Digital Archivist 


Salary: £40,000 - 45,000 per annum depending on experience

Hours: 35 hours per week.

Location: Remote, with ideally the ability to have in-person meetings in the United Kingdom or EU, but this is not essential.  


GLAN is recruiting a digital archivist to help to drive forward our work in holding powerful actors involved in violations of international law to account.  As part of our efforts, GLAN needs to gather and preserve private and online digital evidence. We require a small-scale digital evidence preservation and sorting system which is designed to support our international litigation efforts.


GLAN is a small but impactful organisation which takes innovative legal action across borders, holding the powerful to account. We work with affected communities to challenge states and other powerful actors involved in human rights violations and systemic injustice. Our actions address the most pressing instances of human rights concern and they fall within the following themes: War and occupation; accountability and supply chains; environmental and economic justice; and migration and border violence. Our diverse strategies unlock the potential of foreign courts and legal mechanisms. Since being established in 2016, we have developed legal strategies directly addressing human rights impacts in over 26 countries and territories. Our approach is networked and nimble, allowing us to advance cases across multiple issues and jurisdictions despite our compact team. 



As part of our work on war and occupation, we have developed an unprecedented digital evidence project aimed at realising the potential of digital evidence to bolster accountability for atrocity crimes, wherever they take place. It revolutionizes the fight for accountability by empowering civil society actors to engage in international legal strategies.  We have already put this into action through the building of cases against arms dealers for their complicity in war crimes in Yemen.  We are also documenting crimes in Ukraine as they unfold. 


We are therefore seeking to develop a small-scale archival management system which can meet with the basic requirements for the handling of digital evidence.   Achieving our objectives requires us to be able to preserve, archive and catalogue digital content from both private and online sources, in addition to communicating and interacting with other, larger archives. The legal requirements centre around the need to forensically preserve each item of content and to extract important metadata and related information, in addition to the need to log and migrate this information to a central analysis database currently in use by GLAN.   


The development of the system will require the candidate to: 


  1. Work with our lawyers and partners to develop policies and procedures with reference to established frameworks of best practice for archiving of digital evidence. 

  2. Use existing open source programmes to achieve the project objectives to the maximum extent possible and identify any development needs which are outstanding thereafter. 

  3. Write up the technical justification, suitable for use in litigation, for all of the steps taken and describe the functioning of the programmes for future users or analysts.  




Design an archiving system for GLAN to suit the needs of our projects relative to the volume of evidence and the purpose for which it is being preserved; Evidentiary standards in this context are met when an unbroken chain of custody can be demonstrated for each item between acquisition and presentation in court, in addition to other methods for showing that an item has remained unaltered from the moment it came into our possession. The archive needs to be able to handle two flows of information: Online digital information: Content found online including videos, photographs, social media posts, web pages and other documents; and private digital evidence: digital information such as videos, photographs, emails and texts provided directly to us. 


Design role 


  • Create a complete workflow from receipt of content to archiving, which can be documented at each step, whether automatically or manually;  

  • Ensure content is stored across adequately diverse media to protect against obsolescence or other loss; 

  • Ensure that analysis copies of the content, along with key metadata, can be ingested into our analysis database, Uwazi.   


There are some programmes available which can perform some of the key steps required, many of which are open source. The ability to work with these systems is crucial, since we will not be developing new programmes unless a narrow and defined need is identified for which we can secure funding.  


  • Develop a written protocol for the ingestion of evidence workflow. Industry standards are emerging for the forensic preservation of digital material.  Broadly, they involve i) hashing files (and other assets such as websites if applicable) and the time-stamping of those hashes using distributed ledger technology or other technologies; ii) and taking copies and storing them in multiple locations including offline locations; and iii) systems for maintaining audit trails ensuring a record is made every time a file is accessed. 

  • Maintain a written justification for the programmes and policies which can be drawn on in litigation if necessary.  


Archival role


  • Perform ingestion where needed  

  • Export archival description in CSV format for use in GLAN analysis database 


Communication with team 


  • Update the Legal Officer regularly as the project develops  






  • Experience in the archiving of digital assets  

  • Masters degree in archival science or equivalent 

  • Use of open source archiving tools for the preservation of web pages and online content 

  • The use of open source programmes for extracting metadata 




  • Experience of the use of relational databases and establishing metadata schemas 

  • Experience in archiving for legal purposes 

  • 2 years experience in the preservation of digital material  


Skills and abilities  


  • An in-depth knowledge of the principles of digital archiving and how to implement them to the appropriate scale 

  • Good spoken and written English  


Personal characteristics 


  • The ability to communicate with lawyers without archiving knowledge and explain technical concepts in non-technical language; 

  • The ability to coordinate with external organisations such as other archives, developers and providers of programmes; 

  • The candidate must be proactive and inherently driven to achieve the goal.  

  • Creativity and drive in meeting objectives on a limited budget; strong understanding of core principles around which policies are built 

  • Excellent problem-solving abilities 


Please send a CV and cover letter (no more than two pages) setting out your suitability for the role to with ‘Digital Archivist’ in the subject line.  


Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis so early applicants are encouraged and no later than 31st October 2022.  


GLAN is actively committed to equality, diversity and inclusion. We strongly encourage applications from Black, Asian, minority ethnic and/or disabled candidates, as well as those who have been directly impacted by systemic injustice.