Job Opening: Harry Ransom Center (Univ. of Texas at Austin)

Associate Director – Associate Director and Head of Preservation and Conservation

To provide leadership and direction for conservation initiatives of the Harry Ransom Center, to manage its conservation and preservation activities, to oversee three labs dedicated to book, paper, and photograph conservation, as well as a preservation unit, and to serve on the senior leadership team of the Center.

Essential Functions
Manage the Ransom Center Preservation and Conservation Department of approximately nine staff members, oversee departmental activities, and manage the departmental budget and grant administration. Consult with the Ransom Center curators, librarians, and archivists to establish conservation priorities, balancing institutional priorities with the needs of the active exhibition and loan program of the Center. Investigate new strategies and technologies to address challenges to long-term preservation and access. Maintain an effective disaster recovery plan and conduct periodic training and drills to ensure preparedness for a variety of threats to the collections of the Center. Train and educate the staff of the Center about proper handling of collection materials. Serve on the Ransom Center senior leadership team. Conceive of and develop funding proposals for project-based initiatives that further the collection care goals of the Center. Advise the Ransom Center Director and the Building Manager on maintaining an optimum preservation environment for the diverse formats of materials housed by the Center. Represent conservation priorities in long-range space planning and capital improvement projects. Cultivate a culture of innovation and continuous improvement and foster the ongoing growth and professional development of the highly skilled conservators of the Center.

Required qualifications
ALA-accredited MLS or Master’s degree in conservation of library and archival materials. Equivalent combination of relevant education and experience may be substituted as appropriate. Five or more years experience leading a conservation lab or program with evidence of increasing responsibilities, including managerial experience. Demonstrated knowledge of conservation principles, practices, and procedures and knowledge of standards and systems for recording and managing conservation documentation. Demonstrated ability to use excellent interpersonal communication skills to work collaboratively with curators, librarians, or archivists and other colleagues. Record of successful service within the national conservation community. Record of giving presentations to diverse, public audiences. Excellent oral and written presentation skills.

Preferred Qualifications
Eight or more years of experience as a book, paper, or photograph conservator. More than five years of experience managing a conservation department and hiring and supervising staff. Demonstrated experience developing successful funding proposals. Demonstrated experience building relationships with donors. Experience training or educating interns. Experience developing or participating in the development of a conservation program or lab.

The full description including salary and application information can be found online at

Exhibit of Rare Books at University of Dayton (Dayton, Ohio)

I had the opportunity to get a sneak peak at the new exhibit at the University of Dayton’s Roesch Library this weekend. If you are anywhere near Dayton in the next five weeks, I encourage you to drop by. It is an amazing collection of books and writing from papyri to fine bindings. From the press release:

Some of the rarest books in the world will be on display at the University of Dayton this fall, from authors like Austen, Chaucer, Copernicus, Marie Curie, Shakespeare and Mark Twain.

“Imprints and Impressions: Milestones in Human Progress” will feature first editions, manuscripts, galley proofs, papyri and illustrations spanning the scholarly spectrum from philosophy to physics. The free, public exhibit runs Sept. 29 through Nov. 9 in the Roesch Library first-floor gallery on the University of Dayton campus.

Johannes Kepler, “Astronomia Nova (New Astronomy),” Heidelberg or Prague, 1609. First edition.

The books and manuscripts are on loan from Stuart Rose, a Dayton-area businessman who has assembled one of the most accomplished collections of its kind in private hands, said rare book expert Nicholas Basbanes, author of several books, including A Gentle Madness, about book lovers and the lengths collectors go to find their treasures.

Basbanes said “Imprints and Impressions” is a rare opportunity to glimpse manuscripts and early editions that are often kept out of public view in private collections or locked in rooms at libraries.

“I don’t recall an exhibition quite like this in recent memory, certainly not one as comprehensive in scope as this, and with all the material coming from one private collection,” Basbanes said. “Stuart Rose has collected grandly, and in many areas. Most collectors of any consequence aspire to have at least one great book on their shelves. He has dozens, and there is nothing that is trivial or insignificant.”

Basbanes will kick off the exhibit with a lecture at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 29, in the Kennedy Union ballroom, followed by the public opening of the exhibit in Roesch Library. His address is one of more than 18 events around the exhibit expanding on co-curricular learning through talks, workshops and performances, with many open to the public.

For links to the amazing online exhibit, hours and directions, and other information, see the Roesch Library website.

Workshop: Photo Conservation for Book and Paper Conservators

From PADG, a post by Gawain Weaver that we wanted to pass along.

Photograph Conservation for Book and Paper Conservators

October 14-17, 2014
Duke University Libraries
Durham, NC

Instructors: Gawain Weaver and Jennifer Olsen

Course Description

Libraries and archives collect more than books and manuscripts. Textiles, digital files and audio-visual materials are common in collections. Photographs are probably the most-represented media after paper-based objects, but their value is usually to the collection as a whole not as individual artist’s prints. Conservators working in libraries and archives are charged with their care, but often feel they don’t have the knowledge and skills to address basic conservation issues at the collection level. In this class, conservators will learn basic cleaning, stabilization, and repair techniques for 19th and 20th century photographic prints and negatives. While the focus will be on practical treatment skills, there will also be basic instruction about the history and composition of photographs, and housing and exhibit strategies.
Basic process identification will not be covered in depth. Though it is not a prerequisite, a Care and Identification of Photographs workshop is taught several times a year in the U.S. and internationally and provides a solid foundation for this more advanced course.


4-day workshop, mix of lecture and hands-on instruction, 4-day schedule available on request

Who Should Attend

This class is taught at an intermediate to advanced level. Participants should have experience in book or paper conservation in evaluating condition, making treatment decisions, and performing intermediate to advanced level conservation treatments.

