Conservation Resident - Northwestern University

Northwestern University Libraries offer an advanced post-graduate conservation residency (previously called a fellowship) for a two-year appointment, September 1, 2020 - August 31, 2022.  The conservation residency provides practical experience in a busy academic library conservation lab balancing treatment responsibilities with professional research activities.  There will be the opportunity to gain bench experience, develop skills in treatment decision making, and research a topic of interest.  

Description of Duties:

Under the supervision and tutelage of the Chief Conservator, 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 2020-2022 may include binding repair on a 1656 imprint of The common-wealth of Oceana, mending of 19th and 20th c. Arabic manuscripts, and repairs to a 19th c. atlas including the Grand Canyon.  

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.

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.


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. The conservation resident is eligible to apply for professional development support funding; available amounts vary annually but are typically around $2,000.

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 recent conservation treatments.

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.