British Museum

Director of Collections

Job Reference EBME
Closing Date Friday 12 Jul 2024

Location: London

Salary: £120,000

The British Museum is the oldest national public museum in the world. With a collection of around 8 million objects, the Museum brings together under one roof the cultures of the world, allowing people to explore the extraordinary diversity of human culture, to discover the many forms and expressions human beings have given to every aspect of life, and to realise how closely they are interconnected. The Museum is one of the world’s most visited; in 2022/23, its home in Bloomsbury received 4.5 million visitors, while a further 4 million people saw objects from the British Museum’s collection elsewhere, 2.3 million of them outside the UK. That’s because, as well as the iconic site in London, the Museum has deep and wide-ranging partnerships with other national and international museums, schools and community groups with whom the Museum co-curates the display of loaned objects.

Following the appointment of the British Museum’s new Director, Dr Nicholas Cullinan, candidates are sought for a critical new leadership role – Director of Collections. Reporting to the Director, this is a key part of the executive team, helping to set the strategic direction of the Museum and ensuring all parts of the organisation work together to deliver its priorities. The Director of Collections will oversee the care and development of the collection, ensuring strategies, procedures, and resources are in place for excellence in research, presentation, and storage. Key responsibilities include aligning acquisitions with the Museum’s strategic goals, establishing best practices for object handling and display, and leading the research programme. The role also entails developing plans for gallery renewal and storage improvement, contributing to the Museum’s strategy, deputising for the Director, representing the Museum nationally and internationally, and leading the Collections directorate efficiently.

The ideal candidate will have a deep understanding of the museum and cultural sectors. They should be a strategic thinker with planning and financial management skills, proven judgement, and experience in intellectual leadership and organisational change. As an inspirational leader, they will establish vision across a diverse team, possess excellent communication skills, and represent the Museum at high levels. Strong people management skills and the ability to collaborate effectively across the organisation are essential.

Saxton Bampfylde Ltd is acting as an employment agency advisor to the British Museum on this appointment. For further information about the role, including details about how to apply, please visit using reference EBME. Alternatively, telephone +44 (0)20 7227 0880 (during office hours). Applications should be received by noon on Friday 12th July 2024.

The Museum is driven by an insatiable curiosity for the world, a deep belief in objects as reliable witnesses and documents of human history, sound research, as well as the desire to expand and share knowledge.