Job Title:               Archivist

Reports to:           Curator

Liaising with:      Lord and Lady Barnard, Head of Leisure and Tourism, Castle Custodian and other colleagues

Hours:                   Full-Time (37.5 hours per week)

Location:              Raby Castle

Salary:                  Commensurate with ARA Level 1 recommendations

Job Ref:                 VA152 – 2024



The Raby Estate comprises landholdings and trading operations in Co Durham and Shropshire that are owned by Lord Barnard. Raby Estate business operations include in-house farms, let farms and residential property, visitor attractions and sporting enterprises across 3 Estates in Co Durham and Shropshire

Raby Castle near Staindrop has been the home of the Vane family for generations and is open to visitors. Lord and Lady Barnard seek to develop the Castle and grounds so that Raby Castle becomes one of the foremost visitor attractions in the North.

There is also an extensive Estate archive and collection of fine art held principally at Raby Castle. Raby Estates now seeks to develop a curatorial, archives and exhibition programme to safeguard the collections at Raby and support the interpretation for visitors to Raby Castle.

Working closely with Lord & Lady Barnard and the Curator, this appointment involves responsibility for the archive collections, to include cataloguing and improved storage and access and supporting the development of exhibitions and interpretive materials for visitors.



Main Objectives:

  • To take a lead in delivering agreed HMRC undertakings relating to the conditional exemption of the archives.
  • To take a lead on planning and delivery of improved access, cataloguing and long-term storage of archives at Raby Castle including working with the curator the potential relocation to new archive facility.
  • To recruit, train and develop a group of volunteers and interns to support all aspects of archive development.
  • To line manage any temporary archive related posts, including freelancers.
  • To promote the archive as an asset to the wider development and understanding of Raby Estates, including building networks and opportunities for events, exhibitions and public engagement.
  • To support the Estate in demonstrating current and historic ownership or title to land, buildings, natural, and other assets through research into archives held at Raby Castle and those in other repositories.


Job requirements:

  • Appropriate experience, background and academic qualifications in archive management.
  • A thorough knowledge of typical Country House and Estate records and the research skills required to read and interpret a variety of documents from 17th century onwards, in particular Title Deeds.
  • Relevant IT skills, especially archive cataloguing.
  • Flexible approach to duties undertaken.
  • Systematic and cheerful approach with a ‘can do’ attitude.
  • Ability to work within a team or on own initiative as required.
  • Ability to build and develop an effective volunteer programme to support archive development.
  • Effective communication and organisational skills, including confident public speaking ability to prioritise work, problem solving and good time management.
  • Honesty and a high level of integrity.
  • Enthusiasm and capacity for hard work.
  • Organised and good attention to detail.
  • Respect and sensitivity towards Raby Castle and Lord Barnard’s family history and experience of dealing with sensitive information.
  • Consideration for health and safety at work (eg. Lone working, confined spaces, manual handling and use of step-ladders).



Collection Management:

To take a day-to-day lead in delivering and updating the existing Archives Management Plan and associated policies and procedures, and the agreed HMRC undertakings relating to the conditional exemption of the archives.

Reporting regularly to the curator to ensure that archive needs are included in business plan objectives.

To be responsible for the archive at Raby Castle to ensure safe and appropriate long-term storage of the collection.

To work with the curator to create and implement a plan for related collections including books, ephemera and photographs.

To coordinate and contribute specialist knowledge to the planning, preparation and relocation of archives to a new long-term storage location, to ensure acceptable archival standards are met.

To supervise temporary archives related posts including interns and freelancers.

To recruit, train and supervise a volunteer team to support all aspects of archive work.

To provide support and advice to the Estate on developing a Records Management procedure.

To provide monthly progress reports, highlighting any issues in a timely manner, especially in relation to the archive development.

To develop and implement a plan for cataloguing using designated cataloguing software.

To ensure business resilience by producing manuals and guidance notes.



Work with the Curator and conservator to identify and prioritise conservation requirements and support the contracting of freelance conservators to carry out work on the collection.

Systematically work through the collection to improve storage and packaging.

Work with the castle Custodian to make sure emergency plans are kept up to date.

Support applications for external funding to cover conservation and other aspects of archive management.


Estate Business

To support the Estate in demonstrating current and historic ownership or title to land, buildings, natural, and other assets.

Support the Estate by looking for opportunities to both increase revenue through events and provide cost-effective solutions to archive management.

Work with colleagues across other Estate departments to support their business needs.



Work to ensure that access to the archive is controlled and straightforward.

Support the delivery of engagement activities. Contribute to the wider interpretation programme by researching content where required.

Collaborate with colleagues to develop Raby Castle educational resources.

Maintain the collection enquiries service and working with colleagues to process charges.

Support researchers and members of the public who are researching in the Raby collections.

Support requests for use of images including permissions and licensing, and the administration of charges and licenses.



Research, advise and support outreach initiatives that promote Raby’s historic past.

Represent Raby on the Historic Houses Archives Group and other appropriate local, regional and national networks.

Promote Raby as a research opportunity to the wider world and liaise with universities, other academic institutions, museums and private collectors.


Person Specification


  • Qualification and experience in archives management (Essential)
  • Knowledge of Health and Safety compliance requirements (Essential)
  • Knowledge of typical Country House/Estate Management records including Title Deeds, and ability to read and understand manuscripts.
  • Registered membership of ARA (Desirable)



  • Good teamworking skills with a proactive approach to supporting other areas of the business, while also being able to work independently and manage own workload (Essential)
  • Ability to be a strong advocate for Raby with excellent people and communication skills, both written and verbal. (Essential)
  • Good record keeping and time management skills. (Essential)
  • Confident in leading lectures, tours and presentations to the general public (Essential)
  • Demonstrable experience of inspiring others with a passion for archive collections and their potential. (Desirable)
  • Relevant digitisation and photography skills (desirable).



  • Experience of working with (and retaining) volunteers on a range of projects. (desirable)
  • Experience in Records Management (Desirable)
  • Understanding of Latin and experience of working with early historical manuscripts (pre-17th century).  (Desirable)
  • A reasonable level of fitness allowing safe handling of boxes and production of records.


What we have to offer

Its people that make a place, without people, a place is simply an empty shell. At Raby this is certainly true, it’s our people that make Raby special.

We strive to offer our employees an excellent working environment and the tools to perform, enabling them to achieve their goals and be the best they can be.

As well as some of the most iconic locations to work we offer:

  • Attractive Salary
  • 33 days holiday (inclusive of statutory holidays)
  • Group Pension Scheme (7.7% employer contribution)
  • Group Life Insurance
  • Free Car Parking
  • Employee Health Cash Plan
  • Continuous improvement through staff training and staff development programmes
  • Discounts at our retail and food outlets
  • Discounts to our Shropshire holiday cottage and High Force Hotel
  • Free access into our leisure attractions at Raby Castle and High Force
  • Behind the scenes tour of Raby Castle
  • Raby Estate social events throughout the year


How to apply

If you feel you have the necessary skills, experience, and personality to undertake this role, please apply below


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