Digitisation Project Conservation Technician (FTC)
One of the leading websites for family research in the world, Findmypast has helped to transform the way people discover their ancestors. We work tirelessly to digitise and preserve the world's national archives for future generations to enjoy. We're a British-owned company with millions of registered users across a plethora of websites including Findmypast (UK/US/IE/AU), Genes Reunited and The British Newspaper Archive (UK/US/IE/AU). Our goal is to make discovery seamless for our users by surfacing the most relevant and personalised experience – drawing from the inventory of our 8 billion records.
Overview of the role
Conservation is crucial in digitisation projects to ensure that all information on the document can be captured and that damage to documents during scanning is minimised through appropriate conservation practice. This role will be part of a dedicated team of conservators and conservation technicians responsible for assessing and preparing records for digitisation.
The Conservation Technician plays a vital part in facilitating the smooth running of these projects to ensure timely delivery, while upholding the professional reputation of Findmypast. The role entails applying basic preservation and conservation practice to an historic archival collection following training from, and under the guidance of, qualified conservators.
Please note that this is a Fixed Term Contract for 18 months.
You will have a strong interest in cultural heritage, exceptional manual dexterity and an excellent eye for detail. Following basic training, you must be able to make appropriate decisions and undertake necessary basic preservation and conservation treatments while meeting strict targets and deadlines. Such work may include but is not limited to surveying documents, removing staples, pins etc, flattening folds, curled edges and creases, undertaking simple repairs (e.g. to tears), carrying out mould-cleaning, disbinding volumes for scanning, applying and removing polyester sleeves on the more fragile documents, reassembling volumes and re-shelving them. An ability to work under pressure is vital. The role requires accurate data input to ensure recording of condition and project tracking, so attention to detail is crucial.
You will have a keen eye for detail and an ability to work both independently and as part of a team. You will have strong organisational skills with the ability to plan and prioritise work while under pressure in order to meet strict deadlines and targets. With the need for working across multiple teams, you will also have strong verbal communication skills.
Experience in a role related to heritage conservation or in a similar field is desirable.
Essential skills and experience
- Following instructions and guidelines to ensure consistent standard of work across team
- Carrying out necessary and appropriate preservation and conservation measures on original documents following assessment
- Working with original historic documents under pressure while maintaining a high level of manual dexterity
- Managing own workload to meet targets and deadlines
- Keeping organised and accurate records of your work, and maintaining project documentation as required
- Working closely with other teams involved in the digitisation
Desirable skills and experience
- Qualification or experience of working in heritage conservation or a related field
- Experience of working with original historic documents
- Experience of work on commercial projects