Collections Conservator, Princeton University Library
The Princeton University Library is seeking a Collections Conservator to join the Preservation Office. We welcome applications from colleagues at all stages in their careers. Potential applicants who would like to learn more about the position, the Preservation Office, the Library and Princeton are encouraged to contact Maria Grandinette (email@example.com). Recommendations for candidates are also welcome.
The Princeton University Library is one of the world’s leading research libraries, serving a diverse community of 5,200 undergraduates, 2,600 graduate students, 853 faculty members, and many visiting scholars. Its holdings include more than 7 million printed volumes, 5 million manuscripts, 2 million non-print items, and extensive collections of digital text, data, and images. The Library employs a dedicated and knowledgeable staff of more than 300 professional and support staff working in a large central library, 9 specialized branches, and 3 storage facilities.
Major Responsibilities: The Collections Conservator is responsible for a broad range of activities that, taken together, help insure preservation and access to Princeton University Library’s collection. The three key areas of responsibility for this position include: management of general collections conservation, management of general and special collections housing, and oversight and maintenance of the department’s on-going preventive preservation programs.
Working in a production environment, the Collections Conservator manages the repair, housing, and reformatting of general collections materials with sensitivity to their historical and intrinsic value, as well as a pragmatism that responds to the needs required by everyday use. Employing a treatment to specification approach, the Collections Conservator sets repair, housing, and reformatting criteria that include materials selection, sorting, workflow, recordkeeping, inventory control, contracting, and quality assurance. The Collections Conservator serves as one of the primary preservation liaisons to collection managers and staff throughout the Library. She or he offers assistance and advice on the handling and preservation of damaged and deteriorated paper-based general collections materials including recommending treatment options, priorities, and courses of action. She or he works closely with the Head, Preservation and our colleagues in collection development and technical services to ensure thoughtful decision making and workflows for the repair, commercial library binding, care and reformatting of brittle materials, and contract preservation photocopying and boxing of materials. The Collections Conservator supervises and trains the conservation technicians and performs complex treatments for books held in the general collection.
The Collections Conservator works in close association with Preservation Office staff including the Head, Preservation and the Paper and Rare Books Conservators. As part of this team, and in close collaboration with curators throughout the Library, she or he contributes to the formulation of preservation priorities and strategies for housing Princeton University Library’s special and general collections materials and has oversight for their implementation.
The Collections Conservator plays a key role in ensuring that the department’s preventive preservation programs remain robust and responsive to staff and patron preservation needs as well as the wide variety of environmental conditions throughout Firestone, the branch libraries, Technical Services, and ReCAP—the library’s high-density preservation storage facility. The Collections Conservator is responsible for the on-going maintenance of the environmental monitoring and integrated pest management programs and the emergency response plan. In addition, she or he collaborates with the Rare Books and Paper Conservators and the Head, Preservation to provide advice and direction in the care and handling of library materials for both patrons and staff. This position reports directly to the Head of Library Preservation.
Essential Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree. At least five years bench experience at the professional level in an academic or research library general collections and/or conservation program. Two or more years managing a general collections conservation or similar program. Current knowledge of and experience in the ethics, practices, and techniques employed in the conservation of general collections of library research materials, including broad knowledge and experience in bookbinding and book conservation. Must demonstrate excellent treatment and decision-making skills and successful outcomes in general collections conservation; have excellent interpersonal skills and work effectively with staff at all levels within a highly complex organization; be able to work as part of a team with preservation and conservation peers and colleagues; and be able to work independently and plan and structure one’s supervisory, treatment and management responsibilities accordingly. Demonstrated and proven experience coordinating conservation treatment and preservation activities among a number of constituencies.
Preferred Qualifications: Advanced degree in book conservation through an accredited graduate or equivalent certificate program, formal apprenticeship, or equivalent experience. Six or more years’ experience working in an academic library. Three or more years supervising conservation support staff and managing a general collections or similar preservation program. Demonstrated experience with environmental monitoring, pest management, and/or disaster planning and response in a library or other cultural heritage environment.
An applicant who is chosen for an interview must present a portfolio of their work in general collections conservation, including samples of binding work.
Compensation and Benefits: Princeton offers competitive salaries and a comprehensive benefits program that is responsive to the needs of its diverse staff. The comprehensive benefits program includes health and life insurance coverage, pension benefits, flexible spending accounts, income protection in the event of short- and long-term disabilities, benefits for employee education, children’s tuition grants, as well as 24 vacation days a year, 9 holidays and 2 personal days.
Nominations and Applications: Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Applications will be accepted only from the Jobs at Princeton website: http://www.princeton.edu/jobs and must include a resume, cover letter, and a list of three references with full contact information. The position requisition number is: 1300611
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EMPLOYER.
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