£29,816 - £32,645

Contract type:

Contract Contract


Full time



Librarian Portraiture

Job Summary

The NGS Collection & Research directorate brings together curators, librarians, archivists, curatorial administrators and a research support manager working across NGS sites in three teams: Scottish & European Art and Portraiture, Modern & Contemporary Art and Research Support. We research, develop, catalogue, interpret, programme, loan and publish our collection and engage with our audiences and partners through the curation of exhibitions and displays for the NGS Public Programme. We are currently reviewing the collection through the lens of equality, diversity and inclusion to build research, reveal ignored or overlooked histories and ensure language used in interpretation reflects our EDI commitments.
As part of these commitments, the representation of artists and sitters with protected characteristics and those facing disadvantage and inequality will be increased in our collection and programme.
The post of Librarian, Portraiture sits within the European & Scottish Art and Portraiture team. The post manages (primarily through acquisition, cataloguing, preservation, access provision and dissemination) the NGS Portraiture library which comprises around 50,000 items and is housed in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
The focus of this part of the NGS library collection is the history of Scotland and Scottish society, with particularly strong holdings relating to Scottish biography, Scottish history, portraiture and photography. The library also includes special collections, journals and sales catalogues. We also have access to a wide range of online resources. Another key part of the role is to facilitate access to the collection (prints, drawings, photographs, portrait miniatures and medallions) and research resources (including collection accession files) held at the Portrait Gallery. This can be for members of the public requesting to see artworks not on display, family historians looking for images and information about their ancestors, and academic researchers and groups looking to consult specialist material. Much of this part of the collection is stored within an automated storage and retrieval system and the post holder will be expected to become proficient in operating this system.
We are looking for a candidate who will combine the professional skills of a librarian with a genuine enthusiasm for enabling and supporting research and making collections accessible and relevant through the provision of accurate information to staff, public researchers and NGS audiences. The postholder will work with colleagues across the organisation, most notably with NGS Libraries and Archives colleagues, to support and contribute to the NGS Research Framework. You will be expected to acquire a broad knowledge of the NGS Portraiture collection which dates from the sixteenth century to the present day and includes paintings, portrait miniatures, prints, drawings, photographs, sculpture and time-based media. The role will also provide support to The Art Works project (TAW). TAW will be a new purpose-built part of the NGS estate, located on a site in NW Edinburgh, within the heart of Granton. TAW will incorporate facilities for community engagement, be open to everyone and will be designed to care for and accommodate the NGS collection, including the Library and Archive. TAW will deliver world-class services for visitors and researchers (staff and public), providing state of the art spaces for study and conservation as well as the management and distribution of Scotland’s art. NGS Librarians will play a key role in the planning and shaping of research provision for TAW and developing plans for the relocation of library material to this new facility.

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