Kress Conservation Fellowship in Archaeological Conservation

Organizing institution(s): Warren Lasch Conservation Center
Location of fellowship: North Charleston SC
Kress Fellowship in Archaeological Conservation
Warren Lasch Conservation Center – North Charleston, South Carolina

9 months: January 2023 – September 2023

Clemson University's Warren Lasch Conservation Center (WLCC) is pleased to offer a full-time (37.5 hours per week), 9-month Kress Conservation Fellowship in Archaeological Conservation. The Fellowship is scheduled to take place January through September 2023. Specific dates will depend upon the candidate's availability. WLCC serves as the repository for the collection of the H.L. Hunley (1864) submarine project currently undergoing conservation and documentation. The Fellow will focus on the reconstruction and housing of conserved organic materials that were excavated from the interior of the submarine in a waterlogged state, focusing on the crewmember's leather shoes, cordage, and metal-organic composite artifacts.

A total of 16 shoes have been excavated, documented, and partially conserved through the freeze-drying phase of treatment. Under the supervision of the Senior Conservator, the Fellow will undertake the final phase of treatment – the challenging reconstruction of the shoes – by applying and testing a variety of techniques and materials used in the conservation field for archaeological leather. Additionally, the Fellow will be involved in the stabilization and reconstruction of composite metal-leather artifacts and will work with WLCC conservators to develop a treatment methodology and a plan for the storage and display of these objects. Work tasks will include creating bespoke housing solutions for the leather shoes, cordage, and composite artifacts. At the end of the Fellowship, the Fellow will be expected to provide comprehensive recommendations for a protocol on best practice for reconstructing and housing Hunley's organic artifacts.

The Fellow will have access to internal reports and academic publications (access through Clemson University Library System) to support their research as well as a range of analytical equipment such as a scanning electron microscope fitted withenergy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), micro-Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray Fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF), Raman spectroscopy, X-radiography equipment, and a variety of digital microscopes to aid in the research and study of the materials.

The Fellow will also take part in other WLCC projects including the re-housing of conserved artifacts; treatment of waterlogged textiles; materials analysis (under the guidance of conservation scientists); documentation of the artifacts to be reconstructed (under the guidance of archaeologists); as well as outreach and conference presentations.

The Warren Lasch Conservation Center is a facility dedicated to advancing knowledge and best practices in the study, analysis, conservation, and preservation of materials and structures of historical significance. Our expertise is based on years dedicated to the investigation and stabilization of the H.L. Hunley submarine, which sank in 1864, and its associated artifacts since its excavation in 2000. The laboratory champions an integrated approach where conservation practice, archaeology, historic preservation, and materials science work together to solve preservation challenges. The facility houses a state-of-the-art materials analysis, characterization, and documentation laboratory as well as a wide range of digital documentation technologies including photogrammetry, structured-light scanning, and 3D laser scanning.


Fellows should have completed a master's-level degree in conservation prior to beginning the Fellowship. Fellowships are limited to graduates of graduate-level conservation programs in the U.S. and Canada, or to U.S. citizens graduating from graduate-level conservation programs abroad.


The Fellowship includes a stipend of $37,000 with additional funds forprofessional development activities (conference attendance, workshops, research) and full State benefits (annual leave, sick leave, healthcare, and retirement benefits). The Fellowship is funded by a grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and administered by the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation (FAIC).

Please submit a CV, cover letter, and two (2) letters of recommendation by email to Dr. Stéphanie Cretté ( with the subject line: "WLCC Kress Fellowship 2023"

Questions about the Fellowship or eligibility may be directed to Senior Conservator Johanna Rivera at:

Application deadline: