*Job* Science Museum, Collections Ass’t – Information Age, £16k, clos 24 March 2013

Science Museum
Collections Assistant, Information Age

COL/SCM/MAR13 – Collections Assistant, Information Age

Posted: 04/03/2013 16:22
Start Date: Not Available
Salary: £16,000 per annum
Location: Science Museum – Blythe House
Level: Conservation
Deadline: 24/03/2013 23:59
Hours: 36
Benefits: SCMG Enterprise Benefits
Job Type: Full Time – Fixed Term
Collections Assistant, Information Age. Based at  Blythe House and Science Museum, London  Full time, 18 month contract

Information Age is a major new gallery being developed at the Science Museum on the history of communications technologies through to the present day to open in 2014. This gallery is object-rich, supported by varied interpretation and innovative interactivity. It is sector-leading in the practice of co-creation; audiences will be involved in all stages of the gallery development to enrich the experience for all visitors.

The Science Museum is seeking a skilled and enthusiastic Collections Assistant who will work closely with the project team to plan and undertake the safe handling and movement of a wide range of materials, sizes and conditions which may be either palletised or moved individually, using a variety of lifting and manual handling equipment. You will be experienced at packing objects for transport.

You will work alongside core Conservation and Collection Care teams to prioritise, manage and document the movement and final storage or display location, and communicate all moves to teams on relevant sites in advance.

You will be based at Blythe House in Kensington Olympia and at the Science Museum in South Kensington depending on project activity and will be part of the team of Collection care and conservation staff which works across the Science Museum’s three sites.

You 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 and collections care standards.

The Science Museum Group (SMG) comprises the Science Museum in London, the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, the National Railway Museum in York and Shildon and the National Media Museum in Bradford. Together they share a unifying mission to engage people in a dialogue about the past, present and future of human ingenuity in the fields of science, technology, medicine, transport and media.

Closing date: 24 March 2013

Interviews: 3 April 2013

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 order for your application to be considered, your covering statement must include your response to the following questions:

Q1: Please outline what attracts you to this specific role. In doing this, please outline what attracts you to working at SMG as well as the nature of the role itself.

Q2: Please outline the achievement you are most proud of within a comparable role

Q3: Please provide examples that demonstrate your previous experience in the care, movement, cleaning and storage of objects

Q4: Please outline your experience working within health & safety policy and procedures including the use of risk assessments and method statements

SMG Job Description

Job Details

Job Title: Collections Assistant Information Age

Department: Conservation and Collections Care

Location: Science Museum, London

Reports to: Conservation & Collections Care Manager London and Blythe House

Date:  26/02/2013

Purpose of the Job

The Collections assistant will be based first at Blythe House, the Science Museum’s small to medium size object store at Kensington Olympia, London, and later at the Science Museum in South Kensington. He or she may also be required to work at other SMG sites the large object store at Wroughton, near Swindon.

The Collections Assistant will be part of the Information Age exhibitions team and will meet and advise the project teams based at the museum which includes curators and contracted designers. The project team will work alongside the Conservation and Collections Care teams based at the three sites.

He or she will assist in the care, movement, packing, storage, and access of the Science Museum’s collections using best practice to meet strategic and statutory requirements.

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 assist with preventive conservation programmes including environmental monitoring, pest management and good housekeeping including cleaning objects, display and store areas.
  2. To pack, move, collect and return mixed material objects of a variety of sizes in various condition states selected from the Science Museum collections, in support of the Information Age project.
  3. To assist with the installation of the exhibition Information age.
  4. To participate in the safe management of the collections, complying with current H&S regulations, with handling equipment, in storage areas and on gallery
  5. Wroughton based team will participate in safe working practices in the vehicles.
  6. Update of location records during handling and transport.
  7. To assist with collections related enquiries and requests for information to enable access to objects.
  8. To assist with hazardous materials identification, management, safe handling and documentation the collections database so as to ensure compliance with statutory regulations.
  9. Undertake a range of practical support and re-storage work at Science Museum locations such as upgrading storage systems effectively or object dismantling and re-assembly.
  10. The Wroughton based team will ensure vehicles and handling equipment is well maintained on a day to day basis and comply with Health and Safety requirements for their use and operation.
  11. Working as part of the collections care team alongside logistics, curatorial, project teams, documentation and photography to ensure objects are preserved.
  12. To undertake collections audits and condition surveys in conjunction with others so as to fulfil Museum, Library and Archive Council Museum Accreditation.
  13. To act as a supporting courier for museum objects alongside other members of CCC undertaking transport of objects.
  14. To act as an ambassador for the Museum when meeting external contacts, lenders and for the team within the museum.
  15. Take care of your personal health and safety and that of others and report any health and safety concerns.  Ensure proactive compliance with NMSI H&S Policies, including risk assessments and implementing safe systems of work

Working Relationships and Contacts

  • Conservation and Collections Care staff colleagues in London sites and Wroughton, to assist with projects and undertake object movement.
  • Science Museum staff – including curatorial group, exhibitions teams delivering objects safely and on time.
  • Other SMG colleagues including Corporate and Collections Information Section, National Railway Museum and National Media Museum (SMG museums), SCMG Enterprises regarding movement and storage of objects.
  • Other museums, cultural institutions and private individuals – delivering object movement services.

Line Management and Budget Responsibility

Directly line manages: 0

Indirectly line manages: 0

Contractors/freelancers: 0

Budget Holder of: 0

Candidate Profile


  • Practical and relevant experience of object handling and moving
  • Practical and relevant experience of cleaning historic objects
  • Use of risk assessments and method statements to plan and complete work
  • Demonstrable museum and cultural heritage work experience.
  • Experience using handling, lifting and slinging equipment

Skills, Knowledge and Relevant Qualifications


  • Good general education
  • Physically fit with good manual dexterity
  • Demonstrable knowledge and practical application of current Health & Safety Practice
  • Understanding of collections care particularly packing and handling
  • Experience of database and cataloguing systems – ideally working with MIMSY XG
  • IT literate eg. Word, Excel, Access and Outlook for data entry and updating spreadsheets
  • Systematic and meticulous approach to work planning and programming
  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to operate manual handling equipment.

Wroughton-based team

  • Full clean driving licence and competent with manual handling equipment including forklifts
  • Ability to work in adverse and challenging conditions – 568 acre site with collections storage in unheated WWII hangers.
  • Ability to strap loads into vehicles


  • Able to identify problems and make progress, without being deterred by setbacks
  • Able to work under pressure to meet tight deadlines calmly and effectively
  • Takes pride in delivering work of high standards
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Makes decisions based on evidence
  • Works well in a team and independently
  • Motivated self starter
  • Prioritises work and plans tasks
  • Reviews and reflects
  • Overall pragmatic approach to work

Scope for Impact

  • Accessibility of collections for access, exhibition, loan, study is achieved to support core functions of the museum.
  • Working with other Conservation & Collections Care team members objects are handled, transported, tracked and stored safely to allow access to others and maintain our high standards of collections care, working to professional standards.
  • Contribute towards improved collections care and storage facilities.
  • Team of collection care assistants at the Science Museum and at Wroughton will provide a continuous service to the museum throughout periods of leave, absence etc.
  • Objects are maintained to a good standard of cleanliness and access.
  • MIMSY XG database location records kept up to date to track objects within the 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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