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Portfolio - Karen Vidler

Paper conservation of large 14thC Qur'an for touring exhibition

Period Rebinding of 17thC
printed text


Intern supervision in
Book & Paper Conservation


Developed Board Sutures for
improved conservation of
leather bindings

Brief Biography

Karen Vidler (PM, AICCM) began her journey into the Book & Paper conservation profession in 1993 after qualifying as a Librarian. The journey started as a Conservation Technician conducting a condition and conservation needs survey of 178 Middle Eastern MSS dating from the 12th – 19th centuries. These were rehoused in phase boxes while funding was sought for conservation. Her formal education includes Book & Paper Conservation, Fine Bookbinding and Leather Technology. She is fascinated by the structures and various media that compose a book as well as the techniques of preservation and conservation to ensure the longevity of book and archive materials.

Karen’s career in both institutional and private conservation practice has seen an accumulation of skills and responsibilities to undertake minimal and interventive book & paper conservation, preservation programs, Tutoring and management. She is skilled in prioritising workflows through the stages of conservation: Client consultation; survey; examination and testing; written estimates and photo-documentation; allocating time and resources; staff training and delegation; undertaking item level and batch treatments of book & archive materials; and project management. She has contributed papers to various bookbinding and conservation journals and is always keen to give a presentation. 

Specific projects have included: book and paper conservation of rare books; preparing bindings and archive material for loans and exhibition; batch treatment of iron gall ink documents; period rebinding; Intern supervision; delivering workshops in collection care and foundation book & paper conservation techniques; and developing preservation and conservation programs.

Since 2006, Karen has managed Book Conservation Services. In the last 2 years she completed book and/or paper conservation treatments to 72 books, completed 10 period rebindings, trained 5 interns, undertaken 3 collection care consultancies, delivered 80 days of workshops in collection care and book & paper conservation techniques and published 3 article on conservation issues.

Examples of Work

Please click on the headings above each image to see examples of Karen's work. Be aware some links will take you to other websites.

Cleaning and rehousing collection
of parchment deeds

Minimal and interventive book and
paper conservation


Karen demonstrating the one-on, two-off hollow during Leather Binding Conservation Workshop

 Exhibitions and Loans

Measuring oversize Qur'an for a book cradle using a perspex screen

 Surveys and Consultations

Karen has expertise in the collection care
of leather bindings
 Publications & Presentations

Karen receiving certificate of thanks after presenting a talk to the Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists

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