Graduate Intern, Archives and Special Collections

Durham, United Kingdom
07 Jan 2021
End of advertisement period
28 Jan 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time


SPOT: - £18,500
Fixed Term - Full Time
Contract Duration: Until 31/7/2022
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date : 04-Feb-2021, 7:59:00 AM 

Durham University

Durham University is one of the world's top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives. 

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that assists all members of our University community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from across the international, national and regional communities that we work with and serve.

It is expected that all staff within the University:

  • Contribute to our learning culture by engaging in mentoring, training and coaching.
  • Positively contribute to fostering a collegial environment; as well as demonstrating commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Have due regard to Health and Safety requirements appropriate to grade and role.

The Department

In January 1833 Bishop William van Mildert donated 160 volumes to found the University Library, located on Palace Green.
Today Library & Heritage Collections offers spaces, collections, expertise and services supporting education, research, the wider student experience and cultural and educational outreach. Collections and services operate across a wide estate of libraries, museums, galleries and exhibition spaces, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site on Palace Green. Our nationally and internationally recognised collections span early books and manuscripts, museum objects and art, print and electronic materials and include a repository of digitised materials, research outputs and research data


This Internship for a graduate, from any discipline, will serve as preparation to undertake an archive or library qualification or apply for future roles in the sector.  During the Internship the post holder will obtain experience of archives and special collections within the setting of an academic library.  There will also been an opportunity to learn about other areas of work within Library and Collections 

The Archives and Special Collections at Palace Green Library comprise exceptionally rich and varied material, dating from early medieval to modern, and including manuscripts, archives, rare and open access books, maps, prints, photographs, born-digital and digitised material and some objects 

The intern will be involved in a wide range of activities to support access to these important research collections and provide services to Library users.  They will play a key role within the searchroom service, retrieving material and assisting researchers; and also contribute to enquiry and reprographics services for remote users, and help to develop and deliver virtual searchroom services via live streaming. They will also assist with ongoing and project-based collections management work, and will have the opportunity to gain experience of cataloguing methods and standards. 

The intern role is for fixed term until 31st July 2021 attracting a salary of £18,500 per annum, plus 27 days holiday and excellent benefits.  

For further information on the Intern position or to arrange an informal discussion please contact either:

Michael Stansfield m.m.n.stansfield@durham.ac.uk

Francis Gotto francis.gotto@durham.ac.uk

Job Purpose

This internship presents an ideal development opportunity for an individual wishing to pursue a career in the archive or library sectors. 

The post-holder will undertake a range of activities, delivering services to customers and gaining experience including (indicative listing only):

  • Providing direct customer service by assisting researchers in the searchroom and providing security supervision, answering enquiries in person, electronically, and by telephone.
  • Retrieving and returning items for use in researcher or teaching.
  • Providing a reprographics service.
  • Administrative activities including: opening and closing routines, processing and bookings, arranging and recording payments for services, creating lists, filing, and recording and collating statistics.
  • Supporting the teaching and engagement activities of colleagues by retrieving and returning the necessary items from collections.
  • Providing advice to users from the academic and wider public research communities on the services and collections available, in cooperation with senior colleagues.
  • Assisting with collections management work, such as the listing numbering, labelling and packaging of documents, undertaking stock-checks of book collections, updating location guides, movement registers and strongroom signage.
  • Participating in short-term working groups and project work.
  • Participating in staff development activities, including formal training sessions and self-directed learning, to develop skills and knowledge appropriate to the post. 


This is a full-time post, working 35 hours per week with a holiday entitlement of 27 days per annum. 

The work pattern of the role may include some weekend, evening and bank holiday work as business demands 

The post is based at Palace Green Library, but the postholder may also work at 5 The College and Ushaw College Library on occasion. 

Application is by CV and covering letter.  Further information will be issued in the contract of employment.

Person Specification 



  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Proven IT skills, including use of Microsoft Office.
  • Educated to degree level (or equivalent).
  • Evidence of personal development to improve skills and knowledge.
  • Experience of working as part of a team in a customer focussed service to ensure the delivery of high quality services.
  • Experience of managing time in order to meet deadlines.
  • Experience of providing advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues. 
  • Demonstrable interest in undertaking an archive or library qualification and/or pursuing a career in archives or special collections.


  • Ability to solve problems as part of a team and resolve straightforward issues. 
  • Relevant experience in a similar role / environment.
  • Experience of using initiative within a team environment.
  • Ability to label documents and copy document references clearly and accurately (handwriting to be tested at interview).
  • Proficiency in another language, for example, Latin, Arabic or modern European language(s)

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.