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

Important information for email subscribers

Friday, August 13, 2021

Unfortunately, the third-party platform that the British Library uses for email notifications for our blogs is making changes to its infrastructure. This means that from mid-August 2021 it will no longer send notifications by email to subscribers. To find out...

Conservation of Thurloe’s State Papers

Monday, July 19, 2021

You may have seen a recent conversation sparked by one of our ‘Before and After’ conservation posts on the Library’s main social media channels. This may have got you wondering how conservators decide on the best treatment methods for collection...

Iron gall ink on paper: Saving the words that eat themselves

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Paul Garside & Zoë Miller Iron gall ink (IGI) will be familiar to most of us as the characteristic brown ink that we associate with the authenticity and softly aged aesthetic of historic documents. It is the most important writing...

Conservation for Digitisation: A collaboration with the Palestinian Museum

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Amy Baldwin, Book Conservator & Jessica Pollard, Digitisation Conservator In April and May 2019 we had the pleasure of welcoming two members of staff from the Palestinian Museum, Baha Jubeh, Conservation Manager and Bara Bawatneh, Conservator, to the British Library...

More blog posts