Boston Athenaeum

10 1/2 Beacon St.
Boston, MA 02108

Date Posted:
October 30, 2018

Eastern Massachusetts



Book Conservator


The Boston Athenæum seeks an experienced full-time Book Conservator to join the Conservation team. The Book Conservator will perform conservation treatments on bound and unbound paper-based materials from the collections of the Boston Athenæum and will support the work of the Boston Athenæum across all departments. The ideal candidate is a good multi-tasker and is highly organized with demonstrated project management and communications skills. The Book Conservator reports directly to the Chief Conservator and works collaboratively with all members of the Conservation team.


  • In consultation with the Chief Conservator, executes structural and aesthetic conservation treatments on bound and unbound paper-based materials, including rare books, manuscripts, archival documents, maps, prints, and works of art on paper.
  • Exercises a high degree of judgment in applying established conservation principles and procedures.
  • Documents treatments of rare materials with full written and photographic documentation, in accordance with the Code of Ethics of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.
  • Participates in planning of project goals and workflow.
  • Collaborates on digitization projects.
  • Participates in public presentations, lab tours, and development events, as needed
  • Participates in disaster response and recovery.
  • Assists in exhibition preparation and installation, and prepares condition reports for exhibited, loaned, or borrowed collection materials.
  • Assists in training interns, fellows, and/or volunteers.
  • Conducts other duties as assigned.
  • Submit to and pass a background check, including criminal history, personal references, employment verifications and Registry of Motor Vehicles (if applicable).
  • Graduate degree or professional training in the conservation of books and archival documents, or equivalent experience.
  • 5 years of work experience in the conservation of paper-based items, preferably in a museum or library conservation department setting.
  • Advanced knowledge of conservation theory and practice, historical book structures, and the deterioration and conservation of paper-based materials.
  • Expert hand skills including manual dexterity, color acuity, and sensitivity for objects.
  • Demonstrated success performing single-item conservation treatments on both bound and unbound special collections materials.
  • Familiarity and experience with preventive conservation practices.
  • Ability to work independently and to exercise initiative and judgment in planning and carrying out conservation functions.
  • Strong interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills.
  • Proficiency with database and digital imaging software preferred.
  • Commitment to fostering a workplace culture of teamwork, diversity, and inclusion.
  • May be required to work nights and weekends.
How To Apply:

Please send a cover letter and resume, including current availability, to

The Boston Athenæum is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage individuals of diverse backgrounds to apply and are committed to hiring individuals who value a diverse and inclusive work environment.

Apply by:
November 30, 2018
About this Organization:

Founded in 1807 as “a fountain, at which all, who choose, may gratify their thirst for knowledge,” the Boston Athenæum has evolved into a beloved subscription library, specializing in history, biography, literature, and art. 5,000 Households maintain active memberships in the Athenæum, and enjoy a range of services from individualized reference assistance to superb children’s programming, from discussion groups to curated selections of digital and print resources. Tourists and scholars from around the world consult the quarter-million rare items in the collection, which includes George Washington’s personal library; an important collection of early American portraits; rich holdings related to the Civil War and documenting New England’s built environment; and the Athenæum’s own historical archives, attesting to the institution’s role in American arts and letters. Each year, the Athenæum offers hundreds of cultural programs— including lectures, concerts, performances, exhibitions, and tastings—within its exquisite National Historic Landmark structure, widely regarded as one of the most beautiful libraries in the world.