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Assistant Conservator for Archival Materials

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American Philosophical Society

This entry-level position aids in the care of flat paper materials, which includes treatment for manuscripts, maps, ephemera, photographic materials, graphic works, and manuscripts on parchment.


  • Performs conservation treatment on primarily non-bound materials owned by the Library;
  • Provides written and photographic documentation in accordance with the AIC Code of Ethics (including examination, condition and treatment reports, and photographic documentation);
  • Participates and assists in preventive conservation activities including disaster recovery, pest management, minor mold remediation, environmental monitoring, and collection reviews;
  • Assists in the general maintenance and organization of the conservation laboratory;  
  • Assists in the preparation and display of materials for exhibition;
  • Keeps abreast of current developments in the conservation field;
  • Performs other duties as assigned. 

The minimum annual salary is $50,000, commensurate with experience. The Society offers a competitive benefits package including health insurance, life insurance, long term disability, 403b with the employer match, and paid days off.

About the American Philosophical Society: 

The American Philosophical Society (APS), the oldest learned society in the United States, was founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin for the purposes of “promoting useful knowledge.” In the 21st century, it serves to advance knowledge and promote scholarship in the humanities and social, mathematical, life, and physical sciences. Members of the Society are elected from among the most eminent scholars and civic and cultural leaders in North America and abroad. More than 100 living APS Members are Nobel laureates.

The Library & Museum’s collections make it among the premier institutions for documenting and exhibiting the history of the American Revolution and founding, the history of science from Newton to NASA, Native American languages and culture, and the development of American anthropology. The Library houses over 14 million manuscripts, 275,000 volumes and bound periodicals, 250,000 images, fine art, and other objects. Museum exhibitions interpret these extensive collections for the regional, national, and international visitors who come to Philadelphia’s historic district. In so doing, the exhibitions aim to nurture the spirit of inquiry, promote critical thinking, and engender enthusiasm for object-based learning by using primary source documents and authentic objects. The Library & Museum also hosts a robust fellowship program, offering over 25 short-term and 10 long-term fellowships each year to scholars using its collections.


  • Master’s degree from an accredited graduate training program in conservation;
  • Demonstrated working knowledge of conservation theory and practice;
  • Ability to wear a respirator and other personal protective equipment;
  • Ability to lift unprocessed boxed collections weighing up to 40 lbs;
  • Demonstrated computer skills including use of Microsoft Office Suite and Adobe Bridge/Photoshop. Experience with Mimsy XG a plus;
  • Demonstrated mastery of written and oral communication;
  • Demonstrated success in a wide range of conservation treatment procedures and techniques.

All APS staff, interns, fellows, and volunteers are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The American Philosophical Society is an equal opportunity employer, dedicated to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment on any basis including race, creed, color, age, sex, gender, religion, or national origin. The APS values diversity in its many forms and encourages diverse applicants to apply.

To Apply

To applly, upload a CV or resume, a cover letter explaining qualifications for and interest in the position, and a list of three references (not letters of reference, please) to Interfolio here:

Applications will be accepted through March 7, 2022. Please direct questions about this position to Anne Downey,