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

Lotus Sutra Project: Scroll with Blue Cover

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Marya Muzart, Digitisation Conservator, International Dunhuang Project Picture 1: Close up of digitised scroll after treatment. The Lotus Sutra Manuscripts Digitisation Project at The British Library, is a multi-year project aiming to conserve and digitise almost 800 copies of the...

On light: conserving material for our exhibition Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women’s Rights

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Alexa McNaught-Reynolds, Conservation Exhibition and Loan Manager Two of the items selected for display in our exhibition: Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women’s Rights appear to be in good condition but have vulnerabilities that may not be immediately obvious. In...

Learning to Communicate: Before and After Lockdown

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Samantha Cawson, Digitisation Conservator The conservation profession takes skills sharing seriously and so the need to open up channels of communication is essential. This is especially true of The British Library’s Centre for Conservation (BLCC), which has collaborated with institutions...

Joining the British Library Salvage Team

Thursday, September 10, 2020

This is the third and final blog post in a series about the British Library Salvage Team and the impact of COVID-19. Previously, my colleagues Sarah Hamlyn and Nicole Monjeau discussed changes made to the Disaster Response Plans and team...

More blog posts