The Old Royal Naval College is undergoing a programme of transformation to open our site and collections to the public in more inclusive and dynamic ways. Our newly conserved Painted Hall will open in the Spring; coinciding with a new visual identity and positioning to enhance our profile and firmly place our site at the heart of Greenwich. We have four strategic objectives which underpin this new visitor experience:

  • Exploration: engage visitors via a site-wide historic, architectural and spiritual experience
  • Spectacle: inspire the public via a stimulating artistic programme
  • Stewardship: conserve the fabric of our buildings, grounds and archaeology
  • Independence: grow a cultural business which secures our sustainable future

We are committed to a new programme of documentation, preservation, accessibility and interpretation. We would like to build on our work to establish a Collections Management System, which recently received a commendation from the Collections Trust, so that we can be accountable and make use of our collections more creatively. Our collections include silverware, artwork, archaeology, furniture, photographs, correspondence and costume. They span the four phases of our site’s history: as the Greenwich Palace, Royal Hospital for Seamen, Royal Naval College and now as the Old Royal Navy College (run by the Greenwich Foundation).


The Volunteer role

The Documentation Volunteer will work with the Collections and Archive Assistant to support the day-to-day operations of our recently created archive department which is responsible for collections management. They will make use of the guidance set out in Spectrum 5.0: The UK Museum Collections Management Standard to: 

  • Help to ensure that our Documentation Procedural Manual is up-to-date and being used with particular reference to location and movement control, loans in and out and cataloguing
  • Assist with an inventory of the collection including recording, labelling and moving of objects, including our Tudor archaeology collection
  • Collate existing documentation so that all relevant paperwork related to an object is kept in Object History Files
  • Generate statistical data for reporting to the Board
  • Assist with collections care tasks such as recording of environmental conditions, cleaning, condition reporting and repackaging when opportunities arise


Training and Support

  • Full induction will be given on our organisational structure and public offer; with specific training on our policies and procedures related to collections work
  • Formal recognition of skills development to aid CV or job applications
  • A friendly, enthusiastic and supportive team of volunteers with whom to share experiences and knowledge
  • Regular volunteer social and networking events
  • Travel costs of up to £15 per day will be reimbursed based on return tickets / Oyster card receipts for a shift of 3.5 hours. £3.50 towards lunch for a five hour shift or more.
  • Discounts in local shop and cafés


We are looking for people who can demonstrate

  • A good first degree and some experience of working in the field of collections documentation (Essential)
  • Physically able as the archive department is on a mezzanine floor with access via a narrow spiral staircase (Essential)
  • Good verbal communication skills (Essential)
  • Conscientious, reliable and punctual (Essential)
  • Computer literate with a good working knowledge of Excel and Word (Essential)
  • Attention to detail and good organisational ability (Essential)
  • Are able to commit to 2 days per week for a period of 6 months, ideally a Tuesday and Wednesday each week but other options may be considered (Essential)
  • Experience of handling museum objects (Desirable)
  • An interest in conservation, heritage and history (Desirable)
  • An excellent understanding of collections documentation and awareness of Spectrum 5.0 (Desirable)
  • A postgraduate qualification in (or currently studying) museum studies (Desirable)

Our organisation is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. All roles are subject to references and some roles require an enhanced DBS check.


Greenwich Foundation 2 Cutty Sark Gardens, Greenwich, London, SE10 9LW

To apply

Please click here to complete an application form. Deadline for applications is Monday 21st January 2019 at 5pm. Informal interviews to be held on Tuesday 29th and Wednesday 30th January 2019. 

If you would like to talk about the role please contact [email protected] or phone 0208 269 4794.