Conservation Graduate Assistantship

The Archives and Special Collections division hosts one part-time Conservation Graduate Assistantship, which is open to students from the Queen’s University Art Conservation Graduate Program during the Fall/Winter terms. The assistantship is intended to expose students to a variety of situations in the field. Whenever possible, assistantships will be arranged to suit the interest and abilities of individual students. The Conservator in collaboration with the Archivists, Curator, and staff would identify and supervise the work. Periodically there will be QUL-wide projects for these interns. This assistantship will boost capacity with 26-weeks of part-time (Fall/Winter) semi-professional conservation support. 

The purpose of the position is to provide additional conservation support for Jordan Rare Books & Special Collections while offering a Master of Art Conservation graduate student the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working with rare and unique collections.   


The duties associated with this role involve providing preservation support through exhibition preparation, documentation, rehousing, and digitization assistance. The Conservation Graduate Assistant will assist the Conservator in assessing collection material and carry out remedial conservation treatment under supervision as needed, particularly book and paper conservation. Additionally, the position will assist with maintaining the cleanliness, organization, and inventory of the Conservation Lab.   

Duration and Remuneration

The position is supervised by the Conservator. The incumbent will be required to work an average of 10 hours per week however, it is understood that this position is held by a student and therefore, some shifts may need to be rearranged or cancelled to accommodate academic requirements. Regular hours are to be decided and agreed upon at the beginning of each term.  


Students registered in the Queen’s University Master of Art Conservation program are eligible to apply.  

Application Process

Candidates must submit a résumé and letter of interest (max 600 words) outlining the skills or experience they would bring to the unit. The statement should also indicate how this position will help forward the candidate’s professional aspirations. Contact information for one or two professional references should also be included. Review of applications will begin immediately, and successful applicants will be contacted by email to schedule an interview. Please send all materials to and cc’

Past Preservation/Conservation Graduate Assistants

Alexandra (Ally) Zmijowskyj 2018-2019

Ally created and carried out a procedure for the rehousing of printed ephemera from the Robertson Davies Collection. During her assistantship she worked on unframing, treating and rehousing playbills and tinsel prints from this collection. Additionally, Ally completed a full rebinding of a 19th century family bible that was donated to our collection at the beginning of 2019. This treatment included repairing pages, reinforcing signatures, sewing, consolidating leather and creating a new support for the spine with Japanese paper. Ally completed the Master of Art Conservation Program specializing in paper conservation in 2019.

Sarah Duffy 2017-2018

Sarah worked largely on collection maintenance; repairing, stabilizing and rehousing material as needed. This involved, but was not limited to, removing  labels, repairing tears and flattening maps. She also completed a condition review and rehousing plan for the Schulich Historical Financial Documents Collection. Sarah also continued working on the Posters and Broadsides collection; reorganizing and rehousing the items. Focusing on paper conservation, she completed the Master of Art Conservation Program in 2018.

Emilie Demers 2016-2017

Emilie worked extensively with our Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection stabilizing the books and preparing material for exhibition including a 1479 letter on parchment with a large wax seal. She rehoused our medieval manuscript leaves and early printed leaves collections making them more accessible and better preserved. Additionally, she repaired, treated and completed assessments of several books in the Lorne Pierce Canadiana and rare book collections including Sir Sandford Fleming’s wheat samples book. Emilie also continued the reorganization and rehousing of our Posters & Broadsides collection. She completed the Master of Art Conservation Program with a focus on paper conservation in 2017.

Emily Cloutier 2015-2016

Emily coordinated the reorganization and rehousing of our extensive Posters & Broadsides collection. She prepared our Young Ladies’ Journal supplements for digitization by flattening and stabilizing each supplement. Additionally, she assisted in the move of a rare book collection and treated a number of other items including moldy books. She provided preservation and exhibition recommendations as well. Emily completed the Master of Art Conservation Program in 2016 with a focus on paper, photographic materials and new media conservation.

Lauren Buttle 2014-2015

As our first assistant, Lauren set up our lab and digitization space, wrote the assistant handbook, and developed templates to document conservation treatment. Additionally, she helped develop and write the Library’s Disaster Recovery Plan. Lauren treated and conserved many of our flat materials including: maps, Vanity Fair caricatures and portraits, and the Canadian Sheet Music Collection. She completed the Master of Art Conservation Program with a focus on paper conservation in 2015.

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