PEN International © 2017
Terms & Conditions | Privacy Statement

Current Vacancy: PEN Centenary Archivist

Fundraising And Events

PEN Centenary Archivist 

The post is a fixed term contract for two years, renewable subject to funding. The starting salary will be £29,000 per year.


PEN International seeks a dynamic archivist to develop and curate an archive collection that documents the history of PEN International as it works towards marking its centenary in 2021.

This role will involve significant liaison work with PEN Centres around the world to assemble, catalogue and curate historical information and documentation, which charts the work of the organisation, its membership of “poets, essayists and novelists” and the literary events and campaigns PEN has spearheaded throughout its history.

Exceptional interpersonal skills, project management skills and attention to detail will be essential. The role will need to manage and care for materials from over 100 PEN Centres around the world; developing a digitised, accessible collection of archive materials for evaluation and presentation. Excellent record management skills will be required, alongside the ability to oversee a project budget.

Finally, the PEN Centenary archivist will need to work with colleagues and external researchers to organise a series of events, talks and exhibitions (including in digital form) to present the archive and celebrate organisational achievements during our centenary year.


Working closely with the Executive Director the role will require you to: 

  • Utilise modern professional standards to build up an accessible archive of materials and documents that chart the history of PEN International and PEN Centres globally
  • Develop an overall project plan and budget to guide our centenary archive project and monitor delivery against targets and budget lines
  • Manage the acquisition and development of a digitised archive system to collate and catalogue archive materials obtained
  • Maintain regular communication with PEN Centre colleagues to identify and retrieve archive materials and provide advice concerning record keeping and management
  • Catalogue materials being received into the archive in line with relevant recognised international standards, using both the online system and offsite storage if required
  • Work with the Campaigns & Communications Manager and Digital Manager to develop a communications plan to excite and engage key internal and external audiences about the centenary archive project
  • Ensure regular contact and effective communication with key external partners, such as the University of East Anglia, University of Oxford, and National Centre for Scientific Research in Paris
  • Assist in fundraising activities to support the development of the PEN centenary archive
  • Ensure compliance with data protection legislation and GDPR
  • Participate in external events, meetings or talks to promote the PEN centenary archive project
  • Contribute regular updates to PEN International board, senior leadership team and project partners in relation to the development of the archive
  • Develop guidance and train colleagues in relation to the continued maintenance and growth of the PEN archive into the future
  • Keep abreast of key professional developments in the archive and records management field

Contribute to PEN International’s work generally by 

  • Participating in cross-programme project teams as required
  • Facilitating cross-learning and collaboration across other PEN programmes
  • Contributing to the development and implementation of PEN International’s policies, strategies and plans
  • Managing and training volunteers as required
  • Undertaking any other reasonable duties as required by the post



  • Fluent spoken and written English
  • Educated to degree level
  • Post-graduate certificate in Archive Management OR post-doctoral researcher with archival experience
  • Proven experience in archives or records management
  • Experience of working with digital databases
  • Good working knowledge and awareness of data protection regulations
  • Exceptional project management and budgeting skills
  • Excellent interpersonal and people skills
  • Advanced oral and written communication skills
  • Highly self-motivated with the ability to work independently, and as part of team
  • Ability to plan and prioritise tasks, and focus under pressure
  • Experience of working with academics and researchers
  • Knowledge of French or Spanish


  • Experience of working for an international organisation
  • Experience in an arts/literature/journalism/human rights environment
  • Appreciation, knowledge and understanding of freedom of expression issues


  • Interest in literature and writing
  • Willingness to uphold the values of the Charter of PEN International
  • Commitment to accountability, transparency and fairness
  • Commitment to equality and cultural diversity and their application at work

This post will require some international travel, mostly to PEN International meetings

Terms of Employment


£29,000 – £38,000 gross salary per annum. We would expect the successful candidate to start at the bottom of the salary scale.


Two year fixed term contract, based in London. The position maybe renewed subject to funding being secured.


35 hours per week, normally worked Monday to Friday

Benefits and holidays

Benefits 25 days holiday per annum, plus statutory holidays. The successful candidate will join the PEN International pension scheme straightaway, in compliance with auto-enrolment legislation.


One month during probationary period and three months thereafter

Probationary Period

Three months, subject to written confirmation

Contract of Employment

The successful candidate has to be eligible to work in the UK. Nothing in the above constitutes an offer of employment or forms any part of any contract of employment.

Recruitment process

Candidates should submit their CV and a covering letter (two A4 sides maximum) which addresses all aspects of the Job Description and Person Specification, to or by post to PEN International, Koops Mill, 162-164 Abbey Street, London, SE1 2AN, UK. Applications must be submitted by 09:00 hours GMT on Monday 16 April 2018.

Interviews will take place between 8-11 May 2018.

Due to our limited resources we are only able to inform shortlisted candidates.

PEN International is an equal opportunities employer