Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fellowship - Conservation

Conservation Fellowship at Northwestern University Library

Program Description

Northwestern University Library is offering an advanced post-graduate
conservation fellowship for one year, with the possibility of funding for a
second year. The conservation fellowship allows a conservation professional
the opportunity to work on diverse special collections, including rare
books, paper, and parchment documents. The conservation fellowship includes
a research component ideally leading to publication or presentation at a
national conference. The fellowship also offers the unique opportunity to
visit and interact with conservators at other Chicago-area conservation labs
that work with a broad range of material including paintings, works of art
on paper, objects, textiles, and natural history specimens.

The conservation fellowship provides practical experience in a busy academic
library conservation lab balancing treatment responsibilities with
professional research activities. The Conservation Fellow will develop an
understanding of the functions and responsibilities of a research library
conservation lab working with special collections materials. There will be
the opportunity to gain bench experience, develop skills in treatment
decision making, and participate in the management of a complex workflow. In
addition, Northwestern's unique holdings allow the possibility to gain
experience in assessing and evaluating a variety of library and museum
objects including paintings, ethnographic objects, textiles, and realia.
Research topics will be developed in consultation with the Special
Collections Conservator at the beginning of the fellowship and could include
treatment techniques, materials identification, or historical studies. In
addition, there is the potential for project work including needs assessment
surveys and other preventive preservation activities.

Institution Description

Northwestern University, established in 1851, is one of the leading private
research universities in the United States with an enrollment of
approximately 15,800 students. The University is located on the shores of
Lake Michigan in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois. Northwestern University's
libraries hold over 5 million volumes. With collections of international
standing in Music, Transportation, and African Studies, Northwestern's
libraries have also been at the forefront of innovation in library
technology and advanced user services. One of the top-ranked universities
in the country, Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and
pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment that transcends
traditional academic boundaries. Northwestern provides students, faculty and
staff with exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal, and
professional growth.

Established in 1984, the Preservation Department oversees all aspects of the
care, treatment and reformatting of the collections on the Evanston and
Chicago campuses. The Preservation Department consists of 12 full-time staff
members responsible for a broad range of preservation activities, including
shelf preparation, vendor-based operations such as binding and mass
deacidification, preventive programs such as pest management and
environmental monitoring, and the conservation treatment of both general and
special collections materials. Recent special collections conservation
projects have included the treatment and rehousing of 14th century parchment
documents, lining replacement on a mid 19th century oversize wall map, and
the repair of a 17th century vellum over wooden boards binding. Upcoming
projects will include repair of a collection of early 19th century
scrapbooks, treatment of a large collection of Arabic manuscripts, and the
repair and rehousing of a collection of William Blake prints.

Position Description

Working under the supervision of the Special Collections Conservator, the
Conservation Fellow evaluates and treats special collections materials.

In consultation with librarians, curators, and archivists, the Conservation
Fellow examines and develops treatment specifications for special
collections materials. The Conservation Fellow performs a broad range of
conservation treatments on rare books, manuscripts, prints, drawings, maps,
and other unbound archival and special collections materials on paper and
vellum. Treatment includes the preparation of condition and treatment
reports with an appropriate level of photo documentation.

The Conservation Fellow conducts condition surveys and assists in the
development of action plans for special collections.

The Conservation Fellow stays current with new developments in the field of
library conservation and conducts research related to an area of interest
identified at the beginning of the fellowship. Research should be of a
quality that would result in a publishable paper or presentation at a
national conference and would ideally include collaboration within
Northwestern or with staff at one or more of the many Chicago-area
conservation labs.

The Conservation Fellow may assist other professional staff in the
department, including the Department Head, Preservation Librarian, and
Conservation Librarian, with additional surveys, preservation education and
outreach initiatives, exhibits-related projects, and disaster response


Required: 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, materials science, and the history of bookbinding and
conservation. 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.
Applicants will be asked to submit a portfolio of recent conservation

Preferred: Work experience in a recognized research library conservation

Salary: Annual stipend of $43,000. Position available September 1, 2010.
Northwestern University offers a comprehensive benefits plan, including
health care and tuition benefits.

To Apply: Send letter of application including current research interests
and resume, including names of three references, to Scott W. Devine, Head of
Preservation, Northwestern University Library, 1970 Campus Drive, Evanston,
Illinois 60208-2300 or Review of applications
will begin immediately and continue until position is filled. Interviews
may be scheduled at the AIC 2010 Annual Conference. Northwestern University
is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Employment eligibility
verification required upon hire.


Scott W. Devine
Head of Preservation
Northwestern University Library
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston, Illinois 60208
tel. 847.491.4672
fax. 847.491.8306