Call for applications: British Library Translator-in-Residence

British Library piazza

We are looking for a translator to join us for a 12 month residency. This is an exciting opportunity to become part of the life of the Library, to enjoy enhanced access to the Library’s collections and staff, to demonstrate how using these collections can inform the process of translation and to get involved in a range of activities to broaden audience engagement and participation.

Published date:

This is a new venture, supported by the Library and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The Translator-in-Residence will become part of the life of the Library, enjoy enhanced access to our collections and staff expertise, and get involved in all areas of our public programmes (through events, exhibitions, schools programmes, online learning and community engagement).

He/She will play an important role in our mission to make our intellectual heritage accessible to everyone for research, inspiration and enjoyment and will work with Arts and Humanities Research Council award holders on projects associated with its Translating Cultures theme, which aims to bring research to a wider audience.

The British Library is one of the world’s greatest research and cultural institutions. Our Living Knowledge Strategy 2015-2023 marks our 50th anniversary with some ambitious challenges in furthering our purposes of custodianship, research, business, culture, learning and international partnership.

We hold incomparable contemporary and historical collections in a vast range of languages, and have a dedicated multilingual staff and an international community of researchers, students and visitors. As such, we are a natural home for translation and translators. Our collections include the archives of literary translators, sound and oral history recordings, a vast array of print publications in most written languages of the world, historical dictionaries and other material relating to the history of language, plus a wide range of other material which might be of interest – from business patents to works on linguistics, sociology and anthropology.

We are particularly looking for someone who will engage imaginatively with the idea of “residency”: with the Library’s buildings and spaces as well as with the extensive and diverse community of languages represented by our staff and readers. 

Translation and translation as a site of academic and cultural exchange has become an increasing focus for the Library in recent years. The Translator-in-Residence will work with staff and readers at the Library to promote creative engagement with translation-related collections and to encourage and advocate for wider understanding of the value of translation and multilingualism. This is a valuable opportunity for translators to develop their professional skills and to gain experience of working at a national cultural organisation.

View a more detailed description of the role and the person specification.

The deadline for applications is 13.00 on 5 January 2017.

Interviews will be held at the British Library on 24 January 2017.

To apply:

Please send your CV and a covering letter explaining why you are interested in becoming a Translator-in-Residence at the British Library, along with a proposal (not more than 600 words) outlining what ideas and activities you would plan to pursue during your time as resident.

Please send your application (either by email or hard copy) to:

Rachel Foss (Head of Contemporary Archives and Manuscripts)
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London NW1 2DB


Research collaboration

We lead, support and inspire research across all disciplines and subject areas