NMS21/21 - Researcher: Tools of Knowledge

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Posted: 04/06/2021 12:37
Start Date: Not Available
Salary: £31,534 - £34,291
Location: National Museum Of Scotland, Chambers Street
Level: Collections Management
Deadline: 28/06/2021 23:59
Hours: 37.00
Benefits: membership of Civil Service pension scheme
Job Type: Temporary

National Museums Scotland is one of the leading museum groups in Europe. With one of the largest and most diverse collections in the world, we are responsible for the acquisition, preservation and display of a substantial part of Scotland’s cultural, historic and national heritage. 

Millions of local and international visitors enjoy our four museums each year, and we also introduce our collections to a much wider audience than can physically visit our museums through, touring exhibitions, loans, community engagement, digital programmes and research.

Over the last decade, we have invested over £120 million in our sites and have more than doubled our visitor numbers, with over 3 million people now visiting our four museums. Alongside this, we have continued to transform how we communicate and engage with our audiences. 2019 has seen the completion of our Masterplan for the National Museum of Scotland with the opening of three new galleries dedicated to Ancient Egypt, East Asia and the Art of Ceramics.

The AHRC-funded project ‘Tools of Knowledge: Modelling the Creative Communities of the Scientific Instrument Trade, 1550-1914’ commenced in January 2021 and is led by Professor Liba Taub of the University of Cambridge. The project will assemble a large volume of diverse data and apply cutting-edge methods of digital analysis to explore almost four centuries of the scientific instrument trade in Britain and Ireland. It aims to provide highly accessible information on the history of science, as it relates to commerce, industry, teaching, and questions of local, national and international geography.

As the ‘Tools of Knowledge’ Researcher, you will be based at National Museums Scotland, which holds a significant collection of historic scientific instruments. You will work with the project team, particularly Dr Rebekah Higgitt, Acting Keeper of Science & Technology at NMS and Dr Alex Butterworth (Sussex Humanities Lab, University of Sussex), to help develop and contribute to a number of defined case studies on the locations, movements and contexts of instruments and makers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These case studies are designed to help the project team expand and remodel the existing dataset, Scientific Instrument Makers, Observations and Notes (SIMON), which comprises more than 10,000 records on individual instrument makers and firms, and to create new historical knowledge and develop new ways of interrogating and visualising the data.

Qualified to postgraduate level, you will have specialised knowledge of either – and a demonstrable interest in both – the history of scientific instruments and/or techniques of data modelling and digital analysis of historical and collections data. You must have proven research ability, be able to work effectively to meet deadlines, both independently and as part of a team, and possess excellent communication and ICT skills. You will be expected to travel to undertake research at other institutions, including project partners Royal Museums Greenwich and the Science Museum, London, as well as to attend project meetings, workshops and conferences.

This is a fixed-term full-time post for 18 months.

Please see here for the full recruitment pack and the application form can be found here.



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