Preventive Conservator (Princeton, NJ, USA)

By Paid Job Ads posted 05-01-2019 23:35


Princeton University Library (PUL) seeks a skilled, knowledgeable, and innovative Preventive Conservator to administer and manage preventive conservation of PUL’s extraordinary collections. 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 Preventive Conservator works collaboratively to ensure long-term preservation of PUL’s general and special collections. The Preventive Conservator takes primary responsibility for collections management activities including: environmental monitoring & management, integrated pest management, collection housing & storage projects, and condition surveys; collaborates with Preservation & Conservation colleagues to plan for and respond to collection emergencies, to carry out materials testing & analysis, to manage collection moves, and to develop departmental and Library-wide policies and workflows in areas including transporting collections, digitization, digital preservation, and health & safety; performs condition assessments and occasional conservation treatments in area(s) of expertise; designs and conducts research on preservation & conservation materials, techniques, and topics according to departmental needs and professional interest; and serves as a key resource for Library staff seeking guidance on collections care topics including providing outreach and training as appropriate.

  • Master’s degree in conservation or related area with certificate in conservation
  • Demonstrated knowledge of conservation science, analytical techniques, preventive conservation principles, and conservation ethics
  • Demonstrated skill in conservation treatments in area of specialization
  • Experience conducting housing and storage projects and with planning and carrying out condition surveys
  • Aptitude with MS Office and G Suite tools
  • Interest in and experience with library and/or archival collections
  • 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


  • Major or minor in preventive conservation at the graduate level
  • Two years’ post-graduate professional experience
  • Previous academic library experience
  • Experience or familiarity with digital preservation best practices
  • Experience providing training in collections care to non-specialists
  • Experience with collection moves
  • Track record of engagement with professional organizations, including presenting and publishing in appropriate venues
  • Knowledge of one or more foreign languages
  • Peer-reviewed status with the American Institute for Conservation

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

To apply visit:

Applications received by Monday, June 3, 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.