Collections Database Officer

14 Apr 2018
16 May 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Art UK Collections Database Officer

About Art UK

Art UK is a dynamic arts charity with a national and global reach. The charity’s mission is to open up art in public collections for enjoyment, learning and research. We do this through digitising artworks, telling the stories behind the art and creating exciting opportunities for public interaction with art both online and offline. Our work contributes to the promotion and sustainability of the UK cultural sector. Successful partnership and collaboration are hallmarks of our organisation.

The Art UK website gives all public collections across the UK a shared digital infrastructure to showcase their artworks to audiences at home and abroad. The site was launched in February 2016. On the Art UK website there are over 200,000 artworks from 3,200 collection venues across the UK. This is the work of approaching 40,000 artists. Collections are also able to upload pre-digitised watercolours and other works on paper.

Our next major project is the digitisation of the nation's sculpture collection both inside institutions and outdoors in the country’s streets and squares. This project has the Heritage Lottery Fund as its lead funder and will be completed in the summer of 2020. Over the next few years we will also be putting a significant focus on growing the learning resources on the Art UK platform and sharing these with a young audience. We will also be growing our commercial platform in order to generate revenue for participating collections and our charity. The charity is funded through a mixture of public funding (from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England and the Scottish Government) and private sector funding from grant-giving trusts, corporates, individual donors, collection subscription income and commercial income. For more information on Art UK please go to

Role Description

Art UK wishes to appoint a full-time Collections Database Officer to assist in broadening the remit of the site to include drawings, watercolours and prints. The appointed Officer will work closely with a range of public art collections across the UK, from collections in national and regional museums to universities and town councils. The Collections Database Officer’s aim will be to add many thousands of works on paper to sit online alongside 200,000 plus oil paintings, and eventually 170,000 sculptures.

An effective communicator, the Officer will respond to collection requests to upload works. They will also seek out interesting British art to upload to Art UK, with help from colleagues. This may include country house collections not already on the site and other important holdings. The appointed Officer will have a sharp attention to detail, a strong interest in UK art collections, and will be technically adept and quick to learn new processes. They will play a key role in growing and quality-assuring art records within Art UK’s bespoke database. This is an exciting opportunity to make your mark within an ambitious project and be an Art UK ambassador to a wide network of public art collections.

Key Responsibilities

- To add a significant number of new artworks to Art UK from multiple collections across the UK

- Work daily on the Qi database (Collection Management System)

- Work with the Art UK Editorial team to ensure data and images are provided to Art UK standards

- Proofread records and query potential errors

- Act as a point-of-contact for collections

- Help collections to use the Art UK Collections Portal, where necessary

- Process batches of artwork data in liaison with collections

- Link new records with existing artist entries on the Art UK database

- Help secure stories and more academic articles from collections or art historians relating to the new artworks on Art UK

- Arrange necessary rights checks with the Art UK Copyright team

- Assist with publication of new works and simultaneous promotion through the Art UK social media channels and newsletter

- General administrational support where required, e.g. meeting minutes

- Work closely with the Head of Editorial to monitor and achieve the above

Necessary Skills

- Essential: High level of attention to detail

- Essential: Maintain accuracy when working on large batches of data

- Essential: Excellent IT skills (including Microsoft Office)

- Essential: Strong verbal and written communication skills

- Essential: Interest in art and awareness of UK art collections

- Desirable: Art History background

- Desirable: Experience using Collection Management Systems

- Desirable: Previous experience in an editorial role

- Desirable: Cataloguing experience

- Desirable: Proofreading qualification

Contract Terms and Benefits

- 12-month fixed term contract with likelihood of extension

- Full time

- Salary £23,500 per annum

- Three-month probationary period

- One-month termination clause

- Five weeks annual leave plus English Bank Holidays (pro rata)

- Based at the Art UK Head Office in central London


Please send CV and covering letter to Jade King by 9am on Wednesday 2nd May 2018. Interviews will be held in London on Wednesday 16th May, and the interview will include a short test. If you have not heard from us within two weeks of the closing date, please consider your application unsuccessful.

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