Preservation Project Assistant

This job has now expired
Lambeth Palace Library, London
Fixed Term Full Time
£23,808 rising to £24,404 after probation
2 Applications

Lambeth Palace Library, founded in 1610, is the historic library and record office of the Archbishop of Canterbury. It is the principal repository for archives of the Archbishop and associated officials or institutions. It is freely open for public use, serving as a research centre specialising in ecclesiastical history but with far wider-ranging archive, manuscript and printed collections.

The Church of England Record Centre (CERC) holds the archives of a variety of historical central Church of England bodies, which document the evolving organisation and activities of the Church of England since 1704. CERC also provides a records management service to the National Church Institutions and advice to the wider church.

The combined collections of the Church of England Record Centre and Lambeth Palace Library are to be moved to a new bespoke Library in the grounds of Lambeth Palace in 2020.

As Preservation Project Assistant, you will help deliver the project’s objectives of preservation safeguarding alongside the provision of improved access to the collection in readiness for the move in 2020.

This is a unique and fascinating opportunity to work on the preservation cleaning, boxing and tracking programme of the collections in preparation for their move to the new library building.

Your work will include a combination of preservation and conservation actions which will involve developing housekeeping regimes, surveying the condition of collections, in-situ conservation stabilisation (first aid), referencing and tracking collections on the move.

With a passion for conservation or preservation and skilled in library and/or archive conservation, you will thrive within our small specialist team and enjoy working within given time frames, in order to meet targets.

In this hands on role, you will be working in historic premises dating from the 15th century sometimes within confined spaces, in order to ensure the readiness of these historic collections for their place in the new bespoke Library in the grounds of Lambeth Palace in 2020.

Interviews will be held on the 14th/15th March 2019

The Role :

  • To measure and make bespoke phase boxes or clamshell box for each volume, using the Zund cutting machines.
  • Making hand-made phase boxes with box board and foam interiors
  • Support the work of the preservation and conservation team in helping to monitor the environment of Library stores and in relocating, sorting and cleaning the collections
  • Carry-out first aid conservation in-situ paper, leather and cloth repairs as and when required for the purpose of stabilization for the move
  • To help supervise preservation volunteers
  • Reporting to and supporting the work of the conservation studio
  • Carrying out any other duties as required.

Tell us how you meet the requirements for the role:



  • Proven hand skills in library and/or archive conservation (paper, leather and cloth repairs) and preservation, including mechanical surface cleaning and box-making (box-board phase and four flap enclosures)
  • Accurate measuring and data-inputting skills
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision
  • Good IT skills and the ability to learn and work with box-making software


  • Post graduate experience in collections preservation or conservation
  • The successful completion of at least one preservation project
  • Clear understanding of COSHH and Health and Safety legislation


  • A recognised qualification in either conservation or preservation

Personal Attributes:

  • Able to work within a small specialist team and across teams
  • Able to work within given time frames and meet targets
  • Able to communicate with external contractors and material suppliers
  • Able to move books, archive boxes etc., and negotiate stairs carrying boxes.
  • Able to cope with working on dirty and dusty collection items sometimes within confined spaces
  • Able and willing to learn new IT software, new preservation systems and new technical processes
  • Adaptable and flexible, open to new ideas


At present, Lambeth Palace Library occupies historic premises dating from the 15th century onwards. Candidates must be able to:

  • Work within the confines of an historic building including spiral staircases and no lift.
  • Although a member of the conservation team, the assistant will be largely working in storage and re-boxing areas



  • Experience of operating archival box-making equipment and machinery
  • Experience of environmental monitoring and control systems and Integrated pest Management
  • Previous preservation work within an historic library or archive
  • Membership of a professional organisation

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.

Excellence, Respect, Integrity

We follow these three values in everything we do, whether we are of Christian faith, another faith or no faith. To learn more about working for National Church Institutions and our benefits, please click here

As we are a member of the Armed Forces Covenant, we welcome all applications from those you have served in our Armed Forces and their families

We are committed to building a culturally diverse workforce. As part of this commitment, we welcome applications from people, regardless of their background. As a Disability Confident committed employer, it is important to note that there may be occasions where it is not practical or appropriate to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria* due to high volume. We limit the amount of interviews conducted to five applicants per open post we advertise.

*Where applicable depending on post requirements.