Thursday, August 26, 2010

AIC Angel's Project Milwaukee 2010

For those who missed the announcements and posts this year's Angel's Project was held at the Milwaukee Historical Society on May 15th. More than 20 volunteers came to the Historical Society headquarters at the former Second Ward Savings Bank building. This year's project was to document, evaluate, and rehouse the Historical Societies photography collection. After a full day's work over 400 tintypes, ambrotypes, and daguerreotypes were assessed and rehoused for archival storage.

On a personal note this was my first Angel's Project and I didn't really know what to expect. I was apprehensive about this years project because as an architectural conservator I've never worked with photographs and was wondering if I would actually be of any help at all. I could not have been more wrong, there were volunteers who were professionally trained photography conservators paired with pre-program students with no experience. Meg Geiss-Mooney was my partner I sat down next to her and learned exactly what I needed to do my job, as well as hearing her great textile conservation stories about polyester Star Trek uniforms and the conservation of Princess Leia's golden bikini (yes, that bikini!).

Overall, the Angel's project was a great experience and one that I hope to be a part of for many years to come. Not only was it an opportunity to learn a lot about proper archival housing for early photographs, I had fun and felt good about donating my time to a worthy cause.

In addition to the pictures posted on flickr, this year ECPN made a short movie about the Angel's Project. I hope you enjoy and if anyone wants a copy just let me know.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Library Conservation Assistant at Columbia University

Position at Columbia

Conservation Assistant
Conservation Department
Columbia University Libraries

Position ID # 059246
(Technical Assistant VI)
Salary Grade: $652.21/week

This is a full-time union position with comprehensive benefits and
20 days paid vacation.

Duties: This position is split between rare and special collections
(80%) and general collections (20%). Under the direction of the Head
Conservator and the Special Collections Conservator, the
Conservation Assistant will perform basic paper conservation
procedures such as surface cleaning, washing, re-sizing and mending,
on materials from the Libraries' rare and special collections.
Duties will also involve creating protective housings for single
items and for collections, as well as cutting mats and making
cradles for exhibits. Will assist with environmental monitoring,
supply inventory, disaster response and treatment documentation.
Will also perform conservation repairs on selected general
collections materials, including sewing pamphlets, reattaching
boards, encapsulating maps and documents, repairing torn pages and
making protective enclosures. Depending on skill and aptitude may
also perform more complex binding repairs. Other duties as assigned.

Applicants are encouraged to provide a portfolio or examples of
previous conservation work. In the absence of a portfolio, the
applicant will be asked to demonstrate competence with certain
skills and techniques.

Requirements: Minimum one year full-time experience in conservation
of rare or valuable books and paper artifacts, in a library/archives
setting or in a private conservation studio, including experience
with protective housings and exhibit preparation. Applicants should
have well-developed treatment skills, experience with complex
binding and repair procedures, and be aware of current conservation
philosophy and ethics. Must be highly organized and flexible; good
communications and interpersonal skills essential. Must be willing
to work on a wide range of materials, performing detailed and
occasionally repetitive tasks. Requires operation of specialized
equipment (e.g. ultrasonic welder, fume hood, guillotine cutter) and
use of various chemicals under controlled conditions. Applicants
should be able to work standing up for extended periods of time,
lift moderately heavy objects, and to work with dusty library
materials. Must be able to pass medical exam for use of half-face
respirator. BA/BS preferred. Basic word processing, spreadsheet and
database skills will be helpful.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Those
received before August 31, 2010 will receive priority consideration.

Interested applicants must apply via:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Objects Conservation Position

North Carolina Division of Historic Sites
Objects Conservator
Durham, NC

Description of Work

Conservator provides examination, general treatment and documentation
of a wide range of organic/inorganic objects including: furniture,
glass, ceramics, books, paper, paintings, textiles and metal and
ethnographic objects belonging to the Div of NC State Historic Sites.
Performs object condition surveys, evaluates items for specialized
treatment, organizes treatment schedules, documents treatment via
photographs and written reports. Will maintain a comprehensive
computer-based tracking system for objects needing treatment. Also
assesses condition of new accessions and objects to be lent; develops
preventive conservation programs for sites and works with sites to
review disaster preparedness plans. Will monitor exhibit and storage
areas for temperature, humidity and light levels; prepare conservation
budgets as needed and purchase conservation equipment/supplies. Also
trains staff on proper care/handling of artifacts as requested and
assists with statewide emergency recovery.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

The ideal candidate will possess the following skills and abilities:
Demonstrated competence in the treatment of a wide range of object
types; computer literacy, including the ability to work with
collections database software, word processing and digital image
programs; excellent hand skills and attention to detail; highly
developed interpersonal skills; high standards of professionalism and
ethics; excellent research and writing skills; a working knowledge of
environmental monitoring techniques and integrated pest management
principles. The Conservator is part of the Div of Historic Sites
curatorial team that includes two curators and a registrar. The
position is supervised by the Chief Curator of the Div of Historic
Sites & Properties. The conservator will develop and maintain
professional relationships with other conservators and other
institutions such as the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) and
the North Carolina Museums Conference (NCMC).

Please see for the full position description information.