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LWM Research Software Engineer

Vacancy Details

Salary: Salary £39,000 per annum
Location: St Pancras
Job Type: Fixed Term Contract
Vacancy Group: Chief Librarians Portfolio
Category: Cataloguers, Reference and Research
Closing Date: 07/11/2021
Date Posted: 15/10/2021
Reference: 03841



Full Time, Fixed Term till 31 July 2023



Living with Machines (LwM) is an ambitious large-scale project in data science and the digital humanities. Researchers from a range of disciplines - including historians, software engineers, data scientists, geographers, computational linguists, library professionals and curators – are working together to create research methods, tools and data. We aspire to challenge assumptions about how different disciplines can interact and break down academic traditions.


We are looking for a Digital Humanities Research Software Engineer (DH RSE) to complement our team and create spatial and temporal representations of complex historical datasets, and interfaces for specific research methods and technologies. This is an exciting opportunity to contribute to the development and implementation of the digital scholarship and public outreach streams of the LwM project by assembling, designing, implementing, developing and integrating a range of tools.


Working as part of a multi-disciplinary team, the successful candidate will help identify requirements, and design and implement online interfaces that integrate different project outputs to support the collections, questions and methods of the project. The DH RSE will create outputs including creative, intuitive visualisations and interfaces for digitised collections and derived datasets, crowdsourcing tasks and data science outputs for project specialists, academic and public users.

The post holder will have a good understanding of digital scholarship, preferably gained from working in a research library, academic or other appropriate environment. This may include work as a Research Software Engineer, software developer, creative technologist, data or visualisation specialist or digital humanities researcher. They will have excellent information technology skills, including experience of the tools and technologies that support digital scholarship. Excellent oral and written communication skills are also essential for this post. As with other Research Software Engineer ( posts, the post holder will have the opportunity to develop their skills and play an active part in all aspects of research and outreach, including analysis and publication.

More about Living with Machines

This project aims to use computational techniques and large-scale datasets in order to ask questions about the ways in which technology altered the very fabric of human existence on a hitherto unprecedented scale. The project exploits a corpus of digitised sources, including newspapers, trade directories, census data, and other resources. By developing intuitive computational interfaces and a philosophy of interdisciplinary collaboration we will enable close interaction between computational methods and historical inquiry.


We welcome and encourage job applications from people of all backgrounds. We particularly welcome applications from disabled and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates as BAME and disabled people are currently under-represented throughout the British Library at this level.


In return we offer a competitive salary and a number of excellent benefits.  Our pension scheme is one of the most valuable benefits we offer, as our staff can become members of the Alpha Pension Scheme where the Library contributes 20.9%. Another significant benefit the Library provides is the provision of a flexible working hours scheme which could allow you to work your hours flexibly over the week and to take up to 5 days flexi leave in a 3 month period. This is on top of 25 days holiday from entry, and public and privilege holidays.


As one of the world’s great libraries, our duty is to preserve the nation’s intellectual memory for the future. At the moment we have well over 150 million items, in most known languages, with three million new items added every year. We have manuscripts, maps, newspapers, magazines, prints and drawings, music scores, and patents. We operate the world’s largest document delivery service providing millions of items a year to customers all over the world. What matters to us is that we preserve the national memory and enable knowledge to be created both now and in the future.


For further information and to apply, please visit quoting vacancy ref: 03841


Closing Date: 7th November 2021

Interview Date: 19 November 2021

Description: employer_small (3)

Disability Confident

We are a Disability Confident employer, and make a commitment to recruit and support disabled people. We guarantee an interview for disabled candidates who meet the minimum (essential) requirements for a vacancy


In order to apply for this vacancy, you must be able to supply the required answers to the following questions:

  • Are you currently a British Library employee or agency member of staff?


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