Project Conservator (term) (Princeton, NJ, USA)

By Paid Job Ads posted 04-29-2019 11:35


Princeton University Library (PUL) seeks an enthusiastic and collaborative Project Conservator to support digitization and collection move projects within the Library’s Preservation & Conservation Department. PUL is one of the world’s leading research libraries, serving a diverse community of 5,200 undergraduates, 2,600 graduate students, 853 faculty members, and many visiting scholars. Its holdings include more than 7 million printed volumes, 5 million manuscripts, 2 million non-print items, and extensive collections of digital text, data, and images. PUL employs a dedicated and knowledgeable staff of more than 300 professional and support staff working in a large central library, 9 specialized branches, and 3 storage facilities.  

Major Responsibilities
Reporting to the Preservation Librarian, the Project Conservator provides essential, skilled support for high-priority projects. This one-year term position focuses on assessment and conservation treatment required for digitization and collection moves. 

The Project Conservator assesses material selected for digitization, identifies condition problems, and makes a plan for stabilization; consults with Digital Studio staff on special handling or other requirements for safe digitization of fragile materials, and manages the flow of material being assessed; collaborates with Preservation & Conservation Department colleagues to develop condition surveys for collections being moved; carries out condition surveys and develops action plans for safely moving collections; identifies and prioritizes material requiring conservation treatment or housing; carries out housing and stabilization projects to prepare collections to be moved; examines and carries out conservation treatments on bound and unbound materials from both Western and Eastern traditions, and creates thorough written and photographic treatment before, during, and after treatment. Finally, the Project Conservator attends meetings of project planning teams and provides regular updates to stakeholders and to the Preservation Librarian; and participates in Preservation & Conservation Department activities and initiatives.


  • Master’s degree in conservation or related area with certificate in conservation, specializing in book or paper conservation, required before start date
  • Demonstrated knowledge of conservation science, analytical techniques, preventive conservation principles, and conservation ethics
  • Demonstrated skill in conservation treatment of paper-based library and archival collections
  • Experience conducting housing and storage projects and planning and carrying out condition surveys
  • Aptitude with MS Office and G Suite tools
  • Outstanding interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to plan, prioritize, multi-task, and meet deadlines
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships
  • Ability to stand for hours at a time, to lift 20+ pounds, and to work in an environment which includes exposure to materials containing possible dust and mold
  • Availability for occasional travel and evening/weekend shifts as necessary
  • Must successfully pass a background check 


  • Previous academic library experience
  • Experience with collection moves
  • Experience with East Asian book formats and conservation treatment of Asian papers
  • Knowledge of one or more foreign languages

The term of this position is one year with the possibility of renewal depending on project needs.

The successful candidate will be appointed to an Associate Professional Specialist or more senior rank depending upon qualifications and experience.

To apply visit: received by Monday, June 3rd will receive first consideration.

Princeton University is an  Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. EEO IS THE LAW.