Job Opening: NYU Goldsmith Preservation & Conservation Dept.

Preventive Conservator
Barbara Goldsmith Preservation & Conservation Department
New York University Libraries

Position Summary

The Barbara Goldsmith Preservation & Conservation Department at New York University Libraries seeks a dynamic, skilled, and knowledgeable conservator to administer and manage a preventive conservation program for the NYU Libraries’ archives and special collections.

Under the general supervision of the Conservation Librarian, the Preventive Conservator will: develop and administer preservation policies and procedures for the proper care, handling, storage, and reformatting of book and document collections held in the Library’s three special collections; work with curators to identify preservation priorities and initiate preservation projects to address preservation needs of collections; make decisions regarding appropriate preservation treatments for the collections; establish guidelines for collection care and use; coordinate with the Division of Libraries Media Preservation Unit Head, Special Collections Conservators, and the Digital Library Technology Services department to promote alignment of project initiatives with other preservation and conservation activities.

        The Preventive Conservator will maintain an active, daily workflow for preservation projects between the three special collections; hire and supervise project staff (students and/or administrative employees); oversee orders and purchases of supplies for preservation projects; communicate with vendors for external preservation services, such as mass de-acidification; write grant proposals for preservation purposes; and manage the environmental monitoring program in the Bobst Library, Institute of Fine Arts (IFA) Library, Cooper Square Storage Facility, and Clancy off-site storage facility, which includes reporting findings on a monthly basis to the department head and curators and alerting building managers to issues as well as tracking resolutions. Additional responsibilities are to design and execute preservation assessments and surveys of archival collections; gather and analyze condition data; liaise with off-site and near- off-site collection storage location staff to ensure proper and safe storage conditions for special collections are maintained; participate in the Library’s emergency preparedness and response program, including maintaining emergency equipment/supplies and participating in the training of staff in emergency response procedures.

Required Education

Graduate degree in conservation or related subject area with certificate in conservation.

Required Experience

Demonstrated professional accomplishments and a minimum of two years professional working experience in archives and special collections. Experience must include a minimum of two years’ supervising staff. Must have experience in developing, designing, and carrying out condition surveys and assessments, experience in preservation and collections care techniques, as well as demonstrated skills in basic conservation treatments, such as simple document repair, humidification and flattening, mold remediation, and constructing custom-made enclosures.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Knowledge of current conservation strategies and standards for the care, handling, and storage of special collections is required. A deep understanding of conservation ethics and methodology and familiarity with archival theory and management is required. Knowledge of current developments within the archives, special collections, preservation, and conservation professions is expected. Ability to work independently and collegially with a wide range of staff and in team environments. Must possess excellent written and oral communication skills and show a commitment to professional issues demonstrated through interest in local or national committee work, research, or publication. Exhibit strong project management, analytical skills, and problem-solving abilities.

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Preferred candidates will also have enhanced computer skills and will be familiar with XML, MODS, METS, MARC/EAD, DACS and the Archivists’ Toolkit.

New York University Libraries: Libraries at New York University serve the school’s 40,000 students and faculty and contain more than 5 million volumes. The Libraries support NYU’s vision to become the first true Global Network University by collaborating and providing services to our 11 global academic centers and our first “portal campus,” at NYU Abu Dhabi. New York University Libraries is a member of the Association of Research Libraries, the OCLC Research Library Partnership, and the Digital Library Federation. The Libraries participate in a variety of consortia and collaborates closely with the New-York Historical Society and the Brooklyn Historical Society. For the NYU Libraries Mission and Strategic Plan, visit:

New York University Libraries Special Collections

NYU’s Fales Library & Special Collections houses the general special collections of NYU as well as the Downtown collection; the Marion Nestle Food Studies collection; the Riot Grrrl collection; and the Berol Collection of Lewis Carroll. The span of materials includes rare books and manuscripts, photographs, audio and audiovisual media, art objects, scrapbooks, and other ephemera. All aspects of the collection are used heavily by the University community and external researchers, as well as for teaching purposes. The Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives form a unique, internationally-known center for scholarly research on Labor and the Left. The Tamiment book, document, print, photograph, film, and oral history collections describe the history of the labor movement and how it relates to the broader struggle for economic, social, and political change. The New York University Archives serves as the final repository for the historical records of the institution. Its primary purpose is to document the history of the University since its founding in 1831, and to provide source material for administrators, faculty, students, alumni, and other members of the University community, as well as scholars, authors, and other interested persons who seek to evaluate the impact of the University’s activities on the history of social, cultural, and intellectual development in America.

Barbara Goldsmith Preservation & Conservation Department

The Barbara Goldsmith Preservation & Conservation Department is located along the east wing of lower level 2 in Elmer Holmes Bobst Library. The primary purpose of the department is to preserve, protect, and thereby extend the usable life of the NYU Libraries’ collections. The department pursues this objective in accordance with the mission and goals of the Libraries and nationally recognized standards for preservation and conservation of library and archival materials. The department is responsible for the following activities: commercial binding, conservation treatment, disaster preparedness and response, environmental monitoring, media preservation, and staff and patron education.

Salary/Benefits: Salary commensurate with experience and background.

To Apply: To ensure consideration, please apply using the following link:

Applicant review will begin on January 4, 2016; the position will remain open until filled.

NYU’s Division of Libraries embraces diversity and is committed to attracting qualified candidates who also embrace and value diversity and inclusivity. NYU is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.


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