Thursday, May 18, 2023

On March 23, 2023, the UICB and the Conservation and Collections Care Department of the UI Libraries was pleased and excited to welcome Yasmeen Khan, book conservator and Head of Paper Conservation at the Library of Congress. The UICB and the CCC have been working collaboratively since 2014 to bring book and paper conservators to campus, sharing their experience and work with the UI book arts community and beyond. This year’s event featured Yasmeen as the William Anthony Conservation Lecturer, followed by a hands-on Persian binding workshop for students and staff that she taught at UICB’s Kolarik Studio. The lecture series was made possible by a generous gift that established the William Anthony Fund in 1989, honoring our first Library Conservator and first bookbinding instructor at UICB. We are very grateful to our benefactors and friends, James Fluck and Julie Scott. The binding workshop was made possible by the Nadia Sophie Seiler Fund, which has provided wonderful support for visiting experts and makers.  

Yasmeen Khan has worked in the field of conservation since 1987.  She came to the US to study, initially got a BA degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Barnard College of Columbia University and later an MLIS from the University of Texas with a Certificate in Conservation of Library and Archival Materials. Presently she is the Head of Paper Conservation at the Library of Congress where she has worked in various conservation roles since 1996. Trained as book conservator, she has treated paper and parchment manuscripts and books from various cultures and periods. Her research has and continues to be focus on the characterization of bookmaking and its associated crafts in the Middle East and South Asia, and the development of techniques for the preservation of illuminated manuscripts from the same geographic area. She has taught and consulted on the subject in the US, Europe and Asia. Her publications, some co-authored, include technical studies of early Arabic parchment leaves and Armenian bindings, conservation treatments of manuscripts and bindings, research into treatment development for iron-gall ink, and the evolution of conservation practice in the U.S.