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Conservation Technician, Harvard University (Cambridge)

Harvard University

Conservation Technician
Harvard Library

Job Summary

Under the supervision of the Collections Conservator for Harvard Library and according to established treatment procedures and production standards, the Conservation Technician contributes to the conservation of general/circulating collections in Harvard Library.
Position Description

  • Evaluates damaged and deteriorated materials and performs appropriate conservation treatments using established procedures and meeting production standards, including repairing and rebinding books; cleaning, flattening, and mending paper; and constructing custom enclosures and exhibit supports. Uses established techniques that promote quality and productivity. Keeps accurate statistics on all treatments performed.
  • Prepares library materials for preservation reformatting.
  • Handles all materials in a manner consistent with preservation policies and established library practices.
  • Performs routine laboratory maintenance procedures.
  • Contributes to unit goals by accomplishing related duties as required including: response to emergencies involving library materials, participation in team projects, and assisting with condition surveys.
  • Demonstrates open and honest communication, an attitude of respect and inclusion, and a positive approach in carrying out duties and responsibilities. Participates in the resolution of problems.

Basic Qualifications

  • Experience in conservation, bookbinding or relevant field.
  • High school diploma or equivalent required.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Excellent communication skills required, both oral and written.

  • College degree preferred.

  • Demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, belonging and antiracism.

  • Solid analytical and problem-solving skills.

  • Ability to perform repetitive work tasks with accuracy, effectiveness, and attention to detail.

  • Superior manual dexterity and demonstrated ability to work with a high degree of precision in a production setting.

  • Capacity to read and interpret bibliographic data and other written records/documents.

  • Ability to work collaboratively, initiate and adapt to change, and to be flexible.

  • Ability to prioritize multiple tasks and work productively in a team environment with minimal supervision.

  • Experience with Microsoft software preferred.

Physical Requirements

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Position requires the ability to handle sharp tools and small instruments, work in a fume hood, climb step stools and small ladders, and operate heavy equipment (board shears, book presses, power cutters, etc.)
  • Position requires the ability to match colors during conservation treatment work.
  • Using appropriate safety measures, tasks may involve exposure to dust and mold or the use of light solvents.
  • Some tasks involve standing for extended periods and/or bending, walking, and sitting.
  • Position may require lifting and transporting items up to 40 pounds.

Working Conditions

  • The position is based on onsite in Cambridge, MA. There may be the opportunity for a flexible or hybrid work model compliant with Harvard University remote work policies.
  • Work is typically performed in one of multiple conservation spaces.
  • The noise level is usually moderate.
  • Exposure to dust and mold possible.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Across the Harvard Library, our work is enriched by our diverse campus community. Our unique and wide-ranging abilities, experiences, and perspectives are integral to achieving Harvard University's mission of excellence in research, teaching, and learning for our patrons, our collections, and our workplace. We believe that an inclusive environment that cultivates and promotes understanding, respect, and collaboration across our diverse workforce enables our success.

We invite individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and abilities to be a part of our community of over 700 staff members. Our work with faculty, students and researchers to explore answers to intellectual questions, enduring and new, and to seek solutions to the world's most consequential problems, requires that we not only reflect, but also champion our diverse society.

Harvard Library inspires collaboration, reflection, experimentation, and discovery connecting users to related disciplines and to University-wide teaching resources. The Library engages users through curated discovery, digital collections, reimagined physical space, and specialized research support. Today, Harvard Library's holdings range from traditional print collections to rapidly expanding access to digital resources. Harvard Library provides the University's faculty, students, and researchers-now and in the future-with exceptional experiences and comprehensive access to these materials.

Learn more about our contributions to the academic enterprise by visiting us at and about the Harvard University community at

The Harvard Library is a proud member of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Diversity Alliance.

Job Function

Sub Unit

USA - MA - Cambridge

Harvard Library-Collections Care

Time Status

55 - Hvd Union Cler & Tech Workers

Pre-Employment Screening
Criminal, Education, Identity

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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Full/Part Time

Full Time



Salary Range

$46,166.00 - $52,000.00  / year

Closing Date


How to Apply

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2023-03-13 |  Quick link to this job