Senior Book and Paper Conservator

Location US-NY-Manhattan
Job ID
# of Openings Remaining
PTM Conservation Lab


The Selecting Committee will begin reviewing applications on June 1, 2020.

The mission of The New York Public Library is to inspire lifelong learning, advance knowledge, and strengthen our communities and we rely on three great resources—our staff, our collections, and our physical and digital spaces—to provide opportunities for learning and growth. 


With over 2.5 million visitors per year to the Library’s historic Fifth Avenue building alone, exhibitions at NYPL represent a significant way for the public to discover the Library’s world-renowned collections.


The Senior Book and Paper Conservator position is located in the Library’s Goldsmith Conservation Lab, the staff of which consists of a team of conservators and technicians specializing in bound, flat, and photographic materials. The lab supports the special collections of NYPL’s research centers and provides conservation assessment, treatment, research, and training to advance the preservation of the collection and meet the conservation needs of the Library’s active exhibition, loan, digitization, and acquisition programs.


The Senior Book and Paper Conservator reports to the Head of Conservation, who oversees the Goldsmith Conservation Lab and the Collections Care Lab, both located at the Library Services Center in Long Island City, Queens. Conservation at NYPL is a unit of Preservation and Special Collections Processing, responsible for the processing and cataloging, management, and preservation of the Research Libraries collections.


Principal Responsibilities

Reporting to the Senior Manager (Head), Conservation, the Senior Book and Paper Conservator:


  • Coordinates and oversees Conservation’s work in support of the Library’s exhibition and loan programs
  • Manages and supports the continued development of the Conservation Technician (1 FTE)
  • Serves as liaison to the Exhibitions Programs Office and to curatorial units to establish work priorities
  • Performs multi-item (batch) and single-item conservation assessment, treatment, and research predominantly for book and paper special collections selected for exhibition or loan in accordance with the AIC Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice
  • Develops and refines the lab’s processes and capabilities
  • Trains conservation interns 
  • Promotes professional and public community participation in preservation through outreach
  • Performs other related duties as assigned


The position involves lifting boxes of collections, operating equipment, and exposure to solvents, dust, and mold.

Required Education & Experience

  • Graduate degree in Conservation with a focus on books and paper
  • Demonstrated experience in the conservation treatment of bound and flat special collections 
  • Demonstrated experience in conservation workflows in support of exhibition of special collections
  • Demonstrated project management experience
  • At least 3 years conservation working experience after graduate school

Minimum Qualifications

  • Strong management, interpersonal, communication, and decision-making skills, including effectively managing others and evaluating work
  • Demonstrated ability to productively collaborate with institutional colleagues, including those with different, even unfamiliar, expertise and perspective
  • Full range of conservation treatment, stabilization, and preparation of library special collections for exhibition and loan 
  • Fluency with Google Suite and with other computer systems and software used by conservation labs
  • Familiarity with library systems and the fundamental concepts of information science

Preferred Qualifications

  • Teaching experience

All team members are expected and encouraged to embody the NYPL Core Values:

  • Be Helpful to patrons and colleagues
  • Be Resourceful in solving problems 
  • Be Curious in all aspects of your work

Work Environment

  • Conservation laboratory setting
  • Office setting
  • Special collections/research library setting

Physical Duties

  • Limited physical effort is required
  • Light lifting required
  • Lifting up to 40 lbs. Required
  • May require travel within NYC


M-F, 9-5

Union / Non Union

Non Union


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