The RHSV is seeking a part-time Archivist to work on project for 89 days, across 2023.
In late 2022 the RHSV took ownership of a large social history collection, the Jones Collection. It is a wide-ranging, deeply rich collection that documents a century of one family’s life in the Melbourne suburb of Coburg from the 1920s as well as from earlier generations. Its significance centres around the unusual survival of a relatively intact collection relating to the day-to-day lives of a family of modest means, tinged with Depression-era frugality.
While it is a personal collection, ‘curated’ originally by the donor Gwen Jones through her placement and grouping of material, the collection also covers Gwen’s life as a daughter, schoolgirl, teacher, teacher of teachers, traveller, lover of the arts, researcher and writer of history and so has great significance outside the domestic sphere.
We are fortunate that the collection has been further ‘curated’ by historian Richard Aitken who has patiently, meticulously and very carefully rehoused the thousands of items located around the family home, ephemera often interleaved in the pages of Gwen’s books, or in drawers, or on shelves. Richard has also made a listing of the material and put aside a small number of objects such as books and documents for use in future exhibitions. A professional photographer was engaged by Gwen’s guardian to take images of the house to give context to the material in situ and we hope that these images will be made available to us, with copyright assigned to the RHSV in order to give a deeper context to the collection and to document the collecting process.
The collection fills roughly 150 half-archive boxes and some other sundry A2 and A3 boxes. It already has been stored in archival quality materials.
Over the next two years the RHSV will be preparing an exhibition and publishing a book inspired by the collection and we’ll also launch a Jones Social History Lecture.
Under direction of the Collections Manager, the Archivist would undertake a range of tasks related to the Jones Collection including devising an overall structure for the collection, research and analysis in order to describe and catalogue collection items; cataloguing items, handling and storing collection material; and creating finding guides. This work will also involve developing ideas and assisting the curator for the exhibition. It may also include digitisation (both hi-res scans for conservation and low-res scans to be attached to the catalogue records).
The Archivist will be required to provide expertise and recommendations for development and management of the Jones collection, including the research and interpretation of this collection.
To read the full position description click here.
Applications close at COB, on Tue 7 March, 2023.