CDD 15 mois : Oral History Cataloguer, « NHS at 70 » / British Library St. Pancras, London (UK)

  • Poste : Oral History Cataloguer, « NHS at 70 ».
  • Employeur : British Library-St Pancras, Directorate Collections, Department Sound and Vision – London (United Kingdom).
  • Offre : Full Time, Fixed Term Contract 15 months / recrutement contractuel : CDD de 15 mois à temps plein.
  • Date limite de candidature : 22 November 2020.

[Annonce originelle rédigée en anglais]


As one of the world’s great libraries, our duty is to preserve the nation’s intellectual memory for the future and make it available to all for research, inspiration and enjoyment. At present we have well over 170 million items, in most known languages, with three million new items added every year. We have manuscripts, maps, newspapers, magazines, prints and drawings, music scores, and patents. We make our collections and programmes available to all. We operate the world’s largest document delivery service providing millions of items a year to customers all over the world. What matters to us is that we preserve the national memory and enable knowledge to be created both now and in the future by anyone, anywhere.

This is an opportunity to be part of the British Library’s award-winning oral history team working alongside a multi-disciplinary project based at Manchester University documenting the history of the UK National Health Service from its origins in the 1940s to the present day through the memories and experiences of medical staff and patients. The project now also covers the coronavirus pandemic as part of a research council-funded project extension, NHS Voices of Covid-19.


Job purpose :

  • The ‘NHS at 70’ project has been documenting the history of the UK National Health Service from its origins in the 1940s to the present day (including the Covid-19 pandemic) through the memories and experiences of medical staff and patients.
  • The post holder will be responsible for accessioning and cataloguing the ‘NHS at 70’ oral history audio collection and related documentation into the wider BL collections, working closely with the ‘NHS at 70’ team based at Manchester University and liaising as required with regional team members and BL Sound and Vision colleagues.
  • Managed by the Oral History Archivist the post will complete the work necessary to permit over 2,000 oral history interviews to be made available to the public, accommodating any access restrictions requested by individual interviewees.

Key areas of responsibility :

  • Ensure the efficient transfer of collection material from ‘NHS at 70’ project to the oral history department at the British Library in liaison with the ‘NHS at 70’ at Manchester University.
  • Accession and catalogue the ‘NHS at 70’ oral history collection.
  • Prioritise and manage own workload to ensure project deadlines are met.
  • Maintain data in library systems to facilitate workflow management and quality assurance.
  • Act as the first point of contact between the British Library Oral History department and the ‘NHS at 70’ project and provide administrative support when required.
  • Deal with both internal and external enquiries relating to the ‘NHS at 70’ acquisition and prepare reports as required.

Resources managed : None.

Main tasks :

  • Transfer, back up, count and check all audio files and documentation as provided to the British Library by the ‘NHS at 70’ project, liaising with the Manchester team to resolve any missing items, metadata and documentation.
  • Create catalogue entries for over 2,000 oral history interviews in the British Library’s SAMI catalogue using metadata spreadsheets provided. The metadata for the majority of the collection was collated and prepared prior to the partnership with the BL, so a key task is to fulfil the BL’s metadata requirements with an understanding of the function and structure of the original dataset.
  • Upload interview summaries to the SAMI catalogue.
  • Input rights and access information to ensure interviews can be made available on the British Library Sounds website.
  • Check data sensitivity documentation handed over by ‘NHS at 70’ project to identify sensitive data as defined by GDPR.
  • Identify and apply subject terms to the collection.
  • Integrate the interviews into the existing oral history holdings of the history of medicine, identifying links between different collections.
  • Identify sections of interest in interviews and create audio extracts.
  • Write at least 5 blogs based on the ‘NHS at 70’ collection for the British Library’s Sound and Vision blog.
  • Respond to internal and public enquiries related to the ‘NHS at 70’ collection.
  • Report regularly to line manager both verbally and in writing on activities and work progress.
  • Work directly with the ‘NHS at 70’ team, including occasional travel to Manchester.
  • Effectively communicate both orally and in writing with colleagues.
  • Work as part of a team to agreed deadlines.
  • Resolve problems as they arise, raising and escalating to the Oral History Archivist as necessary.

Conditions d’exercice :

  • Contract Type : Full Time, Fixed Term Contract 15 months.
  • Grade : C.
  • Reports to : Grade B Oral History Archivist.
  • Salary : £26,000 per annum.
  • Location : British Library, St. Pancras, London.
  • Recrutement : contrat à durée déterminée (CDD) de 15 mois, à temps plein.
  • Poste de catégorie C.
  • Poste sous la responsabilité de l’Archiviste en charge de l’Histoire orale (catégorie B).
  • Rémunération : 26 000 Livres Sterling/an.
  • Lieu de travail : British Library, site de Saint-Pancras, Londres.

We offer a competitive salary and a number of excellent benefits. Our pension scheme is one of the most valuable benefits we offer, as our staff can become members of the Alpha Pension Scheme where the Library contributes a minimum of 20.6% (this may be higher dependant on grade). Another significant benefit the Library provides is the provision of a flexible working hours scheme which could allow you to work your hours flexibly over the week and to take up to 5 days flexi leave in a 3 month period. This is on top of 25 days holiday from entry and public and privilege holidays.


  • We’re looking for someone with a degree level qualification or equivalent experience in a relevant discipline and proven experience of cataloguing library or archival material, and of working with Microsoft Excel and relational databases.
  • Accuracy, attention to detail, excellent time management, and an ability to work to strict targets within tight timeframes are all essential.

Minimum requirements (essential) :

  • First degree level qualification in a relevant discipline or equivalent experience.
  • Proven experience of cataloguing library or archival material.
  • Experience of working with Microsoft Excel and relational databases.
  • Demonstrable ability to see activities and projects through to completion, and to work to strict targets within tight timeframes.
  • Accuracy and attention to detail.
  • The ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, good standard of written English.
  • High level of time-management skills.
  • Analytical and flexible approach to problem solving.

Additional requirements (desirable) :

  • Experience cataloguing for sound archives and handling audio files.
  • Advanced Excel skills applicable for cataloguing and archiving.
  • Demonstrable interest in oral history.
  • Demonstrable interest in the history of medicine and the National Health Service.



  • For further information and to apply, please visit quoting vacancy.
  • Reference : 03422.
  • Closing date : 22 November 2020.
  • Interview date : 10 December 2020.
  • Pour de plus amples informations et pour postuler, voir l’offre en ligne (site du recruteur) – fiche de poste complète disponible en cliquant sur les liens de fichiers à télécharger.
  • Référence du poste : 03422.
  • Date limite de candidature : 22 novembre 2020.
  • Date d’entretien : 10 décembre 2020.



Source : British Library.