Photograph Conservator (Specialist III), New York Public Library (New York, NY, USA)

By Mary Oey posted 09-30-2019 13:58


Position at the New York Public Library -- Photograph Conservator (Specialist III)

The mission of The New York Public Library (NYPL) is to inspire lifelong learning, advance knowledge, and strengthen our communities and we rely on three great resources—our staff, our collections, and our physical and digital spaces—to provide opportunities for learning and growth. 

The photograph collection at the New York Public Library includes more than 6 million photographs diverse in subject matter, format and processes, and covering essentially the entire history of photography -- including very early experimental photographs -- through to the present day.

The Photograph Conservator position is located in the Library’s Goldsmith Conservation Lab, the staff of which consists of a team of conservators and technicians specializing in bound, flat, and photographic materials. The lab supports the special collections of NYPL’s research centers and provides conservation assessment, treatment, research, and training to advance the preservation of the collection and meet the conservation needs of the Library’s active exhibition, loan, and digitization programs.

Conservation at NYPL consists of two labs -- the Goldsmith Conservation Lab and the Collections Conservation Lab, both located at the Library Services Center in Long Island City, Queens -- under the Head of Conservation. Conservation at NYPL is a unit of Preservation and Special Collections Processing, responsible for the processing and cataloging, management, and preservation of the Research Libraries collections.

Specialists start at $61,237 per year and are eligible in 6 months for an increased salary of $66,955 based on successful job performance.

Principal Responsibilities

Reporting to the Head of Conservation (Senior Manager, Conservation and Collections Care), the Photograph Conservator:

  • Serves as the Library’s foremost expert on the conservation of photographic materials

  • Performs single-item and multi-item (batch) conservation assessment, treatment, and research on a wide range of photographic materials in accordance with the AIC Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice

  • Contributes to the development and refinement of the growing lab’s capabilities

  • Participates in training conservation interns and technicians

  • Engages the public and the library and conservation community through outreach

  • Performs other related duties as assigned

Required Education and Experience 
  • Graduate degree in conservation with focus on photographic materials

  • At least one year working experience after graduate school

  • Active membership in AIC and PMG Specialty Group

Minimum Qualifications
  • Strong organizational, analytical, and decision-making skills for successful multiple project management  

  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills

  • Demonstrated ability to productively collaborate with colleagues with different or unfamiliar expertise and perspective

  • Flexibility of mind and commitment to collaboration, growth, and improvement

  • Demonstrated treatment experience with the broad range of photographic processes used through the history of photography

  • Experience, knowledge, and judgment in collections emergency response for photographic materials

  • Experience or discipline to gain proficiency with the expected computer systems and software used by a conservation lab and by library and cultural heritage institutions

Preferred Qualifications
  • Conservation experience in a large research library, regional center, or busy private practice

For more information and to apply, please visit: