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Job Description: Curator of hms victory Location: National Museum of the Royal Navy and hms victory, Portsmouth Reporting to: Head of the Curatorial Department Salary: c. £30,000


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Job Description: Curator of HMS Victory
Location: National Museum of the Royal Navy and HMS Victory, Portsmouth
Reporting to: Head of the Curatorial Department
Salary: c. £30,000
This post offers a unique opportunity to take the professional lead in the conservation, restoration and interpretation of HMS Victory, the flagship of Commander in Chief Naval Home Command, and the world’s greatest surviving warship.
This is an important and exciting time of change for the ship. From June 2011 public access to the ship will become the full responsibility of the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN), and this post will work with the Curatorial Team at the Museum. From September 2011 a new main contract for Victory’s maintenance will be awarded, and this will take on the challenge of routine maintenance and major works – including hull repairs and re-rigging the ship. You will need to work closely with this contractor to ensure all their work follows best practice and is appropriate to the ships fabric. Your care will extend to the collections relating to the ship – including planning the move of her Foretopsail in September 2012.
Alongside this essential preservation work, the Curator will lead on improvements to the interpretation of the ship. After much recent work in which new areas of the ship have been restored and interpreted, the initial focus will be on embedding these changes; then on planning to develop new ways to enhance the understanding and the quality of experience for our different visitors.
This will be a demanding role which calls for a wide range of skills; historical, technical, conservation. We will welcome applications from candidates from different backgrounds who show enthusiasm, drive and the ability to develop.


Job Purpose

To be the principal advisor on matters relating to the history, structure, general appearance (internal and external) and public presentation of HMS Victory.



Areas of Responsibility


Research into the ship’s history to support the programme of conservation, restoration and interpretation.

Liaise with, and set the standards for work of the main contractor, and specialist sub-contractors, maintaining the ship.

In conjunction with the conservation programme, arrange for appropriate recording of the ship’s structure.

Lead the development and implementation of an overall Interpretation Strategy and Plan, including interpretation for visitors on the ship and around the ship dock, and in virtual and digital media.

Advise the ship’s guides on the historic interpretation they give for visitors.

Work with the Interpretation Committee of the VATC to gain further historical advice and then in association with the Interpretation Committee plan, prioritise and cost any changes to interpretation to elements of the ship.

To develop and present the forward plan for expenditure from the SNR’s ‘Save the Victory Fund’.

Be responsible for any original artefacts or replicas on display in the ship – and also for commissioning new replica items.

Take a full part in maintaining the public profile of the ship in media work and publication.

Take part in the events programme, including delivering specialist tours, lectures, etc

Provide historical advice to Museum learning staff as they develop workshops relating to the ship.

Work with the NMRN curatorial team to review the storage and documentation of collections relating to the ship – including her foretopsail.

Direct the effort of volunteers who are working on projects relating to HMS Victory and her collection.



Internal/External Relationships

Internal:

Director-General NMRN

NMRN Curatorial Team

NMRN Learning Manager

Commanding Officer HMS Victory

Visitor Services Manager



External:


Superintendent Fleet Maintenance, Portsmouth

Main contractor and sub-contractors

Chairman of Victory Advisory Technical Committee (VATC)

VATC Interpretation Committee



Society for Nautical Research (SNR) and Save the Victory Fund



Job Related Qualifications


Degree, or equivalent experience.




Job Related Knowledge, Skills and Experience




High level of knowledge relating to the construction, fittings and operation of 18th century warships.

Essential

High level of understanding of the role and history of the Royal Navy in the period 1760-1815

Essential

Experience of using primary resource and/or material evidence for research into ship history.

Essential

The ability to work with a wide range of stakeholders and colleagues.

Essential

Experience of developing public interpretation to a historic ship, site or structure.

Desirable

Experience of writing and publication for broad audiences.

Desirable

Experience of providing talks, lectures, tours.

Desirable

Experience of collections management.

Desirable

Experience of application of conservation principles to historic ship or structure, with particular knowledge of timber conservation.

Desirable

Experience of selecting and supervising external contractors.

Desirable

Maintaining a website and writing for on-line publications.

Desirable



Please read the details and application form carefully. If there are unanswered questions informal enquiries can be made to Matthew Sheldon, Head of Curatorial Department: 02392 727577, matthew.sheldon@nmrn.org.uk


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