De la Court Prize for Karin Scheper

19 December 2016

Book conservator Karin Scheper will receive the Royal Academy’s De la Court Prize this year for her dissertation on the Islamic bookbinding tradition. The prize, € 7500, is awarded for unpaid, independent research.

Islamic bookbinding tradition

Karin Scheper (born 1970) is a conservator at Leiden University Library. She has spent the past few years studying the Islamic bookbinding tradition in her own time and at her own expense. Her research resulted in a dissertation, The Islamic Bookbinding Tradition. A Book Archaeological Study, published by Brill Publishers.

Scheper is the first to describe the techniques employed by Islamic bookbinders, based on manuscripts from the Middle East and Southeast Asia. She demonstrates the baselessness of conventional ideas about the poor quality of Islamic bookbinding methods. According to the jury for the De la Court Prize, Scheper’s work has led to a new scholarly approach to the conservation of Islamic manuscripts that will be useful for fellow conservators the world over.

About Karin Scheper

Scheper trained as a book and paper conservator in Amsterdam and has worked as a conservator for various organisations. Since 2000, she has headed the conservation workshop at Leiden University Library. She is a guest lecturer at various academic institutions, gives lectures and workshops abroad, and makes a major contribution to scholarly discussions about her field.

Images related to Karin Scheper’s research

Find various images here.

Award Ceremony

The De la Court Prize will be presented at the Amsterdam Public Library (OBA) on 13 February 2017, during a symposium (Dutch) dedicated to the study of the book as an object.

De la Court Prize

The De la Court Prize is awarded every other year for scholarly research in the arts and social sciences that has been conducted independently and without financial reward. The Academy awards the prize in recognition of individuals who have performed outstanding scholarly work in their own time and with their own funds.