1616 Book and Paper Conservator

Website Minnesota Historical Society

#book conservation #paper conservation

JOB TITLE: #1616 Book & Paper Conservator

OPEN TO: This job is open to all applicants.

LOCATION: History Center – 345 W Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102

SALARY: $4,223.00 monthly minimum; commensurate with experience

STATUS & HOURS: Full-time, regular (approximately 2,088 annual hours) position.

BENEFITS: Eligible to participate in the State Employee Group Insurance Program and a retirement program with employer contribution. Generous vacation and sick time accruals with additional paid holidays.

DEPARTMENT: Collections

CLASSIFICATION: 11L Professional


HIRING MANAGER: Manager, Collections Management

POSTING DATE: May 27, 2022

DEADLINE DATE: Open until filled

TO APPLY: Interested applicants must apply online at the Minnesota Historical Society’s career center at www.mnhs.org/jobs and include a resume and cover letter by the application deadline date.

DESCRIPTION: This position exists to protect, preserve, and maintain collections items through conservation treatments and preparations for exhibition and loans. MNHS Conservators are responsible for formulating, recommending, and implementing policies, priorities, standards and procedures promoting long-term preservation and collections access. Conservators also provide skilled technical expertise and professional advice to internal and external clients.

SUMMARY OF WORK: 1) Develop and implement a variety of conservation treatments to protect and preserve collection materials; 2) Work collaboratively within the collection management unit; 3) Optimize the preservation of MNHS collections by maintaining a high level of familiarity with recent developments in the field of conservation and preservation; 4) Work with colleagues to monitor and maintain lab systems, equipment, supplies, and materials that ensure efficient and safe lab operations; 5) Increase general awareness of MNHS conservation work; and 6) Monitor and report on physical and environmental conditions related to storage, exhibition and transport.


● Bachelor’s degree in Art Conservation or related field.

● Five years conservation experience including conservation assessments, treatment, examination, identification, and analysis.

● Extensive knowledge of conservation theory, chemistry, and practice for manuscripts,

documents, bound volumes, photography and other paper-based items in the collections.

● Advanced and thorough knowledge in and experience with a wide range of techniques and procedures of book and paper conservation; preventive conservation, and remedial repair.

● Demonstrated ability to evaluate available scientific data so that the techniques and materials are proper for each item treated and its age, condition and projected use by MNHS.

● Demonstrated ability and patience to execute conservation procedures with a high degree of manual dexterity and constant attention to detail.

● Advanced and thorough specialized knowledge of deterioration processes in paper and related records materials and inherent vice for both natural and man-made materials present in recent and historic objects.

● Professional mastery of scientific analysis and reporting techniques and methods; and the demonstrated ability to apply them in various situations and problem-solving projections, including the identification of materials and the evaluation of conservation treatments.

● Specialized knowledge of historic and 20th century paper manufacture and of 19th and 20th century reprographic techniques.

● Knowledge of safe use and handling practices of laboratory equipment and materials; including hazardous and toxic chemicals.

● Knowledge of concepts and techniques used in photographic documentation of object conditions and treatment.

● Proven experience with standard digital conservation photography as well as computer proficiency with Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.

● Experience either supervising, mentoring, or providing work direction.

● Work effectively and inclusively with diverse people and groups both internally and externally.

● Demonstrated ability to work independently and take individual initiative while also being able to collaborate effectively and contribute positively in a team environment.

● Demonstrated ability to multitask, work effectively under pressure to meet deadlines, prioritize and adapt to changing priorities.

● Demonstrated ability to think imaginatively and problem solve.

● Communicate effectively and inclusively in writing, by phone, and in person with diverse audiences and constituencies.

● Engage audiences in public presentations including lectures, classroom presentations, or other venues.

● Valid driver’s license and willingness to travel.

● Ability to lift objects weighing up to 30 pounds; occasionally will lift up to 50 pounds with assistance if needed.


● Graduate degree or Certificate in Art Conservation.

● College level chemistry course work.

● Strong book and paper conservation hand skills.

● Skill and ability to coach and train staff.

● Demonstrated ability to exercise independent judgment in matters involving technical expertise.

● Demonstrated ability to organize work schedules, determine priorities, maintain supplies, and prepare reports, maintaining high productivity, high quality, and efficient work flow.

● Working knowledge of KE EMu.

Should you have questions with the application process, email humanresources@mnhs.org.

At MNHS, we don’t just accept difference — we celebrate it, we support it, and we thrive on diversity for the benefit of our employees, our products and services, and our community. The Minnesota Historical Society believes that an inclusive culture among our team members is critical to our success as a historical society and museum, and we seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. The Minnesota Historical Society is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and employer.

To apply for this job please visit www.mnhs.org.