Application deadline: February 23, 2015
Apply at: https://employment.ku.edu/staff/2712BR
The Conservation Services Department provides leadership, coordination, expertise, and services within a comprehensive, system-wide program to preserve KU Libraries’ paper-based collections.
The Assistant Conservator for Special Collections will serve a central role in the Stannard Conservation Laboratory with primary responsibility for special collections held by Kenneth Spencer Research Library. This position, under the direct supervision of the Head of Conservation Services, helps manage and undertake a range of mission-critical daily operations of the Stannard Conservation Laboratory including: evaluating damaged collections; making treatment decisions and performing conservation treatments on special collections materials; providing exhibition preparation and support; undertaking conservation assessments and surveys; and participating in emergency preparedness and response operations.
Drafts treatment proposals and specifications, and provides basic time estimates for work to be undertaken, for rare books, manuscripts, archival materials, and other paper-based library collections.
Performs highly complex conservation tasks that require knowledge and expertise in multiple techniques to solve unique problems. Treatments applied in combination include but are not limited to conservation rebinding, rebacking and board reattachment; surface cleaning; aqueous washing and alkalization treatments; mending with various papers; lining; backing removal; tape and adhesive removal; matting and encapsulation; and enclosure construction.
Carries out proposed treatments and repairs to library and archival materials with minimal supervision and in accordance with accepted standards for conservation practice.
Documents treatments using a range of written and photographic techniques according to accepted standards for conservation practice.
Selects and uses appropriate specialized tools and equipment appropriate for the treatment, including, but not limited to: hand tools, book presses, board shear, guillotine, ultrasonic welder, and suction table; may also perform maintenance on this equipment.
Designs and constructs both simple and complex, custom-fitting enclosures for fragile materials bearing in mind the unique needs of those formats and their chemical interactions with the materials available for construction.
Assists in the preparation of library materials for exhibition. Fabricates simple and complex mounts. Assists with installation and de-installation.
Develops and implements workflows for conservation projects.
Assists in training staff, students, interns, and volunteers, as necessary.
Provides technical advice on the housing, storage, handling and repair of special collections.
Advises library staff on conservation principles and practices.
Serves on the Collections Emergency Response Team and assists with disaster preparedness and recovery operations following standard procedures.
Undertakes collection surveys to assess condition and prioritize conservation treatments, as necessary.
Assists with preventive programs such as environmental monitoring and pest management as needed.
Stays current with developments in the field of library and archives conservation.
Prepares, conducts, and participates in staff and public outreach and education efforts.
Participates in departmental meetings and planning activities, including departmental goal-setting.
Compiles statistics and prepares reports as appropriate.
Assists with equipping the conservation laboratories to meet current and anticipated future treatment needs. May order supplies, tools, and equipment as needed.
Participates in the broader work of KU Libraries by serving on committees, working groups, and task forces as appropriate.
Other duties as assigned.
- B.A. degree
- 1 year relevant experience, including training in book or paper conservation.
- M.A. degree from a recognized conservation training program or related field, or demonstration of a similar level of education and training required for the conservation of rare materials.
- A portfolio of relevant work if selected for interview
- Demonstrated knowledge of physical and chemical mechanisms of deterioration of library and archives materials.
- Demonstrated knowledge of the fundamentals, techniques, and history of book- binding, paper treatment, and conservation.
- Demonstrated knowledge of conservation ethics and practices relevant to research library and archival materials; commitment to the American Institute for Conservation’s Code of Ethics and Standards for Practice.
- Excellent manual dexterity and sustained concentration with delicate and occasionally repetitive tasks.
- Basic computer skills including word processing and use of spreadsheets.
- Competency in Adobe Photoshop and InDesign.
- Experience working in an academic research library.
- Experience managing conservation technicians or students.
- Experience evaluating and treating materials for digital imaging projects.
- Experience in exhibit preparation.
- Demonstrated record of continuing education in conservation through workshops, lectures, and conference attendance.
- Ability to communicate effectively about treatment options and decisions.
- Demonstrated ability to work independently.
Effective organizational skills.
For more information on Spencer Research Library’s collections, see: http://spencer.lib.ku.edu/