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You will provide professional leadership for IWM’s internationally important collection of historic photographs, which is recognised as one of the most significant photographic collections in Great Britain, unique in its scale, depth and scope. The IWM’s holdings currently comprise several million analogue and born digital images, taken by professional and amateur photographers of many nationalities from 1850 - present, along with associated documentation and artefacts. The core focus of the collection are those conflicts involving British and Commonwealth countries from 1914 to the present day. The collection tells the story of these conflicts from the viewpoints of both combatants and civilians from Britain, her allies and opponents. In addition, under Public Records legislation, IWM is the designated Place of Deposit for official photographs relevant to the Museum’s remit. It is also the custodian of the photographic record of the Museum itself. The post holder will work with IWM’s historical teams to acquire new material for the collection, to research and document holdings to achieve a greater understanding of the collection to increase its benefit to both IWM, our audience and researchers.

As IWM’s most senior specialist in photography, you will at all times demonstrate and develop a high level of knowledge and a breadth of expertise about the collection based on extensive research and experience. You will use this to drive the development and documentation of the collection, and support its commercial exploitation, public programme, research and the work of other teams and departments.

You will promote the use of the photographic collection, both within IWM and externally. You will steer the strategic development of IWM’s photographic collection through liaison across Narrative and Content and IWM as a whole.

You will also play a leading role in creating a working culture that is responsive, collaborative and committed, and an environment that welcomes curiosity and creativity. Finally, you will champion the Change programme and the opportunities it brings with it, both for IWM in its operations and activities and for our audiences.

Key duties 

You will be expected to work independently as well as across different teams in order to contribute to and deliver the priorities of IWM - using your knowledge, skills, talent and potential to the best of your ability. 

You will focus at all times on delivering excellent customer service, ensure value for money at all times while being professional, courteous and demonstrating the behaviours and attributes expected of all IWM employees. You will also adhere to all corporate standards, and use corporate systems as directed to ensure consistency of service, brand and operational standards. 

You will drive the delivery and development of all services within your department, and contribute to the development of other areas as required. You will also adhere to all corporate standards, and use corporate systems as directed to ensure consistency of service, brand and operational standards

You will be an experienced specialist in your area and take on broad responsibilities, working across departments effectively, with individuals, partner organisations and volunteers.

You should be able to lead, manage and motivate your staff, partners and volunteers in order to get the best out of them.

You will play a key role and in the development of corporate and departmental strategy and initiatives.

You will be expected to comply with corporate standards, and use corporate systems, processes and procedures– and undertake any necessary training as directed.

In addition, your duties will include:

1. To lead on the research, interpretation and development of the IWM photographic collection and to advise on its appropriate interpretative use and presentation.

2. To meet regularly with, coach, support and advise relevant curatorial specialists across the department, to ensure the quality of their work as regards their specialism, to identify training needs, and to contribute to their appraisals.

3. To work with curators, Heads of historical teams, the Head of Collections and Curatorial Development and the Department of Collections Management to develop the enhanced interpretation of the photographic collection and to assist with the development of its documentation and digitisation.

4. To play a leading role in meetings and discussions with IWM colleagues and representatives from TNA and MOD relating to IWM’s status as a Place of Deposit under the Public Records Act, with particular emphasis on the archiving and use of born digital official photographs.

5. In collaboration with Collections Management, to agree and advise curatorial teams on approaches to and standards for interpretation and cataloguing of the collection and ensure that these are upheld across IWM.

6. To liaise with Collections Management regarding the photographic collection, and to inform IWM practice by establishing peer-to-peer relationships with individuals and organisations that set and provide guidance on collections development, collections care and curatorial standards.

7. To develop academic research projects and meaningful partnerships that enrich understanding of our photographic collection.

8. To put forward imaginative ideas for exhibitions and other elements of the public programme or events at external partner organisations

9. To respond to requests from across IWM for knowledge and skills, co-ordinating, delegating and apportioning resource accordingly to support the Assistant Director (Narrative and Content), Head of Collections and Curatorial Development and work with the Heads of historical teams in identifying strategic priorities and development of corporate plans.

10. To facilitate among curators across IWM an understanding of our photographic holdings, their unique qualities, their place within the material culture of conflict, and their potential for reaching our audiences.

11. To identify development opportunities for photograph curators in order to ensure the expertise and knowledge of specialist curators is maintained in the organisation.

12. To support the Heads of historical teams in creation and development of content for galleries and exhibitions, as well as Learning, Development, Press, Publishing, Media, Marketing and Commercial outputs and activities 

13. To develop academic research projects and meaningful partnerships that enrich our understanding of our collection.

14. To facilitate access to our collection, knowledge and skills to the public and to colleagues across IWM.

15. To apply excellent communication skills in working with audiences and stakeholders, both internal and external, and with other specialists in historical photographs.

16. To work at all times as a team member, consulting with colleagues and sharing knowledge and information.

17. To ensure that all areas of activity deliver IWM brand values and comply with corporate priorities, standards and systems at all times.

18. Representation of IWM on external professional and academic boards and at conferences, workshops and seminars

19. To identify and implement learning and development needs of both yourself and specialist curators of photographs across IWM’s historical teams.

20. Providing media interviews and giving tours and presentations to stakeholders and VIP visitors

See more and apply by the 21 June closing date here

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