An archivist in the UK Scotch Whisky Industry is responsible for assembling, cataloguing, coordinating, and organising brand assets, documents, photographs, maps and other historical materials related to the production, distribution, marketing, and consumption of Scotch whisky. The records may include distillery ledgers, production reports, marketing materials, and legal documents. The Archivist will ensure these records are properly maintained and assist in the creation of new records to document the industry's present-day activities, to help preserve them and ensure they are accessible for future generations.
On a day-to-day basis an Archivist job role is varied. Including being the key point of contact for requests, helping innovation teams, working with legal departments to research trademarks, running training sessions and helping design agencies coming up with inspiration for brand or packaging development.
Main duties and responsibilities
Maintaining archives which can date back to the 1700s, an archivist maintains all types of records. This can include company meeting minutes, recipes, photos, films, old ads and packages, the archive also holds bottles labels and a wide range of marketing materials.
An exciting part of the role is using the history to help inspire the future. Key parts of a brand can go back over a hundred years and using the archives can bring to life elements into new products, labels, bottles, bottle shape and more.
- Collecting, evaluating, selecting, and preserving historical materials related to the Scotch whisky industry, including documents, photographs, artefacts, and other items. This may involve storing and preserving perishable documents.
- Catalogue collections digitally and manage and maintain the archive physical information and digital storage systems including the acquisition and retrieval of records. Regularly auditing high-value deposits.
- Organise and catalogue these materials in a manner that is easily accessible to researchers and other interested parties.
- Advise on and ensure the appropriate protection and preservation, careful handling, repair or conservation of archived items.
- Work closely with distilleries, museums, and other organisations to identify and acquire historical materials.
- Collaborate with other archivists and historians to promote the preservation and study of Scotch whisky history and culture.
- Negotiating the acquisition of new collections, identifying and bidding for funding.
- Develop and implement policies and procedures and budgets for the management of the archive. including advising on policies to ensure compliance with GDPR.
- Maintain up-to-date knowledge of relevant laws and regulations related to the preservation of historical materials.
- Assist researchers and other visitors in answering queries and accessing and using the archive's resources. Producing teaching materials to assist in this process.
- Provide advice and guidance on the preservation of historical materials to distilleries, museums, and other organisations in the Scotch whisky industry.
- Manage the archive webpages (if applicable), and archive Twitter feed.
- Develop and deliver organising publicity events such as talks and exhibitions, educational programmes and outreach activities related to Scotch whisky history and culture.
Salary and Benefits: The salary for an archivist in the Scotch Whisky Industry can vary depending on experience and qualifications. Benefits typically include health insurance, paid vacation and sick leave, and retirement benefits. Some distilleries may also offer discounts on Scotch whisky products.
Skills and experience
An Archivist needs to be highly organised, logical, efficient and a digital expert. As the role supports the marketing function, a good understanding of full funnel marketing and the different comms deliverables and formats required to fulfil that would also be beneficial..
Skills and Experience for an Archivist in the Scotch Whisky Industry include:
- A strong understanding of archival principles and practices, including cataloguing and preservation techniques. Familiar with the standards and best practices for archival management, as well as relevant laws and regulations. Accuracy and attention to detail when capturing data.
- A strong knowledge of the history and culture of the Scotch whisky industry is essential for an archivist in this field. This includes an understanding of the production process, marketing, and distribution of Scotch whisky, as well as the role of distilleries and other organisations in the industry.
- Experience managing archives or special collections. This includes experience with cataloguing and preserving historical materials, as well as experience with digital archives and other forms of information management.
- Highly organised and able to manage large collections of historical materials. With strong attention to detail, and ability to prioritise tasks, and the competing requirements of multiple projects.
- Strong communication skills are essential and the ability to work collaboratively with other archivists and historians, as well as with distilleries, museums, and other organisations. They should be able to explain complex archival concepts to non-experts and be able to write and present information in a clear and concise manner.
- Technology skills with relevant software and storage systems, including digital archiving software, databases, and other information management tools. They should also be familiar with relevant metadata standards and other digital preservation practices.
- A strong passion for history and culture, particularly in relation to the Scotch whisky industry. Committed to preserving and promoting the cultural heritage of the industry, and willing to engage in ongoing learning and professional development.
- Excellent time management skills and ability to prioritise workloads with minimum supervision.
- A bachelor's or master's degree in library science, archives management, or a related field.
- Knowledge of archival principles and practices, including cataloguing and preservation techniques.
- Familiarity with the history and culture of the Scotch whisky industry.
- Experience managing archives or special collections.
- Excellent organisational and communication skills.
- Strong attention to detail.
- Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
- Flexibility and adaptability in a changing environment.
- Proficiency in relevant software and technology.