N1, London
Voluntary role
Job description

London Canal Museum is dedicated to educating and inspiring our visitors with the history of London’s canals – how they’ve shaped London’s development, the ordinary people that lived and worked on them, as well as the entrepreneurs who profited from them. We want to pass on the heritage of the canals so that future generations can learn about London’s industrial and social past.

This is a senior voluntary position in the museum with responsibility for the management and care of the museum's collections and for leading a team of collections volunteers. The museum is almost entirely volunteer-run, and so we rely on skilled volunteers to ensure we can fulfil our mission.

The hours of the role are flexible. It is expected that the post-holder will volunteer one day a week and will respond to urgent communications (mainly by e-mail) from home on other days as needed. The hours of the position are likely to amount to around eight per week. There is no fixed day but it would be beneficial to the museum if the post-holder volunteered in the museum on a regular weekday.


  1. Responsible for management of the care of the museum’s collection, including monitoring its condition, and arranging conservation work occasionally. This includes ensuring that items on display are kept clean and in a good state both for visitors to see and for the care if the item.
  2. Responsible for the care and conservation of all archive materials including documents, photographs, prints, books and digital assets. Please note that the post holder is not expected to have advanced IT skills – others manage the museum’s IT resources. 
  3. Responsible for cataloguing of all the collection, both physical objects and archival material. The museum uses Adlib as a collection management database and the post holder will either be familiar with this software or will be expected to learn. Funding for training will be available if necessary.
  4. Responsible for management of the Accreditation process, including all associated documentation, policy writing and amendment, applications, and reviews.
  5. Responsible for the management of the museum’s two collection storage rooms:
    1. a Library and Archives room, also used as additional office space for museum staff;
    2. an artefacts store room, used only for storage.
  6. The post-holder is expected to contribute to the management of the museum as a whole, in particular contributing and assisting where necessary with the creation of both temporary and permanent exhibitions.
  7. Responsible for providing occasional public access to the archive collection for research purposes.
  8. To lead a team of volunteers who will assist with all the above responsibilities according to their abilities and availability. The museum’s Volunteering and Training Manager will largely manage the recruitment process so the post-holder will need to show leadership and will manage tasks in collection care that are undertaken by the team members.

Experience and Skills Required

The ideal post holder is likely to have some experience or prior knowledge of collection management in museums. However, the ability to learn and take advice would enable a person from a slightly different background to accept the responsibilities of the position, if the person had the necessary management skills.

No formal qualifications are required but appropriate qualifications would obviously be an advantage.

It should be noted that this is a long-term position and is not suited to someone looking for experience in the short-term prior to expected career advancement.

What could I gain?

  • Meet new people and have the opportunity to socialise with fellow volunteers at events – you will be a part of a community of over 70 volunteers of all ages and backgrounds
  • Learn about the history of London’s canals, the people who lived and worked on them, and their place in the industrial revolution, as well as the ice trade and history of the building
  • Develop your skills in team work, communication and other key workplace skills
  • Free entry to the museum and museum events, 10% off in our shop, discounted venue hire and 50% off museum entry for up to 4 friends and family at a time
Posted on: 03 August 2019
Closed date: 07 September 2019
Job ref: CollectionsManager19
Tags: Project Management, Volunteer Management