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Paper Conservator, Massachusetts Historical Society (Boston)

The Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) located in Boston, Massachusetts seeks a Paper Conservator.  This is a full-time (35 hours per week) position; Monday-Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.  The MHS is an independent, scholarly research library founded in 1791 for the threefold purpose of collecting, preserving, and disseminating sources for the study of American history.  The MHS holds more than 3,600 manuscript collections, as well as extensive collections of early American imprints, newspapers, maps, printed ephemera, photographs, engravings, and other research materials.

Duties:  The Paper Conservator is responsible for the hands-on conservation of paper-based (manuscript and print) materials employing a variety of techniques including cleaning, flattening, repair (both aqueous and non-aqueous), deacidification, tape removal, and mildew remediation; consultation with the Preservation Librarian and Vice President for Collections to assess condition and determine the most appropriate treatment; documentation of condition and treatments; and preparation of items from the collection for exhibition and digitization.  The Paper Conservator also will create enclosures, order supplies, and maintain the equipment and workspace in the conservation lab.  The Paper Conservator may also prepare condition reports for outgoing loans, assist with project planning and grant applications, conduct tours and presentations in the Conservation Lab for students and visitors, and supervise student interns and volunteers.  The successful candidate will be a member of the Collections Services Department and report directly to the Preservation Librarian.

The Massachusetts Historical Society is an equal opportunity employer. We aim to be a diverse workforce that is representative, at all job levels, of the citizens we serve. Candidates of all backgrounds are welcomed and encouraged to apply. We are committed to creating a work place free from harassment and discrimination on the basis of race, color, ancestry, religious creed, gender identity and expression, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age, genetic information, disability, military or veteran status, or any other category protected by law (also known as membership in a "protected class"). 


Master’s degree or Bachelor’s degree with coursework in paper conservation; a minimum of three years’ bench work with paper conservation of special collections material from a variety of time periods; an understanding of basic conservation principles and knowledge of current paper conservation techniques; proficiency using conservation equipment and tools; experience preparing materials for exhibition, including mounting and matting; and experience preparing condition and treatment reports.  The ideal candidate will also have experience supervising student interns and volunteers and giving demonstrations and tours of the lab to individuals and groups. The successful candidate must be flexible, self-motivated, and able to work independently.  S/he must possess strong planning and organization skills with an ability to prioritize and multi-task.  The ability to write clearly and succinctly and a strong attention to detail are essential.   

Full/Part Time

Full Time




The MHS offers a competitive benefits package and salary commensurate with experience.

Closing Date

March 31, 2020

How to Apply

Availability:  This position is available immediately.  Applications must be received by March 31, 2020.

Application procedure: Send a cover letter, resume, sample images and reports of conservation treatments, and the names of three references, preferably by email, to:

Katherine Griffin, Nora Saltonstall Preservation Librarian

Massachusetts Historical Society 

1154 Boylston Street 

Boston, MA 02215 


2020-03-09 |  Quick link to this job