Conservation Internships

The Conservation Lab seeks detail-oriented individuals with excellent hand skills who are interested in learning more about the conservation of books and paper.  Previous experience handling and caring for rare and unique materials is preferred.

Conservation Intern

Position Summary:

The Conservation Intern, based in the Library Division, works under the guidance of the Director of Preservation and Conservation Services, providing hands-on care to manuscripts and graphics. Specific responsibilities include: surface cleaning and repairing of collection items, creating custom enclosures and housings. The Conservation Intern is expected to keep a daily documentation of his/her activity.

Position Requirements:

Excellent hand skills and attention to detail are required. Students currently enrolled in book or fine arts programs are welcome to apply, as are those with previous experience preserving library materials. Must be able to lift 40 pounds.

Interested parties must submit a cover letter explaining how the internship will benefit the applicant, resume, and contact information for three references. Applications may be submitted as hard copy or as a pdf. Applicant should be prepared to show actual work demonstrating craft skill at the interview. A background check is required of all employees, volunteers, and interns.

Term:  Spring and Fall internships consist of 14 weeks one day per week for a total of 112 hours.  The dates are set in conjunction with the semesters of local Philadelphia college and universities. The summer internship is six weeks, three seven-hour days per week for a total of 126 hours.

Deadlines: The deadlines reflect the received date.  Any applications received after these dates will automatically be included for the next due date.                                                                                             

Summer Internship:  March 15  

Fall Internship:  July 1   

Spring Internship: October 1                           


Stipend:  A limited number of stipends are available for students currently enrolled in graduate programs in book arts or related disciplines. Stipends are only $1,400 ($700 paid half-way through the internship, $700 at the successful conclusion).


Tara O'Brien
The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
1300 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA  19107 
215-732-6200 x245