The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Margaret Herrick Library seeks a Conservator to work with collection managers as part of the team overseeing the care of the library’s collection. The Library has extensive and comprehensive research collections on the subject of motion pictures including 1,400 manuscript collections, 10 million photographs, 46,000 posters, 15,000 pieces of production art, 30,000 books and pamphlets, and more than 3,500 periodical titles. The Conservator is the lead conservation staff member for the library's archival collections and oversees a part-time conservation technician as well as contract technicians. The conservator reports to the Graphic Arts Librarian. The Academy is currently fund-raising for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, set to open in early 2017. In addition to the Library collections, the Academy's activities also include an exhibition department which is scheduled to bring in two exhibitions in the coming fiscal year; and the care and maintenance of a three-dimensional artifact collection.
Duties and Responsibilities:
- Works with collection managers to maintain the library's collections for storage, research and exhibition. Makes recommendations for the handling and storage of collection items as needed. Propose, implement, and document conservation treatments. Discusses the details and implications of treatments with collection managers. Maintains treatment documentation in an Inmagic database.
- Oversees the conservation of all library materials being loaned for exhibition. Participates in exhibition preparation and installation including condition reporting and treatments. The library has a busy exhibition loan schedule and the Conservator works with collection managers to determine the suitability of items requested for loan. Oversees the work of preparation staff during installations.
- Works with staff to manage specialized housing of manuscript (primarily scrapbooks) and periodical collection items.
- Monitors and records environmental conditions of collection vaults. Works with facilities and building managers to troubleshoot problems as needed.
- Oversees museum quality framing and installation of posters from the library's collection for exhibition in the Academy's buildings.
- Researches, hires and supervises contract conservators/technicians as needed for special projects.
- Provides planned and ad hoc guidance and training on aspects of conservation for library staff.
- Organizes and maintains supply inventories for the laboratory in accordance with appropriate health and safety guidelines. Sources preservation and storage materials for other departments as needed. Performs maintenance on specialized conservation tools and equipment. Works with Office Manager on plans for disaster recovery. Is prepared to assist with disaster recovery operations following standard recovery procedures.
- Consults with departments outside of the library to solve conservation or preservation related problems as needed. Researches contract conservators and makes staffing recommendations for these projects.
- Networks with others in the conservation field for advice and professional development. (This is only by invitation of the LAPNet board)
Qualifications and Requirements:
- Preference will be given to applicants with a graduate degree from a recognized conservation training program plus three to five years professional experience working with a wide range of library materials.
- Demonstrated ability to develop and carry out conservation treatments on a wide range of library materials including photographs, objects, and textiles. Familiarity with preservation issues and collections management in research libraries. A portfolio of relevant work is required.
- Knowledge of paper repair treatments such as mending tears and losses with heat set tissue and Japanese tissue and wheat starch paste, aqueous/non-aqueous washes, dry cleaning techniques, mechanical backing removal, flattening and humidification, lining and solvent work for adhesive removal.
- Knowledge of making enclosures appropriate for various types of material.
- Knowledge of basic photographic repair including mending, cleaning and tape removal. Some understanding of photographic processes and history of photographic materials.
- Knowledge of basic book repair including tip-ins, inserts, sewing/re-sewing and case repairs.
- Knowledge of solvent usage in conservation treatments and the safety measures required when storing and using these chemicals.
- Ability to handle basic conservation lab equipment including board shears, ventilation hood and tools need to perform the above tasks.
- Knowledge of lighting, temperature and environmental conditions appropriate for materials on exhibition.
- Strong organizational, communication, interpersonal and supervisory skills required.
- Strong computer skills including experience with the PC platform and databases
- Ability to handle heavy and awkward sized materials.
- Framing and matting experience highly desirable.
- Reliable attendance and punctuality, accuracy, attention to detail and diligent performance. Ability to interface with staff members from multiple departments with varying levels of conservation knowledge.
- Ability to handle multiple tasks with hard deadlines simultaneously.
- Ability to work effectively and constructively with collection managers as part of a team.
- Pleasant personality and sense of humor.
Please submit your cover letter and resume to:email@example.com