Senior Conservation Technician

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Cornell University Library
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Application deadline: 
Friday, 22 October, 2021 - 00:00

Cornell University Library is pleased to announce a new posting for a Senior Conservation Technician in our Conservation Lab (link to apply here-please note special application instructions.)

Cornell University was founded in 1865 with a mission to offer educational opportunities for any person on any subject. Reflecting this mission, Cornell Library's diverse rare and distinctive collections feature 500,000 rare books, 80 million manuscripts, and photographs, and historic artifacts, with strengths in American, European, and Asian History and Culture, Science and Technology, Sexuality and Gender, and Music.

Under the supervision of the Head Conservator, and consulting with the Conservator for Rare and Distinctive Collections, the Senior Conservation Technician will contribute to the preventive care and conservation treatment of the special, rare, and distinctive collection holdings of Cornell University Library. The focus of this position will be archives collections (paper documents, architectural drawings, maps, posters, artifacts, photographs, pamphlets, scrapbooks and similar bound materials), as well as participation in digitization projects, housing initiatives, the exhibition program, and occasional outreach. Duties will include routine tasks like surface cleaning, humidification and flattening, stabilization, and constructing enclosures. The Senior Conservation Technician will join the team of conservators, another senior conservation technician, and student assistants, and work collaboratively with digitization staff, librarians, curators, archivists, and technical services staff.

Required qualifications include a Bachelor's degree and 1-2 years supervised conservation experience with library and archives collections (paper, bound, and/or photographic materials, or combination) under the direction of a trained conservator in a conservation lab setting. The full list of required and preferred qualifications are included in the link:

The safety and well-being of applicants and our team members is of the utmost importance. Because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we anticipate conducting initial and final interviews via Zoom. At final interviews, candidates will be asked to present examples of their work in the form of a digital portfolio.

This position is located in Ithaca, New York. The successful applicant will be expected to work on the Ithaca campus, although they may be permitted to perform a portion of their work remotely on occasion while the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Salary: $21.58/hour minimum; 39 hours/week; hourly rate will be based on the qualifications and experience of the selected candidate. Visa sponsorship is not available for this position. Relocation assistance is not available for this position.

Benefits: Our comprehensive benefits package includes vacation and paid holidays, health insurance, life insurance, university retirement contributions, childcare and adoption assistance, and child tuition reimbursement. Funding is available to support professional development. More information regarding Cornell's generous benefits can be found here.

Diversity and Inclusion:
Cornell University Library embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented identities to apply. Cornell University Library is a member of the ACRL Diversity Alliance, which unites academic libraries who are committed to increasing the hiring pipeline of qualified and talented individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.

How to Apply: Candidates must apply online via the Cornell Careers site. Use the external applicants button for position WDR-00027958. Incoming applications will be reviewed until a viable pool of applicants is identified; submission prior to October 22, 2021 is strongly encouraged. Please submit one document (pdf preferred) that contains:

1. Cover letter. The cover letter must include one paragraph describing past, present, and/or future aspirations for promoting equity, inclusion, and diversity in your career to convey how you see these commitments continuing at Cornell.
2. Resume
3. Representative images and brief descriptions, or an external link, of 3 conservation treatments and/or rehousing projects, surveys, enclosures, models, or similar.

Environment: Ithaca, New York is scenic (with over 150 waterfalls), vibrant (wineries, festivals, restaurants, and a terrific farmer's market), and repeatedly ranked as a great place to live. The Cornell University Library Conservation Lab, founded in 1985, is located in Olin Library on the Arts Quad of the Ithaca, New York campus. The Conservation Lab supports the mission of Cornell University Library by ensuring the longevity of, continued access to, and discovery of the Library's diverse physical collections, through a comprehensive and strategic program of specialized expertise, proactive stewardship, and collaboration. The Conservation Lab and its staff are well-equipped to preserve and protect the rare and distinctive, and circulating collections, including bound materials, paper-based collections, photographic collections, artifacts, and A/V media, with a focus on maintaining historical, evidentiary, aesthetic, and/or research value. Conservation Lab staff engage in on-going training to meet the current and developing needs of the collections, have deep knowledge and experience in the preservation of all collection formats, and utilize nationally accepted, specialized materials, techniques, and methods to preserve and protect CUL physical library collections. The Conservation Lab works closely with unit libraries across campus, digitization and AV preservation staff, curators, archivists, and technical services staff, supporting the lifecycle of collections at Cornell University Library. To learn more about the Conservation Lab, please visit our website (, Facebook page, and our Conservation Blog. The Conservation Lab follows the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice.

Cornell University is located on the traditional homelands of the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' (the Cayuga Nation). The Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' are members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, an alliance of six sovereign Nations with a historic and contemporary presence on this land. The Confederacy precedes the establishment of Cornell University, New York State, and the United States of America. We acknowledge the painful history of Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' dispossession, and honor the ongoing connection of Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' people, past and present, to these lands and waters.