The Conservator for Special Collections, with a focus on the conservation of bound material, will plan and execute a wide range of conservation treatments and construct protective enclosures for rare library and archives collections, as well as participate in digitization projects, housing initiatives, the exhibition program, condition surveying and collection assessment, and occasional instruction. The Conservator for Special Collections will join the team of conservators, senior conservation technicians, and student assistants, and work collaboratively with digitization staff, librarians, curators, archivists, and technical services staff. This position will require academic contributions to the field of conservation through and participation in professional communities within Cornell and beyond.
With the Head Conservator, recommend, develop, and prioritize treatment, preventive, and housing solutions for individual items and collections, with a focus on the conservation of bound material, as part of collection management, digitization, exhibition, and instruction
Treat and house a broad range of rare library and archives materials, with a of condition concerns, using a variety of techniques and materials, with a focus on the conservation of bound materials
Participate in digitization projects including assessment of treatment, handling, and equipment needs
Participate in the exhibition program (assessment, treatment, and mount construction); plan and conduct enclosure projects as needed
Participate in environmental monitoring; disaster preparedness and response; and instruction, research outreach activities
Provide functional supervision for student employees and conservation technicians as needed
Assist with conservation planning and program development; maintain statistics and documentation
Contribute professionally through participation in professional organizations, working groups, research, publication and presentations
MLIS, or a Master's degree in conservation or other relevant discipline
2-3 years of professional experience working in a library/archives conservation
Advanced knowledge of current conservation principles and practices
Advanced knowledge of the history, fabrication, and conservation treatment of library/archives collections, knowledge of historic and modern book structures, sewing styles, and bookbinding; knowledge of a variety of conservation treatments for bound materials, including leather; familiarity with the wide-ranging material formats and concerns of archives collections
Advanced knowledge of the chemical and physical properties of library/archives collections; advanced understanding of causes of deterioration
Excellent manual dexterity and attention to detail
Excellent oral and written communication skills
Excellent interpersonal skills; demonstrated ability to work both independently and as part of a collaborative team
Creative and flexible problem-solving skills; ability to adapt to changing priorities; excellent time and workflow management; ability to meet deadlines
Proficiency digital photography, databases, and Microsoft programs
Active engagement in professional development, seeking relevant training and education
3-5 years of professional experience working in library/archives conservation
Advanced progression in independence, complexity, and mastery of conservation tasks
Workflow and project management experience
Supervisory experience of student employees, interns, or staff
Ability to apply and adapt knowledge and skills to a variety of tasks
Experience with collection management; survey projects; large scale enclosure projects; projects; digitization projects
Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.
Environment: Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery and engagement. One of the leading academic research libraries in the United States, Cornell University Library is a highly valued partner in teaching, research, and learning at the university. With an operating budget of over $58 million and a diverse and innovative staff of more than 400, the Library provides significant collaborative opportunities in support of 2,700 faculty, 22,000 students and 94 PhD fields. Its world class collections, expert librarians, and responsive services in physical and virtual library spaces inspire and nourish scholarship and learning. Cornell University Library is a member of the ACRL Diversity Alliance.
The Cornell University Library Conservation Lab, founded in 1985, supports the Library's mission to preserve knowledge and creative expression. The Conservation Lab conserves physical materials in their original format and ensures that library materials are safe during research use, instruction, exhibition, and digitization. The Conservation Lab, well-equipped for rare book, paper, and photograph conservation, circulating book repair, and film assessment, is located in Olin Library on the Arts Quad of the Ithaca, NY campus. The Conservation Lab works closely with unit libraries across campus, digitization and AV preservation staff, curators, archivists, and technical services staff, supporting the lifecycle of collections at Cornell University Library. Conservation staff reach out to both the local and international communities to train and to advise others about a wide range of conservation topics, including safe handling of collections, basic book repair and disaster preparedness and response. To learn more about the Conservation Lab, please visit our website, Facebook page, and our Conservation Blog. The Conservation Lab follows the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice.
Salary and benefits: Our comprehensive benefits package includes 22 vacation days, 12 paid holidays, health insurance, life insurance, and retirement, as well as a generous array of programming to support families and well-being. Professional travel funding is available. More information regarding Cornell's generous benefits can be found at this link. The anticipated academic rank for this position is Assistant Librarian or Senior Assistant Librarian, with an anticipated salary range of $52,500 to $60,000. The offer will be dependent on the skills and experience of the selected candidate.
How to Apply: Candidates must apply online via the Cornell Careers site. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until a viable pool of applicants is identified; submission prior to March 20, 2020 is strongly encouraged. Please submit one document (PDF preferred) that includes:
full contact information for three professional references
images, descriptions or external link of 2 or 3 significant treatments or projects
Applicants invited for an interview will be asked to present a portfolio of recent conservation treatments.
University Job Title:
Senior Assistant Librarian
Pay Rate Type:
Number of Openings:
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