Conservation internships and placements

Two conservators discussing a conservation task.

The British Library is committed to providing opportunities for study and skills development for conservation students and professionals at various stages in their careers.

Funded internships

If funding is available, we offer approximately 1 funded internship each year. The aim of the internship is to provide an educational opportunity for a recently graduated student with a degree in conservation who is looking for an opportunity to develop their skills in a research library context.

Past internships have focused on book conservation, paper conservation, preparing items for exhibition and loans, conservation for digitisation.

Typically, internships are between 9 months-1 year in length.

Opportunities are advertised on the British Library website and via mailing lists specifically aimed at the conservation discipline.

Supported volunteer position – preventive conservation

If funding is available, we offer 1 volunteer position in Preventive Conservation each year. These three-month positions provide an opportunity for an individual currently working in a library or archive environment to learn more about the roles and responsibilities of the preventive conservation section in a national library. Each position is supported by a stipend.

Opportunities are advertised on the British Library website and via mailing lists specifically aimed at conservation and library and archive disciplines.

Student placements

As capacity allows placements are available, each year, for students currently enrolled on a conservation or related course where a work based placement is part of the curriculum. Typically, placements are between 4-6 weeks in length.

Past students have focussed on book conservation, paper conservation, textile conservation, conservation science, preventive conservation.

Students must have knowledge and interest in conservation. For placements focussing on practical conservation, students must have a good foundation of conservation methods, materials and practical skills.

Professional placements

As capacity allows we can offer opportunities for conservation or library and archive professionals to work alongside the conservation team in preventive conservation, conservation treatment, conservation for digitisation and conservation science. The aim is to share skills and knowledge to further professional development and cooperation within the conservation and related professions.

Read our position paper and strategic direction 2017-20 (PDF format) for more details on our conservation methods and activities.

Blog posts

Conservation and Storage of the Panorama of Lahore

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

‘Panoramic Depiction of the Fort and Old City Walls of Lahore’ is a rare scroll painting of the city walls by an unknown artist and dated broadly between the late 18th and early 19th century. The panorama of the city...

From Tackling Digitisation to Preserving Historic Photos - Autumn One Day Courses at British Library

Friday, September 6, 2019

By West Dean College of Arts and Conservation British Library and West Dean College of Arts and Conservation collaborate to deliver Continued Professional Development for those involved with, or with responsibility for care of libraries, archives and collections, and for...

All sewn up: British Library colleagues work together to ensure the survival of 100 embroidered and textile bookbindings

Friday, May 10, 2019

Mary Horrell, Conservation Support Assistant, and Mark Oxtoby, Collection Care Workflow Coordinator The Felbrigge Psalter’s decorative 14c covers (pictured below) are the oldest known examples of English embroidery on a book and a prime example of the type of binding...

Consider the cover: conserving a Chinese book

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The British Library's next major exhibition, Writing: Making Your Mark, opens 26 April and runs until 27 August 2019. In preparation for the exhibition, conservator Rebecca D'Ambrosio has been working on the conservation of one of the items which will...

More blog posts