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We’re Hiring: Oral Historian, Atlantic Philanthropies Archives project

Submitted on 5th March 2019

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DRI are seeking applications for the role of Oral Historian on the Atlantic Philanthropies Archives project 

NOTE: Deadline has been extended to Wednesday 20th March 2019 at 12 noon

DRI are seeking applications for the role of Oral Historian, a 14-month fixed-term contract with the Digital Repository of Ireland’s Atlantic Philanthropies Archives project. This project is a partnership between The Digital Repository of Ireland, Atlantic Philanthropies, and Cornell University Library to explore the impact and legacy of time-limited grant making. It will be based in the Royal Irish Academy. Closing date for applications is 12 noon on Wednesday 20th March 2019. Details below and on the Royal Irish Academy Vacancies page.


The project has two main aspects

– to host a curated digital archive of select business records and ephemera related to Atlantic’s grant making in Ireland over the last 35 years,

– to build digital exhibitions around these archives, through the collection and curation of new oral histories from individuals involved in social change activities funded by Atlantic. This is a creative and intellectually stimulating role that requires excellent research skills, people skills, and demonstrated competency in all aspects of oral history.

Reporting to the DRI Director, the Oral Historian will be responsible for:

Conducting research into the Atlantic Philanthropies’ grant-making in Ireland to identify specific grants and related records for inclusion in the project’s defined thematic framework and collection development strategy.

In line with the above, identifying and contacting potential organisations and individuals for oral history contributions to the project, and managing the relationship between the DRI and contributors.

– Creation of oral histories related to identified grants, including documentation, transcription and creation of metadata to describe these histories.

– Collaborating with the project team to create digital exhibitions that contain grant records, oral histories, contextual narratives.

– Creation of contextual narratives for the exhibitions, which could include seeking essay contributions from relevant scholars.

– Monitoring and documenting project progress, regularly communicating developments to the DRI team, and preparing reports on activities for DRI and for Atlantic Philanthropies.

– Contributing as a member of a small team, in an agile fashion, to other aspects of the project and to related DRI activities.

Essential Criteria

– A degree in history or a relevant discipline

– Demonstrable experience as an Oral Historian

– Excellent research skills, ideally with research experience in business archives and contemporary history

– Experience in one or more of the following: information studies, archiving, libraries, digital curation

– Evidence of strong organisational skills with ability to work both independently and as part of a multi-disciplinary team

– Highly motivated with excellent people skills, including the ability to engage stakeholders from a variety of domains and backgrounds on potentially sensitive topics.

– Excellent oral and written communications skills

Desirable Criteria

– An master’s degree or PhD in a relevant discipline

– Comprehensive understanding of Ireland and Northern Ireland’s social environment, political context and economic realities, 1980s to the present.

– Experience creating digital exhibitions, working with websites or content management systems

Application Process

Completed applications consisting of one electronic copy (with all documents contained in one WORD or PDF document) must be submitted to in the order as set out below:-

– A cover letter demonstrating how you meet the qualifications and experience required for the position (max. 700 words)

– A curriculum vitae summarising your qualifications and relevant experience

– Applicants will be shortlisted on the basis of information provided in their application. 

Please note; Failure to fulfil all the application requisites will deem the application invalid.

The closing date for applications is EXTENDED TO 12 noon on Wed 20th March 2019.  Interviews will take place on on 27th March.



DRI is funded by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science (DFHERIS) via the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Irish Research Council (IRC).

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