Rare Book Conservator
Position Available: This position is available as soon as possible. This is a 100% time, twelve month appointment Academic Professional position in the University Library.
Duties and Responsibilities
Reporting to the Head of Preservation Services, the Rare Book Conservator is responsible for the conservation treatment of rare and unique bound library materials, generally those requiring individual treatment, as well as keeping written records and photo-documentation of such work. The Conservator will perform complex conservation treatment on rare book and special collections materials including re-sewing; leather and vellum rebinding and binding conservation; gold and blind tooling; conservation of paper and parchment, including aqueous and chemical treatment, and the creation of custom protective enclosures for a variety of rare and archival materials. The Conservator will assist in the preparation of rare and special collections materials for exhibition including mount making, complete condition assessments, and assist in the management of preventative care. This position will provide conservation support to locations holding rare book and special collections materials by arranging workflow and identifying treatments in close consultation with collection managers and curators and by aiding in the development of care and handling guidelines for such materials.
The Rare Book Conservator supports the Conservation Program in general training and education programs, working with practicum students, interns, and volunteers, and may supervise hourly staff, graduate assistants, or interns as positions are available. This position will also advise digitization staff in the handling and necessary conservation of materials relating to digitization of rare book materials. The position also participates in overall conservation planning, program development, research, disaster planning and response.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Library is a leader in the delivery of user services, and active programs in information, instructional, access, and scholarly services help the Library to maintain its place at the intellectual heart of the campus. The Library also holds one of the preeminent research collections in the world, encompassing more than 12 million volumes and a total of more than 23 million items. The Library is committed to maintaining the strongest collections and service programs possible, and to engaging in research, development, and scholarly practice – all of which support the University’s missions of teaching, research, and public engagement. The Library employs approximately 90 faculty members, and more than 300 academic professionals, staff, and graduate assistants. For more information, see: http://www.library.illinois.edu/
The Preservation Services Unit at the University of Illinois Library operates with the holistic vision of developing a comprehensive preservation, conservation, and imaging program for the entire library system. The Conservation Lab consists of both collections conservation as well as special collections conservation functions in a shared 5,000 square foot lab space, and employs two endowed professional conservators as well as support staff, graduate students, hourly student assistants, volunteers and conservation interns. The Unit also assists in the education, planning and development of the overall preservation program for the Library. For more information on the Preservation Services program, visithttp://www.library.illinois.edu/prescons/.
Required: Extensive knowledge of book and paper conservation principles and practices; Extensive knowledge of the physical and chemical nature of books and paper, as evidenced by a graduate degree in conservation or in a related field such as history, art history, library science, museum studies, chemistry, materials science, and/or studio art; Demonstratedability to perform complex conservation treatments on rare books, as evidenced by a conservation portfolio; Extensive knowledge of the history of bookbinding; Excellent written and oral communication skills
Preferred: Two or more years of professional conservation experience; Experience working collaboratively in a research library and/or archives; Demonstrated experience in dealing with the intellectual issues involved in the use of research library collections; Supervisory experience; Experience with databases and integrated library systems; Working knowledge and practice of digital photodocumentation; Demonstrable experience working in exhibition preparation of book materials; Demonstrable experience training staff or public on conservation principles and practices; Knowledge of digitization practices as they relate to rare books and/or special collections materials.
Salary: Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and credentials.
Terms of appointment: Twelve-month appointment; 24 annual vacation days; 11 annual paid holidays; 12 annual sick-leave days (cumulative), plus an additional 13 sick-leave days (non-cumulative) available, if needed, each year; health insurance requiring a small co-payment is provided to employee (with the option to purchase coverage for spouse and dependents); required participation in State Universities Retirement System (SURS) (8% of annual salary is withheld and is refundable upon termination), with several options for participation in additional retirement plans; newly-hired employees are covered by the Medicare portion of Social Security and are subject to its deduction.
Campus and Community: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a comprehensive and major public land-grant university (Doctoral/Research University-Extensive) that is ranked among the best in the world. Chartered in 1867, it provides undergraduate and graduate education in more than 150 fields of study, conducts theoretical and applied research, and provides public service to the state and the nation. It employs 3,000 faculty members who serve 31,000 undergraduates and 12,000 graduate and professional students; approximately 25% of faculty receives campus-wide recognition each year for excellence in teaching. More information about the campus is available at www.illinois.edu.
The University is located in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana, which have a combined population of 100,000 and are situated about 140 miles south of Chicago, 120 miles west of Indianapolis, and 170 northeast of St. Louis. The University and its surrounding communities offer a cultural and recreational environment ideally suited to the work of a major research institution. For more information about the community, visit: http://illinois.edu/about/community/community.html or http://www.ccchamber.org/.
To Apply: To ensure full consideration, please complete your candidate profile at https://jobs.illinois.edu and upload a letter of interest, resume, contact information including email addresses for three professional references. Uploaded documentation (including image, pdf, or word-processing files) of three most significant treatments, or provide an external link to these in the cover letter. This document should be upload as “Writing Sample.” Applications not submitted through this website will not be considered. For questions, please call: 217-333-8169.
Deadline: In order to ensure full consideration, applications and nominations must be received by August 10, 2015.
Illinois is an Affirmative Action /Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity.