Islamic Manuscript Project Conservator - Princeton University Library

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Princeton University Library (PUL) seeks an enthusiastic, skilled, and collaborative Project Conservator to support an ambitious initiative to digitize rare Islamic manuscripts. PUL is one of the world's leading research libraries, serving a diverse community of 5,200 undergraduates, 2,600 graduate students, 853 faculty members, and many visiting scholars. Its holdings include more than 7 million printed volumes, 5 million manuscripts, 2 million non-print items, and extensive collections of digital text, data, and images. PUL employs a dedicated and knowledgeable staff of more than 300 working in a large central library, 9 specialized branches, and 3 storage facilities.

Major Responsibilities

Reporting to the Asst. University Librarian for Preservation & Conservation, the Islamic Manuscript Project Conservator works within the Preservation & Conservation Department to provide essential, skilled support for PUL's high-profile project to digitize 1700 Islamic manuscripts. The incumbent assesses manuscripts selected for digitization, identifies condition problems, and makes plans for stabilization; consults with staff on special handling or other requirements for safe digitization of fragile materials; works with project colleagues to manage the flow of material being assessed; examines, proposes, and carries out conservation treatments on a range of bound and unbound manuscript materials in Middle Eastern, North African, and European formats; creates written and photographic documentation of conservation treatment; collaborates with project team to develop and carry out a detailed post-digitization survey of the materials and construction of manuscripts of interest; and uses analytical tools as needed to identify materials and methods. The incumbent also attends meetings of the project team and provides regular updates to stakeholders, and participates in Preservation & Conservation Department activities and initiatives.

Required Qualifications

  • Master's degree in conservation or related subject area with certificate in conservation, with a specialization in book or paper conservation, or equivalent training and experience
  • Demonstrated knowledge of conservation science, analytical techniques, preventive conservation principles, and conservation ethics
  • Demonstrated skill in conservation treatment of paper-based library and archival collections, including basic knowledge of and experience with book formats common to Islamic manuscripts
  • Experience with planning and carrying out condition surveys
  • Aptitude with MS Office and G Suite tools
  • Outstanding interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to plan, prioritize, multi-task, and meet deadlines
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships
  • Ability to stand for hours at a time, to lift 40+ pounds, and to work in an environment which includes exposure to materials containing possible dust and mold
  • Availability for occasional travel and evening/weekend shifts as necessary
  • Must successfully pass a background check

Preferred Qualifications

  • Advanced knowledge of and experience with book formats common to Islamic manuscripts
  • Previous academic library experience
  • Experience with digitization projects
  • Reading knowledge of Arabic (Persian or Ottoman Turkish would also be useful)

This is a 12 month non-renewable post. The successful candidate will be appointed to an Associate Professional Specialist or more senior rank depending upon qualifications and experience.

Apply Here

Applications received by November 29, 2021 will receive first consideration. 

Princeton University is an  Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.  EEO IS THE LAW.