Preventive Conservator

New Jersey, United States
04 May 2019
End of advertisement period
04 Jul 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

Preventive Conservator

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.