Marion Makinson Curator

Chawton House

  • Closing date
    14 October 2019
  • Location
    Chawton House
  • Contract
    Part time
  • Hours
    0.7 FTE Some evening and weekend working may be required
  • Salary
    £26,000.00 FTE

Chawton House wishes to appoint its first Curator. The Curator will be responsible for the extraordinary early women writers library collection, and the remaining library, artworks and furniture of the Knight family that were so familiar to Jane Austen. The Curator will also review the non-library collections of furniture, art, ephemera and decorative arts, as well as leading all collections work required to secure Museum Accreditation. Working as part of a small but dedicated staff team, the Curator will also have the support of a small, skilled team of collections volunteers. 

Chawton House is an historic house and estate once owned by Jane Austen’s brother Edward Knight and frequented by his sister who lived close by in a cottage he owned. It is home to two significant collections: one of women’s writing (1600 – c.1830) and one of the conjoined remainders of the property and libraries of the Knight family from Chawton House and Godmersham Park. The early women writers collection includes first editions of works by Jane Austen, Maria Edgeworth, Frances Burney, Mary Wollstonecraft, Aphra Benn, Amelia Opie and Madame de Stael. The collections include a large quantity of printed material and rare books, but also art works, decorative arts, furniture and ephemera. Having operated as an academic library until 2016, Chawton House is now open to the public seven days a week, has a lively events and exhibition programme and is seeking Museum Accreditation. This post is named in memory of a volunteer and benefactor of Chawton House. 

This role is an exciting opportunity for someone with good collections management experience to bring to life a remarkable but previously hidden collection. Chawton House is looking for applicants that are familiar with the subject matter, have experience of the care and conservation of books, and have led a collections review or larger collections management projects. A good communicator, applicants should have experience of Museum Accreditation and working with interns and/or volunteers.  

The post requires some evening or weekend working, but is not suitable for regular working from home (as it includes conducting regular onsite collections checks). 

Please find the full job description below. More information can also be found on the Chawton House website

Please apply with a CV and covering letter to:  Katie Childs, Chief Executive, 

For an informal discussion about the role, please do call Chawton House to arrange a phone call with Katie on 01420 541010. Interviews will take place on Thursday 24th October at Chawton House. 

  • Curator Job Description.pdf
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