What’s Included

4-days of instruction, color workshop notebook, a variety of damaged photographic materials for workshop treatment and take home, 60x handheld microscope. Participants should bring their own tools though some will be provided.

How To Apply

Application deadline July 1st, responses sent by July 15th.

Send CV and a brief letter explaining your reasons for attending the workshop to Mid-career experience level in book or paper conservation strongly preferred. Applications accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis after the deadline if there is still space in the workshop. Workshop registration and materials fee of US$1500.00 payable upon acceptance.

Gawain Weaver
Photograph Conservator
San Francisco Bay Area
tel 415.446.9138

We ran this workshop last year for the first time at the Huntington Library. It went very well and we got a lot of positive feedback from participants. We’re running it again this year at Duke University with only minor modifications based on last year’s experience. Although it may run again in the future in the US there are no plans to do so at this time.


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In the News: Nicholas Basbanes on the enduring importance of paper | WaPost

“On Paper,” Basbanes’s ninth book, was supported by a grant from the NEH. Although it was only published Oct. 14, the author noted proudly that it’s already gone into a second printing. Yes, on paper.

via Nicholas Basbanes on the enduring importance of paper.

Preservation Statistics Survey: FY2012 Report

Sixty-two institutions completed this pilot survey to document preservation activities in U.S. libraries, museums, archives, and other cultural heritage institutions.  Picking up the ball and moving it down the field from where the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) left off when the Preservation Statistics program was discontinued in 2007, the report examines how respondents are organizing and administering traditional and digital preservation programs and chronicles their preventive preservation (disaster planning, environmental monitoring, outreach and education), conservation, and reformatting / digitization activities.  Additionally, the report assesses trends in the preservation programs of academic and research libraries in the five year span between the last ARL Preservation Statistics Survey in 2007 to this pilot survey in 2012 based on the responses provided by the thirty-four Association of Research Library (ARL) members who participated in this pilot survey.  

Find the report — including links to the survey data — online as a Google Doc:

Also find our temporary online home for the Preservation Statistics project (including helpful links to related preservation surveys and the latest news about the upcoming FY2013 Preservation Statistics Survey) at:

The FY2013 Preservation Statistics Survey will be released in January 2014 and open through March 2014.  The survey questionnaire will not change much from the pilot FY2012 survey; instead, the focus will be refinement of the Instructions and Definitions and improvements to the online survey form to create a better user experience.  Additionally, the FY2013 survey will likely be open only to U.S. libraries.  As a model of success is developed with ALA and the library community, plans include collaboration with SAA, AAM, and others to more broadly document and analyze cultural heritage preservation activities. 

Please contact the Preservation Statistics Survey team with any questions or feedback:

MIT Libraries Announces New Conservator

The MIT Libraries are delighted to announce that Jana Dambrogio will join our staff in September as the Thomas F. Peterson (1957) Conservator. In this role she will manage MIT’s special collections conservation program–planning and executing conservation treatments for the physical maintenance of rare books, archives, and manuscripts. She will also contribute to the Libraries’ overall preservation strategy. Dambrogio comes from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) where she has been a senior conservator since 2004. In addition to her work at NARA, she brings an impressive array of experience from consultancies, fellowships, and internships at other well-known national and international institutions.

See the MIT Libraries News blog for details.

Job Opportunities, Apply Now!

From the Conservation Distlist, instance 27:3. For more information, go directly to these institution’s job sites.

Senior Book Conservator
The Pennsylvania State University Libraries

The Pennsylvania State University Libraries seeks an experienced and talented Senior Book Conservator to expand its conservation program, first initiated in 2005. The Libraries has received a $1.25 million challenge grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support this program and fund the position. The funding received from the Mellon Foundation includes $1 million in permanent endowment funds and $250,000 to establish the new position while the University Libraries raises matching funds for the endowment, which will support the position permanently.

Reporting to the Head of the Digitization and Preservation Department, the conservator will provide leadership for the conservation unit in item-level treatment of paper-based rare and special collection materials in consultation with curators, archivists, and collection managers. We seek a conservator with professional expertise in bound materials with additional expertise in related areas such as maps, prints, drawings, manuscripts on paper, photographs, and other library and archival materials.

This is a senior-level position requiring extensive professional experience, preferably in a research library environment. The Senior Book Conservator will be located at Penn State University Park in State College, PA, but will care for collections residing at all Libraries locations. The position will be filled either as a tenure-line or fixed-term faculty librarian position, depending upon the interests and qualifications of the successful candidate.

To Apply: Send a letter of application, resume, and the names and contact information of three professional references to

Search Committee
The Pennsylvania State University
511 Paterno Library
University Park PA 16802

Applications and nominations may also be sent to lap225 [at] psu__edu. Please reference Box CONSR-AIC in the email subject line.

Review of candidates will begin on June 28, 2013 and continue until
the position is filled.


The Mary R. and Elizabeth K. Raymond Conservator and Head of Conservation Services Stanford University Libraries

Stanford University Libraries Preservation Department is conducting a search to fill the position of Head of Conservation Services. Under the direction of the Head of the Preservation Department, the Head of Conservation Services plans, directs, and executes the daily activities of the unit, supporting the needs for both special and general collections across Stanford University Libraries (SUL).

The Head of Conservation Services will be responsible for redesigning protocols and workflows and for implementing technical tools to mitigate the operational complexities resulting from the September 1, 2013 move of the Unit seven miles from campus. The Head of Conservation Services is responsible for managing Conservation Services as it responds to campus teaching and research priorities.

Please apply online (Job # 10077808)

The position is a dual rank listing, and will be filled at the 3P2 or 3P3 level depending upon experience and education.

Contact for more information:

Kate Elena Contakos
Head, Preservation Department
Stanford University Libraries


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