About the Royal Signals Museum

The Royal Signals Museum tells the story of Military Signalling through the ages from visual signalling to modern digital battlefield communications and information technology. Located within the Royal Signals training facility at Blandford Camp in Dorset, the Museum is open to the general public and plays an important role in the lives of serving and retired military personnel.

The Museum has a small team of staff and volunteers who work well together.

Vacancy – Head of Research and Archive

We have ambitious plans to build our research capability and to find new ways to exploit the Archive. This is an exciting time for an enthusiastic professional to join the team.

The overall Collection includes an extensive Archive covering all aspects of military signalling and matters relating to the Royal Corps of Signals and its antecedents. The Archive contains a library and many thousands of documents, letters and photographs. The Museum also looks after small archives that belong to the Royal Signals Institution, the Royal Signals Association and Regimental Headquarters, Royal Signals.


The Role

This is a senior position within the Museum. The post holder will: ensure the Museum is recognised and acknowledged nationally and internationally as the principal authority on the history of Royal Signals and Army Communications. Duties include:

  • overseeing research projects;
  • managing the Archive including access, documentation, and conservation;
  • providing registry and data management functions for the Museum;
  • recruiting and managing Archive and research volunteers.

Main Responsibilities

Collection Management

  1. Ensure the maintenance of, and compliance with, appropriate archival systems for cataloguing, digitisation, storage, location, cross-referencing and retrieval of information
  2. Process, sort, document, digitise and file incoming items to Accreditation standards.
  3. Advise on, as appropriate, on the acquisition, modification and upgrading of collections management software.
  4. Identify and seek to fill gaps in the Archive and library identify gaps in the Museum’s Object Collection.
  5. Evaluate, rationalise and dispose of duplicate and non-relevant items in line with Museum procedures.
  6. Ensure the long term physical preservation of the Collection by upholding the required standards of access, handling, conservation, remedial work, storage conditions and housekeeping.
  7. Build an archive of oral histories.
  8. Act as custodian for the archives of the Royal Signals Institution, the Royal Signals Association and Regimental Headquarters, Royal Signals.
  9. Supervise the digitisation of the Archive contents.
  10. Protect the information and data contained in the Archive by ensuring changes in technology do not result in future access to the records becoming limited due to irretrievable and unreadable data.
  11. Manage the library.


  1. Contribute contextual and technological research to improve the public understanding of Museum displays.
  2. Work with the Technical Curator to design information boards for display in the Museum.
  3. Undertake research to enhance the knowledge of the history of Royal Signals and of Army Communications.
  4. Research the significance of new acquisitions, donations and existing items in the Archive and Object Collection.

Public Enquiry

  1. Provide advice and assistance to public and military enquirers in person, by telephone, by post and by e-mail.
  2. Retrieve and provide access to Archive material for researchers upon request.
  3. Instruct and supervise Archive users.

Registry and Data Management

  1. Oversee the Museum’s electronic and paper filing systems.
  2. Distribute and file incoming and outgoing mail.
  3. Ensure compliance by Archive staff and volunteers with relevant legislation including the Official Secrets Acts, data protection, intellectual property and copyright aspects.
  4. Maintain Museum staff and volunteer records.

Archive Development

  1. Identify and implement new ways of exploiting the Archive for the benefit of the Museum, the public and the wider Corps.
  2. Research and access funding sources to enable the development of the Archive.


  1. Recruit, train, task and supervise archival and research volunteers.


  1. Conduct guided tours of the Museum for military personnel and the general public.
  2. Assist with supervision of school visits and the interpretation of the Museum displays to them.
  3. Open and close the Museum on occasions.
  4. Carry out other duties as may be reasonably required.



  1. Research experience.
  2. Demonstrated ability to communicate well both orally and in writing.
  3. Good organisational skills and attention to detail.
  4. IT literate.
  5. Experience of working with volunteers.
  6. Able to lift heavy boxes and handle fragile items.
  7. Able to work unsupervised and as part of a team.


  1. A knowledge of military history and communications technology.
  2. Experience of archival work in a museum setting.
  3. A knowledge of scanning and digitisation techniques.


  • A full time position – 37.5 hours per week (Monday to Friday) with some occasional evening and week-end work.
  • Salary in the region of £20,000 per year.
  • The post holder will be eligible for the Workplace Pension Scheme.
  • Holiday entitlement of 30 days per year excluding Bank and Public Holidays.
  • Based in Blandford Camp, Dorset.
  • The Royal Signals Museum follows a policy of non-discrimination on the basis of race, colour, gender, age, nationality or disabilities.

How to Apply

To apply please e-mail a CV (2 pages maximum) detailing your relevant experience and qualifications with a covering letter (2 pages maximum) explaining your suitability for the post to director@royalsignalsmuseum.co.uk

Applications should be received by 5.00 pm on Wednesday 28 February 2018.

Interviews are expected to take place in March and references will be taken up before the confirmation of an appointment.

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