photographic and film collections in the care of the National Media Museum using best professional practice to meet strategic and statutory requirements within the budget constraints of the organisation.


To undertake all aspects of interventive conservation on a wide range of photographic materials, including condition checking and documentation. Responsible for all aspects of preventive conservation work for all collections held by NMeM. To advise upon and ensure that deterioration throughout the collections is minimised through the relevant preventive conservation methods.


Ensuring that these tasks are carried out in a safe and secure manner to comply with current legislation and following best professional practice.


Key Deliverables/Accountabilities


1.    To plan and execute a work programme of conservation of inventoried photographs in the collections based on conservation requests, projects, loan outs and renewals, acquisition requests, on time and to budget, complying with best professional practice and statutory requirements.

2.    To manage, maintain and improve systems for preventive conservation at NMeM, including environmental monitoring and control, integrated pest management, condition surveys, storage surveys. Analyse the results and write an annual environmental report. Compile reports to advice on long term priorities and strategies highlighted from preventive work. Working together with conservators across the group to deliver annual KPI reports and to achieve best results.

3.    To develop and deliver collections care training to other SMG staff and volunteers in object handling and the fundamentals of preventive conservation; and other training as identified with line manager.

4.    To advise line manager and other appropriate colleagues (eg curatorial/registration) on conservation issues connected with photographic material under treatment to ensure that projects are completed on time and to professional standards. To advise line manager and other appropriate colleagues on conservation issues with all other collection materials that require specific specialist conservation.

5.    Prepare condition and treatment reports (with annotated images) for photographic material and other collection objects conserved and input this information into MIMSY XG database following CCI and Science Museum conservation documentation guidelines. Prepare condition and display/storage recommendation reports for loans and new acquisitions.

6.    To participate in safe management and awareness of hazards within the collections; complying with current H&S regulations, in-house policies and safe working practices in the Conservation lab, galleries and object stores.

7.    To maintain and develop professional knowledge and expertise in conservation and collection care related to the NMeM's collections.

8.    To plan and prioritise work programmes for students, mentoring and monitoring quality of output, and developing practical knowledge and skills to ensure that best practice is passed on to future staff.

9.    To undertake the general administration of the Conservation lab, to ensure that this is done in an environmentally sound and economical manner.

10. To participate in public events where appropriate to raise awareness and provide public insight into work of Conservation and Collections Care.

11. Manage external specialists and contracts for specific conservation projects outside the expertise of the post holder, eg remedial object conservation. This could include conservation colleagues in other Group museums.

12. Support colleagues with emergency planning and salvage with particular input regarding the Collections

13. Under supervision to undertake basic conservation research projects on specific areas of the collections or types of objects to extend knowledge of the whole team.

14. Take care of your personal health and safety and that of others and report any health and safety concerns. Ensure proactive compliance with SMG H&S Policies, including risk assessments and implementing safe systems of work.


Working Relationships and Contacts

  •   Conservation and Collections Care teams across Science Museum Group.
  • National Media Museum teams including Curatorial, Corporate & Collections Information (Registration & Documentation) and Exhibitions.
  • Students and Volunteers; assist and support on collection care projects.


Line Management and Budget Responsibility

  • Indirectly line manages: Volunteers, interns as required
  • Operating Budget up to £5,000


Candidate Profile



  • Experience of working within a museum or cultural heritage organisation
  • Demonstrable experience of working on Photographic collections.
  • Experience of working with collections teams to deliver exhibitions, support loans and acquisitions
  • Experience of supervising staff and volunteers is desirable.


Skills, Knowledge and Relevant Qualifications


  • Relevant object or paper conservation qualification (first degree) or equivalent practical experience and knowledge.
  • Photographic conservation training and relevant practical experience on a wide range of this material.
  • Understanding of conservation and collections care for 3-d mixed media objects.
  • Excellent conservation skills and attention to detail.
  • Demonstrable strong written and oral communication skills including a good standard of written English.
  • Demonstrable knowledge and practical application of current Health and Safety practice including awareness of collections-based hazards.
  • I T skills: Word, Excel, MIMSY XG or other collections database systems and image manipulation software such as Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.
  • Understanding of the financial implications of proposals.
  • Demonstrable planning, resourcing and prioritisation skills.




  • Team Working

o        Good team worker who demonstrates and encourages positive approaches, seeks to resolve issues and conflicts, focuses on win-win outcomes, actively champions the team; motivates others and enthusiastically shares knowledge & expertise.


  • Achieving Results

o        Actively seeks information, prioritises and uses time efficiently, thinks several steps ahead, seeks tasks, responsibilities & challenges, spots & rectifies errors, works smartly, builds in contingencies, self-starts, anticipates issues, proactively identifies areas for cost efficiency, actively seeks and responds to feedback, multi-tasks effectively,


  • Problem Solving & Creativity

o        Reacts positively to change and uncertainty, prevents problem re-occurrence, continually seeks improvement, thinks ‘outside the box’, seizes opportunities to be creative, develops processes, systems & solutions; Networks extensively; Explores root cause of problem


  • Customer Service

o        Proactively helps, understands customers and acts to meet their needs, enthuses about the product or service or working collaboratively with non specialist audiences in developing cultural offers, goes the extra mile, answers all questions & provides additional information


Scope for Impact


  • To ensure photographic material and objects are stable, accessible and at their optimum condition for storage and display to meet the museums objectives to preserve the collections and support the cultural programme.
  • Prepare specialised condition reports on objects for loans to other institutions to ensure object record is maintained.
  • Provide data from condition surveys to feed into long term planning for the team and museum.
  • Maintain the public and professional face of museum


Please note:

  • This job description is not exhaustive and amendments and additions may be required in line with future changes in policy, regulation or organisational requirements, it will be reviewed on a regular basis.
  • This role is subject to a Disclosure Scotland basic criminal record check

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