Abbot’s Hospital Guildford, Surrey
ARCHIVE RESEARCH CONSULTANT
30 DAYS CONTRACT BETWEEN FEBRUARY AND OCTOBER 2019
The Hospital of the Blessed Trinity or Abbot’s Hospital as it is better known today was founded in 1619 by George Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury as a gift "out of my love to the place of my birth". It was not Abbot's intention to provide a "hospital" in the modern sense of the word but a place of shelter for the elderly poor of the town - 12 single men and 8 single women - under the care of a resident Master. Nearly 400 years after the first residents moved in, Abbot's Hospital continues to offer town centre accommodation within a sociable and supportive environment for local elderly people.
Today, Abbot’s Hospital offers up to 27 residents the opportunity to live an independent, fulfilled life in the very centre of town. We provide a sociable and supportive environment for our residents, emphasising this sense of community through a range of regular social activities, including coffee mornings, keep fit classes and occasional outings. Many of our residents assist with guided tours, bake cakes for different activities, help in the garden and host social events.
The Master of Abbot’s Hospital was required to keep a ledger recording life at the hospital. We have a vast collection of ledger records recording everyday life for residents and going back 400 years to the hospital’s beginning. These records provide unique insights into life here.
Our Heritage lies as much the building and George Abbot himself, as well as in the complete collection of Master’s records of life in Abbot’s over 400 years and the many rare and unique pieces held on our premises. Taking place throughout 2019, this project will celebrate and share the heritage with our community and involve them in our birthday celebrations, whilst raising awareness of this special site. (https://www.abbotshospital.org/)
At Abbot’s Hospital, we hold very important archive and collections on the history of Abbots Hospital, the residents, George Abbot and the building. In addition, there are many records held at the Surrey History Centre. As Archive Research Consultant, you will be responsible for helping us deliver the research element of our anniversary project. This includes helping us better understand what records are held off-site, establish systems and processes for ongoing cataloguing of documentation, provide training to volunteers, all of which will feed into establishing a new Index of Documents system to make it easier for people to find and access records.
- Cataloguing and related research of the Masters Ledgers and Archive and collections.
- Management of a small team of volunteers who will support the research elements.
- Training of volunteer group in cataloguing skills.
- Lead volunteer research days to Surrey History Centre.
- Advise and support Abbots Hospital trustees on how best to access, use and interpret archives.
- Prepare the foundations of an updated Index of Documents system for user-friendly archival research.
- Advise on the organisation and storage of material to encourage organisations to plan.
- Help prepare a guide on the management and maintenance of our heritage assets.
MEASURED OF SUCCESS
By the end of the project you will have helped us achieve the following:
| ||Output||Measure of success|
|1||A unified system for cataloguing information is in place which will be used by all volunteers and continued work adding information||Clear system set up and used beyond the project|
All volunteers are clear on how to catalogue information
|2||A guide to the preservation and management of our heritage assets is created||A guide published to all volunteers responsible for heritage asset management|
|3||Volunteers have received training in cataloguing, researching and understanding archives||Volunteers have has access to training sessions at Surrey History Centre and onsite|
We are offering a fixed term contract of up to £300 per day, with a maximum allowance of £9,000 all inclusive.
We expect that the appointed consultant or firm provide Abbot’s of a minimum of 30 days work over the period of March and October 2019. This will include work at the Abbot’s Hospital site, visits to the Surrey History Centre and home based work.
The appointed consultant or firm will report to the Master of Abbot’s Hospital, Mr. Michael McKechnie.
SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE
Educated to degree level or equivalent experience within the heritage or related field
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Previous experience of working in a research library, archive, or museum environment.
- The ability to create systems and processes for effective cataloguing of archive material
- Excellent organisational and administrative skills, including an ability to prioritise effectively and work accurately without close supervision
- Effective IT skills including competent use of common office software
- A genuine interest in history and in preserving records for posterity.
- A logical approach to the work of identification and classification.
- The ability to skim and understand an extensive and varied range of material.
- The ability to manage and oversee volunteers.
TENDERING AND INTERVIEW PROCESS
- Knowledge and understanding of our context
- Experience training volunteers
Post advertised: December 2018
Deadlines for applications: Monday 28th January 2019 at 12noon
Shortlisting applications: Tuesday 29th and Wednesday 30th January 2019
Applicants notified: Thursday 31st January 2019
Interviews: Thursday 7th February 2019
Post start: 1st March 2019
Interviews will take place at Abbot’s Hospital, High Street, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 3AJ and will begin with a tour of the site.
If you are interested in this position, please provide us with the following information on no more than three A4 pages:
Applicants should return tenders to Sarah Odell by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Completion of a tender is essential and we will not accept applications just containing a CV.
- Willingness to work within the terms of this brief
- Fee breakdown
- Your available start date and outline timetable to undertake the works within the dates of the project
- Your previous relevant experience
- Name of referee from a previous relevant project