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Jan 11th 2021

Royal Geological Society of Cornwall: Short Term Part Time Curatorial Role

The Royal Geological Society of Cornwall is the second oldest Geological Society in the world, founded in 1814 and based in Penzance. We have an archive and collection and are looking for someone to work on a temporary basis to advise and initiate work on bringing this into a digital and accessible format.

Remit for professional work by librarian/archivist:

 1)  Advise on how best the Transactions can be digitised and made available for use for research, e.g. by addition to Google Scholar and other search services.

2)  Carry out preparation work towards this, such as making a record of the Transactions in the Old Fire Station in suitable bibliographic form for library / research use.

3)   Advise on sources of funding for digitisation and how to apply for these.

4)  Review the maps, diagrams and Society records in the Old Fire Station, Penzance and suggest which are important to archive, digitise and/or donate to Kerson Kernow. 

This collection consists of: (a) maps and diagrams – probably drawn for the Transactions – that might be worth archiving (Kresen Kernow); (b) Society records of meetings, payments etc.  Some similar older materials are already in Kresen Kernow.

5)  Catalogue the small book collection & advise on financial value.

 6)  Advise how to proceed regarding archive materials and possible volunteer projects and /or professional projects including digitisation.


We have put aside £1,000 for a temporary contract.

We will discuss the hourly rate with any applicants, depending on skill and availability.

Our hope is to have the work done this spring, but this will, of necessity, run into the summer of 2021. The hours are flexible and there is an office in Penzance which can be used independently, without having contact with other persons, so is Covid-19 secure. We will agree the hours and extent of the work with applicants.

Extension of this contract will depend on the advice we receive and the decision for future action, which might include grant applications to cover further work.

We have some volunteers, so an ability to guide and work with volunteers is sought.


Person specification:


  • an experienced curator or collections manager
  • cataloguing skills appropriate to this type of collection
  • digital collections use and/or set-up
  • familiarity with working with volunteers


Knowledge & Understanding

  • knowledge of appropriate digital collection structure and use
  • knowledge of suitable databases or website structures to support distance research of the collection
  • ability to advise on suitable display strategies for the collection
  • knowledge of appropriate funding sources and grant application processes for further work
  • knowledge of valuation or reliable sources for valuation of rare books and papers
  • understanding of the importance of this collection in the field of geology and in a local and national context
  • appreciation of the work and vision of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall.



  • ability to curate and catalogue this type of collection
  • ability to work independently and flexibly
  • digital / computer skills appropriate for setting up and initiating the catalogue and resources for distance learning and research
  • inter-personal skills suitable for guiding and working with volunteers
  • good verbal and written communication skills
  • ability to ensure that the trustees of the Society and any volunteers are informed and aware of developments, progress and plans during and at the termination of the contract.


If you are interested in this role, please respond to ‘The Secretary, RGSC’ at with an outline of your experience and availability by 30th January 2021.


– Linda Beskeen; Secretary, RGSC