Job Posting: Book & Paper Conservator, Washington University, St. Louis MO

The Conservator performs a wide range of conservation treatments on unique and rare paper-based collections under the direction of the Librarian Supervisor and in collaboration with Missouri History Museum. Materials to be worked on include books, art on paper, archival documents, oversize materials manuscripts, albums, maps, and other flat work. The Conservator evaluates damaged collections; makes treatment decisions; provides exhibition production support; prepares material needing treatment for digitization; undertakes conservation assessments and surveys; and participates in emergency preparedness and response operations. The Conservator may eventually be located at the Missouri History Museum’s existing conservation lab (1.5 miles or 6 min. from the Danforth Campus).

  • Plans, documents, and executes conservation treatments for books and paper-based materials in accordance with accepted standards and the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice.  Treatments include but are not limited to conservation rebinding, rebacking and board reattachment; surface cleaning; aqueous treatment to wash and/or deacidify; mending and/or lining; tape and adhesive removal; removal of mold and residues; consolidation and fixing; removal of backings; matting and encapsulation. Designs and makes custom-fit enclosures for fragile objects. Examines and creates full written and photographic treatment documentation. Determines equipment and lab needs.
  • Assists in preparation of library materials for exhibition. Fabricates simple mounts in consultation with the Exhibits Developer and other staff. Constructs or modifies protective enclosures and exhibit supports for fragile and/or vulnerable library materials.
  • Participates in disaster response, recovery, and salvaging operations and environmental monitoring assistance as needed.
  • Stays current with conservation issues and practices through research, professional conferences, workshops, or similar activities.

Other duties as assigned

Required Qualifications

Master’s degree from a recognized conservation-training program or equivalent conservation experience.

  • Performs treatments and documentation according to accepted standards.
  • Excellent manual dexterity and ability to perform delicate work with sustained concentration.
  • Demonstrates excellent written and verbal communication skills and the ability to work independently.
Preferred Qualifications

Previous experience working at a conservation facility and extended, formal apprenticeship under a conservator.  Two to three years professional experience preferred.

  • Strong knowledge of the history of book structure, bookbinding, printing, writing, paper conservation and papermaking materials and techniques.
  • Working knowledge of chemistry and materials science.

More information and application:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *