Brief for Project Co-ordinator

Layton’s Library: Discovering a hidden book collection OH-14-05416

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Background
Thomas Layton died in 1911, aged 92, leaving a huge antiquarian collection to the people of Brentford. A local businessman and a prominent politician from a very early age, he lived for many years in a house beside Kew Bridge which he intended should become a museum. Though the museum did not open there a large proportion of the collection was preserved. The objects are on long-term loan to the Museum of London where many of Layton’s archaeological items from the Thames can be seen in the London Before London Gallery, while the books and prints are housed at Hounslow’s Central Library.

The Thomas Layton Trust has begun putting the collection back together intellectually and virtually on its website at laytoncollection.org. In an unusual and exciting new project, Layton’s Library, the Trust aims to help people discover and enjoy part of the book collection through exhibitions, a publication and new web resources. The Trust has received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and now wishes to recruit a freelance project co-ordinator. The nature of the project is defined in detail in the project plan (here).

The role
Supported by a small steering group of trustees and local historians, the co-ordinator will manage our project and report to the funding bodies. The project team will be based at Chiswick Library, adjoining the Local Studies Department.

S/he will assist with the recruitment and training of a small team of volunteers; this will be carried out in part by volunteers with appropriate skills and will include visits to museums and specialist libraries in London. S/he will manage the team’s roles within the project. Some members will research the background information on a selection of about 50 books from the 17th and 18th centuries, write text and labels for the exhibition and assist with writing a small publication and the development of online information. Some will be trained as stewards for the exhibition, working alongside staff at the two venues where it will be shown, Hogarth’s House in Chiswick and Boston Manor House in Brentford. Some will manage the planning and promotion of an events programme; this will include two launch events, a short term Georgian Book Club and workshops about making paper, book binding, making marbled paper and printing. The Project Co-ordinator will work part-time to deliver the project, starting as soon as possible and ending in October 2016. The fee available is £25,000; some funding is available for project travel expenses for the team.

Skills and experience
The Project co-ordinator will have
• experience of working with heritage collections
• experience of managing and working with volunteers in the cultural sector
• experience of running events and activity programmes
• excellent communication and negotiation skills
• good IT skills

S/he will be
• able to recruit and enthuse a team of volunteers
• able to work flexibly as part of a team
• able to prioritise, manage a busy workload and work to deadlines
• approachable, self-motivated, non-judgemental, sensitive and able to deal with many different people and cultures
• confident, composed and resilient under pressure
• available on occasional evenings and weekends to support events and to attend meetings

An understanding of the methods and materials of historical research would also be of value.

How to apply
Please send your CV with a letter of application setting out your relevant skills and experience, with examples of past projects, and describe how you would propose to approach this project.

We wish to see an estimate of the number of days you would expect to contribute to the project and to know your daily rate.

Applications should be sent electronically to the Chairman of the Thomas Layton Trust, James Wisdom, jameswisdom@compuserve.com before 5pm on 1st June.

We will be holding interviews on 9 June 2015.

 
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