Conservation Resident | Northwestern University

Posted on Feb 7, 2024

Conservation Resident

Department: Preservation
Reports to: Chief Conservator
Location: Evanston Campus

Northwestern University Libraries offer an advanced post-graduate conservation residency (previously called a fellowship) for a two-year appointment, September 1, 2024 - August 31, 2026. The conservation residency provides practical experience in a busy academic library conservation lab balancing conservation treatment responsibilities with professional research activities and an opportunity for supervisory experience.

Description of Duties: Working under the supervision of the Chief Conservator. The Conservation Resident’s role has three major components: conservation treatment and housing, an independent research project, and a supervisory project.

The Conservation Resident performs a broad range of conservation treatments on rare books, manuscripts, prints, drawings, maps, and other unbound archival and special collections materials. Treatment includes the preparation of condition and treatment reports with an appropriate level of photo documentation. Anticipated projects for 2024-2026 may include 19th and 20th c. West African Arabic and Ajami manuscripts, 20th century American manuscripts, and 19th century printed railroad materials.

The Conservation Resident stays current with new developments in the field of library conservation and conducts research related to an area of interest. Topics may include treatment techniques, materials identification, or historical studies. Research should be of a quality that could result in a paper, poster, or presentation. Research projects of previous Residents include: Melina Avery’s Ozalids in the Music Library: Life before XeroxRoger William’s Optically Cleared Repair Tissues for the Treatment of Translucent Papersand Graham Patten’s Yellow Pigments in the ‘Umar Falke Collection at Northwestern University.

The Conservation Resident will be assigned a long-term supervisory project in which they will develop a treatment plan, consult with the curator, prepare a budget, order needed supplies, and lead a team in the execution of a large treatment and housing project. Previous projects have included treatment and housing of about 100 17th-20th century American and European maps and treatment and housing of about 1,300 posters from the Siege and Commune of Paris.

The Conservation Resident may assist other professional staff in the department with surveys, preservation education and outreach initiatives, exhibits-related projects, and disaster response initiatives.

Library Environment:

Northwestern University is a highly selective private university with campuses in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois and in Doha, Qatar. One of the leading private research libraries in the United States, Northwestern University Library serves the educational and information needs of the NU community as well as scholars around the world. Its collection contains more than 7 million volumes, a full array of digital resources, and collections of distinction in Africana, transportation, and 20th-century and contemporary music. Northwestern is a member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA). See more information about University Libraries at:

Equal Opportunity:
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.


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. 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.


Annual stipend of $50,000 plus benefits. Northwestern University offers a comprehensive benefits plan, including health care and other benefits. Funds for professional development vary annually but are typically around $2,000, pending approval.


Northwestern University
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

How to apply

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

As per Northwestern University policy, this position requires a criminal background check. Successful applicants will need to submit to a criminal background check prior to employment.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled with first round interviews expected in late February. Applicants selected for an interview will be asked to submit a portfolio of 3 recent conservation treatments.

To view the job posting and/or apply for the job, click here

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