Project Book Conservator (Sion College Collection)

Posted 1 month agoExpires in 15 days
Lambeth Palace Road, London
£26,954 - £28,983 after probation

Our aim is for everyone in the National Church Institutions (NCIs) to feel that they belong, and are valued for who they are and what they contribute. Together, our people contribute in different ways towards our common purpose, whichever NCI they work in and whatever their background.

Lambeth Palace Library, founded in 1610, is the historic library and record office of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Following the merger with the Church of England Record Centre in 2020 it is now the principal repository for the archives not only of the Archbishop of Canterbury but also of the National Church Institutions in London. Further details may be found on the Library’s website:

We are looking for a new team member to support the vision and mission of the Library through the preservation and conservation of the Library's collections, particularly the pre-1850 printed collections of Sion College Library (founded 1629)

Using your experience in the conservation of bound historic printed collections, you will provide collections care to support the Library’s vision to be accessible to all. You will also play a part in supporting your Collections Care colleagues in the delivery of wider conservation and preservation of the Library’s collections, including exhibition facilitation.

The post is offered initially as a 3 year contract with the likelihood of extension.

To arrange an informal conversation about the role, please contact

In return we offer a unique environment with opportunities for continuous learning, generous annual leave for work life balance, season ticket loans and a range of benefits including discounted entry to attractions and what we feel is a market leading package when it comes to our pension scheme.

The Role

  • To carry out hands-on conservation work, in conformity with established principles and maintaining the highest standards in the conservation of printed books, manuscripts and their bindings.
  • To plan and work within specific time scales and targets
  • To maintain accurate records of procedures and materials use in conserving Sion collection items
  • Where needed to produce protective boxes and cradle supports for displays, including the use of IT software managed machinery (ZUND box-maker)
  • Comply and help develop updates with health and safety procedures specific to collection care and COSHH
  • Participating in, and where necessary delivering, role appropriate outreach and engagement activities to support the Library’s vision to be accessible to all
  • Improving role appropriate collections knowledge through regular continuing professional development activities
  • Engaging with our readers and researchers to promote the use of the collections
  • Working with colleagues to ensure the security and safe use of the collections

The Requirements



  • An interest in, and enthusiasm for, the history and materiality of historical library and archive collections
  • Strong evidence of well-trained and unsupervised manual dexterity skills in the conservation stabilisation of library and/or archive conservation (paper, leather and cloth repairs)
  • Good evidence of book binding skills, including rebinding, re-backing and gold tooling of leather and cloth bindings
  • Clear understanding of preservation practice, including identifying pests, making book cradles and boxes by hand
  • Accurate measuring and data-inputting skills
  • Familiarity with preservation issues, practices and standards, especially in relation to historic bindings and book structures
  • Good communication skills, both oral and written
  • Ability to manage workflow needs with minimal supervision
  • Good IT skills and the ability to learn and work with box-making software


  • Post graduate or equivalent paid work experience in the conservation of historical organic collections
  • Experience of working unsupervised on multiple book conservation projects at any one time

Personal Attributes:

  • Able to work within a small specialist team, across teams and on own initiative
  • Able to work within given time frames and meet targets
  • Able and willing to learn new IT software, new preservation and collection management systems and new technical processes
  • Adaptable and flexible, open to new ideas


  • An honours degree or equivalent vocational qualification in conservation and preservation or equivalent practical experience
  • On the Icon accreditation Pathway or intend to work towards professional accreditation


  • Occasional working at height, lone working in cold environment (Collections Storage) and manual handling are required



  • An interest in, and enthusiasm for, historical library and archive collections


  • Knowledge of British history, with an interest in ecclesiastical history
  • An understanding and keenness to develop and support the library preservation programme to include environmental monitoring, integrated pest management, safe collection handling, preservation housekeeping and salvage planning; and work closely with Operations and Facilities Management teams on monitoring and responding to issues
  • Understanding of social media as well as a keenness to help maintain the library’s social media output, including finding ways to develop our profile within and outside the conservation community
  • A good understanding of COSHH and Health and Safety legislation

We in the National Church Institutions support the mission and ministries of the Church all over England. We work with parishes, dioceses (regional offices), schools, other ministries and our partners at a national and international level.

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