Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology

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Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology

Job description and selection criteria

Job title

Museum Assistant


Academic Services and University Collections (ASUC)


Ashmolean Museum


Department of Antiquities, Ashmolean Museum, Beaumont Street, Oxford

Grade and salary

Grade 3.1: £9.22 per hour


Variable Hours

Approximately 8 hours per week (4 of which are to be worked on a Monday)

Contract type

Fixed-term to July 2015 (externally funded)

Reporting to

Collections Manager (Antiquities)

Vacancy reference


Additional information

Working arrangements: two weeks before each academic term to two weeks after each academic term, for this coming (2013-2014) and the following (2014-2015) year


The University

The University of Oxford is a complex and stimulating organisation, which enjoys an international reputation as a world-class centre of excellence in research and teaching. It employs over 10,000 staff and has a student population of over 22,000.

Most staff are directly appointed and managed by one of the University’s 130 departments or other units within a highly devolved operational structure - this includes over 6,500 ‘academic-related’ staff (postgraduate research, computing, senior library, and administrative staff) and over 2,700 ‘support’ staff (including clerical, library, technical, and manual staff). There are also over 1,600 academic staff (professors, readers, lecturers), whose appointments are in the main overseen by a combination of broader divisional and local faculty board/departmental structures. Academics are generally all also employed by one of the 38 constituent colleges of the University as well as by the central University itself.
Our annual income in 2011/12 was £1,016.1m. Oxford is one of Europe's most innovative and entrepreneurial universities: income from external research contracts exceeds £409m p.a., and more than 80 spin-off companies have been created.
For more information please visit
Ashmolean Museum
The Ashmolean Museum has been described as “unquestionably the finest university museum in the world” (The Times, October 29th, 2009). The Museum is a part of the Oxford University Museums Group and houses the University’s collections of art and archaeology together with objects and works owned by other private individuals and bodies and loaned to it. The collections themselves are of world significance. They range from archaeology to the fine and decorative arts of Europe and Asia and from coins to casts of classical sculpture. These are used for teaching and research purposes both within the University and in the worldwide academic and research communities. Above all, the Ashmolean is a great public Museum, open to all without charge.
The vision of the Ashmolean Museum is to be an open door to the excellence of Oxford, sparking in everyone a curiosity for the beauty, diversity and intellectual richness of our collections. As an essential step towards achieving this, the Museum completed its “Masterplan” redevelopment in November 2009. This delivered 39 new permanent galleries together with new temporary exhibition galleries, study and teaching facilities, conservation studios and significantly enhanced visitor facilities, including Oxford’s first roof-top restaurant. A new brand identity has also been established. The redevelopment has received huge critical and public acclaim, evidenced by the very significant number of visitors to the Museum since its reopening.
For more information please visit:

The Department of Antiquities

The Department of Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum has approximately half a million objects in its care.

The collections cover a wide range of subject areas including the Ancient Near East, Greece, the Roman World, Cyprus, the Aegean and Egypt. Also, European prehistory and British archaeology including Medieval and even some items from the Tudor Period. The Founding Collection includes items from The Americas.
The Department and the University Engagement Programme use the collections extensively for teaching and research. As a result of this demand, we are seeking a part-time Museum Assistant to help prepare and move viewing orders between the stores and study areas. The Museum Assistant will be based in Antiquities, but will provide support to other Curatorial Departments when required.
Working under the supervision of the Collections Manager (Helen Hovey), you will assist with the physical preparation and movement of orders, and carry out associated documentation tasks.
You will:

  • Use the Museum’s collections management software, MuseumPlus, to create viewing request reports.

  • Use the reports to locate teaching materials within the storage areas.

  • Examine objects and determine if conservation is needed

  • Extract items safely from their containers and prepare in designated viewing trays.

  • Move orders to the appropriate study room on the morning of the viewing, and return them to stores the morning following the final viewing.

  • Update MuseumPlus with all location movements.

  • Work independently to plan weekly workload in relation to incoming requests for objects needed on specific dates and taking into account the difference sources for objects.

  • Communicate with teaching curators the status of objects and their readiness for teaching

  • Exercise independent initiative in solving any problems that might arise in room scheduling and object availability

  • Take object photographs and measurements where necessary, add comments, corrections and missing data to MuseumPlus.

  • Undertake object re-packing where required.

  • Help to keep stores and work areas clean, and stocked with materials.

  • In quiet times you will undertake data entry and collections care tasks.

  • Occasionally invigilate UEP classes and research visits

Selection criteria


  • Physical fitness; the role may involve lifting and moving heavy boxes. (Manual handling training will be provided).

  • Good dexterity, attention to detail, and an appreciation of collections care.

  • IT literacy, experience of using databases. (Training on MuseumPlus will be provided).

  • Own Initiative – tidying up stores and Study room or improving the system when/if required

  • Good organisation skills.

  • Ability to work well under supervision and as part of a team.


  • A demonstrable interest in archaeology or related discipline.

  • Knowledge of Antiquities collections, small finds and archaeological material.

  • Object handling and packing experience.

  • Knowledge and experience of MuseumPlus

Owing to the nature of this position, any offer of employment with the University will be subject to a satisfactory security screening.

Working at the University of Oxford

For further information about working at Oxford, please see:

How to apply

If you consider that you meet the selection criteria, click on the Apply Now button on the ‘Job Details’ page and follow the on-screen instructions to register as a user. You will then be required to complete a number of screens with your application details, relating to your skills and experience. When prompted, please provide details of two referees and indicate whether we can contact them at this stage. You will also be required to upload a supporting statement which explains how you meet the selection criteria for the post. The supporting statement should explain your relevant experience which may have been gained in employment, education, or you may have taken time away from these activities in order to raise a family, care for a dependant, or travel for example.  Your application will be judged solely on the basis of how you demonstrate that that you meet the selection criteria outlined above and we are happy to consider evidence of transferable skills or experience which you may have gained outside the context of paid employment or education.

Please save all uploaded documents to show your name and the document type.
All applications must be received by midday on the closing date stated in the online advertisement.
Information for Priority Candidates

A priority candidate is a University employee who is seeking redeployment owing to the fact that he or she has been advised that they are at risk of redundancy, or on grounds of ill-health/disability. Priority candidates are issued with a redeployment letter by their employing departments and this letter must be attached to any application they submit.

The priority application date for this post is Friday 20 September at midday.

Full details of the priority application process are available at:
Should you experience any difficulties using the online application system, please email
To return to the online application at any stage, please click on the following link
Please note that you will be notified of the progress of your application by automatic e-mails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk mail regularly to ensure that you receive all e-mails.
Please note in normal circumstances only interview travel expenses within the UK will be reimbursed.

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