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Conservation Technician, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

School/Unit: Harvard Library/Collections Care

Department: Preservation Services

Full or Part Time: Full Time

Hours Per Week: 35

Start and End Dates: June 3-August 30, 2019

Schedule: Monday-Friday, between 8am and 5pm


Under the supervision of the Collections Conservator and according to established treatment procedures and production standards, contributes to the conservation of general/circulating collections by performing the following duties:

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Constructs or modifies appropriate protective enclosures for fragile and/or vulnerable library materials. Uses established techniques that promote quality and productivity. Keeps accurate statistics on all treatments performed.
  2. Uses labeling program to create accurate labels for protective enclosures or books.
  3. Handles all materials in a manner consistent with preservation policies and established library practices.
  4. Performs routine laboratory maintenance procedures.
  5. Performs quality assurance checks on materials returning from the commercial library bindery.
  6. 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

  • High school diploma or equivalent required.
  • Excellent communication skills required, both oral and written. Legible handwriting.
  • College degree preferred

Additional Qualifications

  • College degree preferred
  • Formal or on-the-job training in bookbinding or book conservation preferred
  • Capacity to read and interpret documents such as bibliographic data
  • Solid analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work with a high degree of accuracy and precision in a production setting
  • Ability to work collaboratively, initiate and adapt to change, and be flexible
  • Ability to prioritize multiple tasks and work productively in a team environment with minimal supervision
  • Ability to perform repetitive work tasks with overall accuracy, effectiveness and attention to detail
  • Experience with MS Windows-based software preferred

Physical Demands

  • Regularly lifting and moving loads weighing in excess of 40 pounds.
  • 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.)
  • Use of appropriate safety measures, as tasks may involve exposure to dust and mold or the use of light solvents
  • Standing for extended periods and/or bending, walking, and sitting
  • Ability in close vision and color vision
  • Routine use of photocopiers, scanners, and computers

Work Environment

  • Work is typically performed in one of multiple conservation spaces
  • The noise level is usually moderate
  • Exposure to dust and mold possible

To apply, send cover letter and resume to

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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