Job Summary:Northwestern University Libraries offer a two-year full-time Project Conservator position. Under the supervision of the Chief Conservator,the Project Conservator will work with and assist conservation staff on two major endeavors:
19th Century Bookbinding Material Research Project – Northwestern is working on a multi-year research project to identify green pigments used in 19th century binding and page edges. Research is focused on identifying volumes created using pigments containing arsenic and other heavy metals. Major responsibilities include tracking books, identification of heavy metals using XRF (X-Ray Florescence), housing and labeling books, performing photographic and written documentation, and training staff on safe handling. Experience working with XRF, hazardous materials, and databases is needed. Completion of Environmental Health and Safety Training with NU’s Risk Management Office will be mandatory.
Digitization Projects – Many anticipated digitization projects require both pre- and post- digitization treatments. Treatments may include surface cleaning, flattening of rolled or creased papers, mending of tears, adhesive removal, and disbinding of books. Some treatments may be more complicated and require advanced conservation training. Collections surveys and creation of related reports will be needed.
Qualifications: Master's degree in library science or associated field, with an emphasis on conservation training, or equivalent combination of education and relevant experience. Knowledge of current conservation principles and practices, material science, and the history of bookbinding and conservation. Experience working with XRF, hazardous materials, and databases is needed. Demonstrated ability to perform high quality conservation treatments on special collections materials, primarily book and paper, and to communicate effectively about treatment options and decisions. Ability to push/pull loaded book trucks and lift a minimum of 30 pounds.
Salary: Annual stipend starting at $55,000 plus benefits. Northwestern University offers a comprehensive benefits plan, including health care and other benefits. The Project Conservator is eligible to apply for professional development support funding; available amounts vary annually but are typically around $2,000. This is a two-year, full-time faculty librarian, term appointment.
To apply: Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, and the names of three references. Please apply for this position on the NUHR Recruitment Website. In your application, feel free to note which pronouns you use. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Applicants selected for an interview will be asked to submit a portfolio of recent conservation treatments. This position is not eligible for remote work. First consideration for applications received by March 06, 2023.
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Northwestern University is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on three campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Education City in Doha, Qatar. We have approximately 2,500 full-time faculty members, 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and over 5,700 full and part-time staff. Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.