Karin Scheper

Karin Scheper was trained as a Book and Paper conservator in Amsterdam. After graduation in 1995 she worked at the Municipal Archives in Amsterdam and in a private workshop, before she set up of the conservation workshop at the University Library of Leiden in 2000. Working with the University's internationally well-known Oriental collections, she focused on the materiality of manuscripts from the Islamic  world. She completed her PhD (The Islamic Bookbinding Tradition. A Book Archaeological Study) in 2014. For this research into the developments of Islamic bookstructures she received a scholarly award: the De la Courtprijs (2017).


Next to the bench work and the additional tasks a conservator must see to, Karin has always felt that teaching is an important aspect of the profession. She taught at the ICN (the Dutch Institute for Cultural Heritage) and is a guest lecturer for the Book and Paper conservation programme at the University of Amsterdam. She also contributes to courses at Leiden University such as Book and Digital Media studies (Book History), 'Museum Matters' (Art History) and ‘From Manuscript to Modern Media’ at the School of Middle Eastern Studies. She welcomes interns and has trained students from several countries.

Islamic manuscripts

Her specialisation in the conservation and study of the material aspects of manuscripts from the Islamic world has resulted in a number of contributions at international conferences and publications in several journals, and in the first monograph dedicated to the technical development of the bookbinding tradition in the Islamic world, The Technique of Islamic Bookbinding (Brill Publishers 2015). She partook in the European project Comparative Oriental Manuscript Studies and was a co-opted Board member for The Islamic Manuscript Association. She has given workshops – often in collaboration with Paul Hepworth – at the International Islamic University of Malaysia, in Cambridge, Cairo, Doha, Beirut and Amman, at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto and at West Dean College in the UK.

See the Leiden University website for contact details.

See also Karin's twitter account @karinscheper.