NMS21/93 - Principal Curator, Modern & Contemporary History

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Posted: 26/04/2022 15:16
Start Date: Not Available
Salary: £40,158 - £51,248 per annum
Location: National Museum Of Scotland, Chambers Street
Level: Curatorial
Deadline: 31/05/2022 23:59
Hours: 37.00
Benefits: plus membership of Civil Service pension scheme
Job Type: Permanent

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.

This is an exciting opportunity to manage and develop a section within the Department of Scottish History and Archaeology. The modern and contemporary history collections represent cultural, social, political, military and domestic history in Scotland from c.1750 into the twenty-first century.

The collections document the impact and legacies of Enlightenment, industry and empire that marked the transformation of Scotland during the later-eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. They chart a line through the major international conflicts and profound social shifts of the twentieth century, telling stories about continuity and change in Scottish life right up to the present day.   

Strengths include Scottish decorative arts, including jewellery, glass and ceramics; the material culture of working life; bagpiping collections, and extensive material representing military history and rural life reflecting the strength of the foundational collections of the National War Museum and National Museum of Rural Life.  The collections are strongly represented on display in the Scotland Galleries of the National Museum of Scotland.

Our innovative contemporary collecting programme is focused on representing the twenty-first century with an emphasis on what is distinctive about Scotland in a globalised world, and of regional and cultural differences within the country.

As head of section the Principal Curator will have responsibility for developing these collections, realising their research potential and extending their profile. The successful candidate will lead, manage and participate in the research, interpretation and public programme activities of the section and will be expected to contribute to the Department’s input to National Museums Scotland’s special exhibition programme. As Principal Curator, you should have acknowledged demonstrable research expertise in a relevant specialist area and an established reputation in your discipline. The post-holder will also be required to support the Keeper in managing the Department and helping to achieve its aims and ambitions.

Applicants should have a minimum 2:1 degree and postgraduate qualifications in a relevant subject, in addition to proven relevant work experience. An excellent communicator with a proven track record of research and publication, the successful candidate will be organised, methodical, adept at problem solving, a team worker and a strategic thinker. Experience in managing staff and projects, and good ICT skills are also essential.

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

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