The Paul Mellon Centre is a small organisation committed to hiring and nurturing excellent people. Professional opportunities are listed here.

Assistant Archivist

Are you interested in working in a small specialist archive repository? Does acquiring new collections appeal to you? Do you enjoy appraising and cataloguing discreet archive collections? Do you have fresh ideas about how to engage with existing and new audiences? Do you enjoy networking, developing collaborations, working with people, and promoting the collections in your care? Are you interested in British art history and culture?

Following an internal review of roles and responsibilities within the Archives & Library team, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art has revised the role of Assistant Archivist. This post will join the Centre at a time of transformation: formally established ten years ago with much of the essential groundwork now laid, the archive is, for the first time, in a position to focus on promoting its collections.

This position is situated within a small team of four information professionals who work closely together to embed professional best practice and deliver a high standard of service to internal and external audiences.

Who are we looking for

We are looking for someone who will support and shape the next phase in the development of the Centre’s Archives. Working closely with Archives & Library staff, you will assist with the everyday archival work of a small specialist repository. You will also be responsible for reducing the cataloguing backlog and helping ensure that all archive collections held at the Centre have been appraised and catalogued. You will have specific responsibility for developing an outreach programme across the Archives, Library & Photographic Archive collections that will engage new and existing audiences. You will also be responsible for managing all aspects of the public service.

This role would suit an experienced professional who embraces core archival work and thrives on engaging with audiences. It requires someone with attention to detail, enthusiasm, vision and excellent communication skills.

Who we are

The Paul Mellon Centre is an educational charity that champions new ways of understanding British art history and culture. We publish, teach, and carry out research, both in London at the Centre and through our online platforms. Our archives, library, and lively events programme are open to researchers, students, and the public. The Centre’s grants and fellowships enable institutions and individuals to pursue exhibitions, publications, events, and scholarly projects. Through all areas of our work, we promote activities that enhance and expand knowledge about British art. The Centre was founded in 1970 by art collector and philanthropist Paul Mellon, and is part of Yale University and partner to the Yale Center for British Art.

The Paul Mellon Centre holds and provides access to over forty archive collections relating to the study of British art and architectural history. Alongside its own Institutional Archive, these collections include the research papers of art historians, museum directors and curators; dealers; art critics, collectors and other individuals working in the field of art history. Further information about the archives at the Centre is available on our website: https://www.paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk/archives-and-library/archive-collections

About the role

Salary will be in the range of £35,000 to £40,000 per annum depending on experience.

This post is permanent and full-time and the hours of work are 35 per week. Applicants will be expected to work on-site at the Paul Mellon Centre, Bedford Square, London WC1 (or remotely as circumstances demand). We are happy to talk about flexible working arrangements offered by the Centre.

Person Specification

Essential skills

  • A postgraduate diploma or MA in Archives and Records Management
  • Five years’ post-qualification professional experience working in Archives
  • Experience of outreach, engagement, and public service activities
  • Ability to appraise, arrange and catalogue large complex archive collections in accordance with ISAD(G)
  • Working knowledge of the GDPR, with particular reference to archives and record-keeping
  • High level of motivation, excellent organisational skills, and the ability to establish priorities
  • Engagement, enthusiasm, and innovative thinking
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Ability to work flexibly and effectively as part of a team and independently

Desirable skills

  • Experience of working in an academic, museum or specialist archive repository
  • Experience of using CALM software
  • An enthusiasm for, or interest in, British art history

Application Process

Please email your completed application form to recruitment@paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk.

Closing Date

The closing date for applications is midnight on Sunday 6 February 2022.


Interviews for the post will be held week commencing Monday 21 February 2022.


Queries about the post should be addressed to the Centre’s Archivist, Records and Data Protection Manager, at cbrunskill@paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk


  • Job Description and Person Specification
  • PMC Recruitment Application Form
  • PMC Applicant Privacy Notice
  • PMC Staff Benefits