Job: Assistant Conservator

assistant conservator

Conservator using an air abrasion tool to remove corrosion on a half-conserved helmet
Conserving a helmet with air abrasion

The Assistant Conservators provide strategic support to the Senior Conservators primarily through the application of preventive and interventive conservation care to the collection and the day-to-day functioning of the conservation lab.

As Historic Jamestowne is a public archaeology site, Assistant Conservators disseminate information about the site and artifacts to visitors via on-site interpretation, answering questions, giving tours, and participating in the creation of videos, website content, and social media.

The Assistant Conservators, with departmental colleagues, support the Jamestown Rediscovery Archaeology Department when necessary. This may include on-site interpretation and artifact retrieval, and providing recommendations regarding in-situ artifacts. The Assistant Conservator may have other duties assigned by the Director of Collections or other departmental staff in support of special events and visitor assistance.

The conservation team takes pXRF readings from the pewter measure found in the Smithfield Well. (Back to front: Senior Conservator Dan Gamble, Senior Conservator Dr. Chris Wilkins, Conservator Don Warmke)
The conservation team takes pXRF readings from the pewter measure found in the Smithfield Well.
key roles and responsibilities
  • Apply preventive and interventive conservation techniques to the care and preservation of the collections in compliance with the Code of Ethics of the American Institute for Conservation and in consultation with curatorial staff.
  • Generate proper conservation documentation of the artifacts and objects in the collection.
    • Follow standard conservation recording protocols regarding treatments, photography, and analyses.
    • Maintain and update the conservation module of the collections database.
    • Curate an expanding conservation documentation archive in digital and analog format, ensuring all modules of the collection database reflect the situation of objects in conservation (e.g. location, conservation status, new information).
  • Promote lab safety and the general health and safety of colleagues and visitors in the conservation labs.
    • Inform the Senior Conservator of lab equipment breakdowns.
    • Maintain an organized and clean workspace
  • Aid in the care and lifting of artifacts in the field and the monitoring/stabilization of standing historic structures.
  • Assist in the day-to-day operation of the conservation lab.
  • Support in the supervision and training of conservation interns, students and volunteers.
  • Maintain awareness of current trends in the conservation field.
  • Fabricate object housing and exhibition supports, and transport objects as needed.
  • Deliver public tours in the conservation lab and on-site.
  • Perform other related duties as required.
An X-ray of brigandine armor
An X-ray of brigandine armor

Minimum: Bachelor’s degree in Conservation, Material Science, Archaeological Science, Archaeology or relevant experience in these or a related field. Successful completion of an archaeology field school and/or conservation placement with an accredited (e.g. AIC, ICON) private conservator or recognized institution.

  • Highly developed dexterity for the handling of collections, use of tools and carrying out conservation treatments.
  • Ability to lift up to 30 lbs on a consistent basis.
  • Must possess a detail-oriented and organized working style with excellent verbal and written communication skills and a willingness to learn.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Must have a willingness to interact with the public and be part of public media.
  • Knowledge of general conservation history and professional ethics.
  • Specialist understanding of proper collections storage requirements and degradation and corrosion processes of organic and inorganic material culture.
  • Awareness of current collections care and preservation procedures
A sheathed dagger found in a cellar before and after conservation
A sheathed dagger found in a cellar before and after conservation
preferred qualifications

Familiarity with artifact databases such as TMS, Re:Discovery, DAACS, ICMS, or other. Previous project management role and supervisory experience of volunteers, interns, or other staff.


Position is full-time, with benefits
Salary is $35,000 – $38,000, commensurate with experience
Work hours 8-4:00pm M-F, in-person

to apply

Please submit a CV/resume (maximum 2 pages); cover letter including education, related experience, and relevant interests/specializations via email or mail to:

Mr. Michael Lavin, Director of Collections (
Mr. Dan Gamble, Senior Conservator (
Dr. Chris Wilkins, Senior Conservator (

Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation
1365 Colonial Parkway
Jamestown, VA 23081

No phone calls please.
Position open until filled, preferred start July 1, 2024.

The Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation is a subsidiary of Preservation Virginia. Preservation Virginia is an Equal Opportunity Employer.