Conservation Internship

The conservation internship was established in 2020 to provide training opportunities for emerging professionals in the field of book and archives conservation. The internship is held at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts.

About AAS
AAS Founded in 1812, the American Antiquarian Society is a learned society that supports a preeminent national research library dedicated to the preservation of the printed record of the United States through the year 1900, serving a world-wide community of scholars.

The Library features a state-of-the-art conservation lab built in 2018, to care for its collections, which consist of close to 4.5 million newspapers, books, graphic arts objects, and manuscripts.

Internship description
This internship program will allow participants to work in the Society’s conservation department. The goal of the internship is to afford emerging conservation professionals hands-on experience by actively participating in a wide range of conservation and preventative care activities in a rare book library setting.

Depending upon the candidate’s area of expertise and interest, activities may include

  • examination, conservation treatment, and documentation of paper-based collection material, both bound and single-sheet items
  • collection management and housing
  • preservation activities such as environmental monitoring and disaster preparedness
  • examination, conservation treatment, and documentation of paper-based collection items

To achieve these goals, the intern will work closely with departmental and/or pertinent library staff, under the supervision of the Chief Conservator.

The Conservation Intern will be part of a lively community of AAS conservators, curators, and librarians, as well as a cohort of other summer staff from various departments. The intern will also be able to engage with AAS fellows, scholars, and staff, through lunchtime colloquia and weekly staff talks.

Additionally, the Conservation Intern will have the opportunity to attend regional professional events and programs offered by New England Conservation Association (NECA).

Internship qualifications
Preferred candidates will be enrolled in a graduate program in conservation and have a demonstrated interest in the profession of library & archives or paper conservation. The applicant will have completed one full year of professional training prior to commencement of the AAS internship. Consideration may be given to experienced pre-program applicants. The successful candidate will possess excellent hand skills and attention to detail.

Language skills
Ability to read, understand, speak and write in Standard English. Ability to communicate effectively in English with individuals in person, over the telephone, and via the printed word.

This is a non- exempt, full-time position, generally 35 hour per week, 9am – 5pm Monday – Friday. Typically, the 6–8-week internship will take place between May through August.

Housing provided
AAS can provide on-site housing, free of cost, to interns who are over the age of 21 by the date the internship starts. We will also require residents to adhere to any COVID-related protocols in place at that time, which may include a current vaccination.

Additional Information
Conservation of a Fragmentary Early Menagerie Poster by 2020 conservation intern Abby Slawik.
Splitting Paper in the AAS Conservation Lab by 2021 conservation intern Emma Hartman

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