Collections & Interpretation Manager, Irish Heritage Trust, Dublin

The Irish Heritage Trust is seeking to appoint a part-time (3-4 days per week) Collections & Interpretation Manageron a 2 year fixed term contract. Salary (FTE) €38,000 - 45,000 p.a. The closing date for receipt of applications is 31 January 2019.

The Irish Heritage Trust was set up in 2006 to bring new life into heritage properties in Ireland and open them up for everyone to enjoy.

The Trust took responsibility for Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens, one of Ireland's great houses, gardens and ornamental estates, in December 2007. After many years of fundraising, investment and hard work we have transformed the property and achieved financial sustainability. Participation is a fundamental part of our operations and we are very proud of our staff & volunteer team at Fota. Their energy and activity has brought Fota House to life for everyone to enjoy.

In 2015 we took responsibility for Strokestown Park and the National Famine Museum. In less than 3 years we have increased income and levels of participation and expect to do more in the coming years. We are also working in partnership with Teagasc and the Irish Agricultural Museum on a major improvement and restoration project at Johnstown Castle, Wexford. There are also a number of other exciting projects at development stage including a capital programme planned for the Georgian building at 11 Parnell Square in Dublin, which houses IHT and other organisations in the heritage and literary sectors.

The Trust is a relatively small charitable organisation and depends on skilled enthusiastic people who are able to work independently and effectively in their own area while at the same time are flexible enough to contribute to wider projects and initiatives when required.

The job will be based in our office in Dublin and the successful candidate will be expected to spend appropriate time at our properties each month. The ideal candidate will be able to think and plan strategically as well as ensure the day to day management of collections.


Assess all aspects of a property and work with staff and volunteers to create a vision for better care of the house/ site and its contents using best practice preventative conservation methods.

1. Manage the IHT collections in line with best practice. Ensure that a thorough inventory exists for all properties for insurance and information purposes. Maintain and update a catalogue of property contents as well as a schedule of maintenance.
2. Responsible for the achievement and maintenance of Museum standards as directed by the MSPI (Museum Standards Programme for Ireland) at all Trust sites as appropriate.
3. Preparation and execution of a programme of works to ensure compliance with MSPI.
4. Produce detailed plans to improve the look and feel of rooms, and lead on interpretation and creation of new narratives. Work with the local teams including staff and volunteers to advise and guide on delivery of same. Work with the General Managers and Volunteer & Event Coordinators to recruit and manage volunteers as appropriate.
5. Work with the property General Managers, event and education staff/volunteers to create a varied and worthwhile offering of education on the collection, possibly liaising with other local amenities such as hotels, colleges, art galleries.
6. Work with the overall IHT team to produce plans, policy documents and forms.
7. Coordinate the IHT vision across all sites whilst simultaneously championing their individual aspects. Committed to unlocking the public value of such heritage sites to a wide variety of audiences.
8. Assess objects, their quality and condition, and be able to describe these objects appropriately. Recognise the needs of objects, whether for conservation or restoration. Know the professionals to call upon for quotes, work out budgets and plans.
9. Conduct thorough study and research of past periods of the properties' historic interiors.
10. Link in to all and any available means of keeping informed of what is on the market, particularly relevant to original house contents. Work out annual funds with General Managers/Finance Manager to create a treasury for late-notice purchases. Use all available networks to best advantage in terms potential and existing donors and lenders.
11. Have an awareness of potential funding and award systems, nationally and internationally for projects and use all experience in applying for grants where appropriate.
12. Recognise gaps in collections and include in budgets for implementation. Ability to manage a centralised budget across multiple locations with varying needs.

This position will involve frequent interaction with staff, volunteers, visitors and other interested groups and the successful candidate will have excellent communication and presentation skills and a desire to share the stories of our heritage sites

Essential Qualifications:
• Postgraduate qualification in a related discipline (e.g. Museum Studies/ History of Art) with a minimum of 3 years professional experience is required
• Undergraduate degree in history or an equivalent discipline is required
• Experience of achieving and maintaining standards as directed by the MSPI (Museum Standards Programme for Ireland)
• Comprehensive knowledge and appreciation of built & landscape heritage & design, historic houses, interiors, and fine and decorative arts
• Good knowledge and appreciation of preventative conservation
• Strong IT skills and software application skills including good familiarity with MS office and Collections Management Systems
• Good knowledge of Irish history
• Good skills in research - familiarity with archives/libraries/other sources of primary and secondary information
• Understanding of the grant application process
• Knowledge of social media

Required Competencies/ Attributes:
• A self-motivated, resourceful and enthusiastic approach to work
• Effective team player with the ability to inspire and guide teams
• A customer service ethos and demonstrated customer care skills
• Excellent presentation and communications skills
• Proven skills in time management and work prioritisation
• Ability to perform work with accuracy and attention to detail
• Evidence of a flexible approach to work and a willingness to accept and adapt to change
• Ability to multitask and to work calmly under pressure
• Ability to travel nationally as required
• Ability to attend events (daytime and evening) for broadening horizons and networks
• Full clean driving licence

The breadth of the Trust's work means that, in addition to being able to work independently the successful applicant must have good team working skills. Almost every work area identified in this role has connections to and dependency on, other team members and therefore empathy with colleagues' areas of responsibility and the ability to work effectively with others is critical.

Click here for further information and details of the application process.