We are looking for an Archivist

Vacancy: Archivist

Deadline for applications: 14th October 2021, 11:59pm

About MayDay Rooms

MayDay Rooms (MDR) is an education charity established in 2013. It aims to safeguard histories and documents of radicalism and resistance by connecting them with contemporary struggle and protest, and by developing new forms of dissemination and collective self-education. Our building contains an archive of radical historical material. Alongside our material archives, we create and maintain digital archives and databases of radical history, with the hope that these traces of the past might freely be taken up and put to use in present struggles.

Our archival holdings are focused on social movements, resistance campaigns, experimental culture, and the liberation of marginalised and oppressed groups 1960s to the present: they contain everything from recent feminist poetry to techno paraphernalia, from situationist magazines to histories of industrial transformation, from educational experiments to anti-racist struggles. Alongside our paper archive, MDR hosts a number of digital archives and maintains online platforms for the dissemination of radical archival material. Our aim is not merely to gather together traces of past radicalism, but to make these sources widely available, and to bring them to life in new, exciting, and challenging ways.

As well as housing an archive, our building functions as an organising and educational space for activists, social movements, troublemakers, and radicals. We also run a full programme of events including film screenings, poetry readings, archiving workshops, historical talks, discussion and reading groups, and social nights. During the pandemic, we have been continuing much of our work online, and have recently returned to working from our building on Fleet Street. MDR aims to be an accessible and friendly place for all oppressed groups, and is a trans* inclusive space.

About the Role

As Archivist you will be responsible for the management of the archive at MayDay Rooms. This work includes accessioning new archival deposits; securing and conserving documents; undertaking and overseeing cataloguing; and developing ways to ‘activate’ archival materials for a range of users and audiences. You will get to know the existing archive well, and guide users who want to know about materials, or who need direction within the archive. You will develop a strategic vision for the archive, seeking out new deposits and depositors, and developing projects to bring radical histories to audiences who might need them, and bringing those activists into the work of collective archiving of our own histories from below.

We are looking for someone who is engaged in political movements, imaginative, and who will take initiative to pull our collective work in new directions. The successful candidate will possess a good knowledge of left social and political histories in the UK. The archive currently contains over 30,000 items, most of which is made up of ephemera from social movements, activism, and artistic projects. You will work closely with the Digital Co-ordinator to design and manage cataloguing systems for these objects (many of which were produced informally, and may lack normal metadata such as titles and dates!) You will work intensively with archival depositors to design ways to best preserve their material histories in ways that make their stories legible and accessible. You will work with the Public Engagement Co-ordinator to develop and deliver events, and to present the archive to members of the public through events and publications. You will develop relationships with external organisations, ranging from activist groups and networks to community organisations, art galleries, universities, and sisterly archives. You will work with the whole core staff team of MDR to design and undertake longer-term projects, and will contribute to fundraising and the development of the organisation as a whole.

You will work as part of a small core staff team within the context of a busy working building, which hosts events, meetings, other working collectives and other archives. As MayDay Rooms operates with a small staff team, it is imperative for new members to be able to work independently and collaborate with the rest of staff. At MayDay Rooms our core staff team decision-making process takes place by consensus. MDR has a Trustee board with which the core staff team meets quarterly.

Meanwhile, you will be comfortable and confident working in a building whose users are diverse and may include activists, recent migrants to the UK, non-English speakers, vulnerable people, victims of violence, LGBTQI+, Black and Ethnic minority groups. You will be working in an environment that requires sensitivity, confidence and openness to new people and new situations, as well as handling potentially sensitive personal data.

A full job description can be found here
A person specification detailing the criteria for selecting the successful candidate can be found here
A PDF of the job advert can be found here

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter of no more than 1000 words and a CV, describing your motivation for applying for the job, your relevant experience, and how you meet the essential and desirable criteria in the person specification to in-formation@maydayrooms.org

The deadline for applications is 11:59pm Tuesday 14th October 2021.

We encourage applications from BAME/PoC and/or LGBTQI+ candidates.

Terms and Conditions

The standard working week for this post is 21 hours (0.6 FTE). Flexibility will be required in the case of urgent deadlines or emergencies. Some out of hours work should be expected, for which time off in lieu will be given.
All MayDay Rooms workers are paid £15.94 per hour.
Holiday allowance 21 days per year (35 days FTE).
This is a permanent position. There is a probationary period of six months.

Please be aware that there is no step-free access in the building.

The building is on four floors and there is no lift, so there is very limited disability/step-free access. We’re in the process of carrying out an access audit of the building but this will hopefully be completed by the end of 2021.

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