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About Me

About Me

Timna Elper


I was born and grew up in Barcelona, a city that is very dear to my heart.

I had a quiet, happy childhood that was greatly influenced by my grandfather, Joachim, who was a central figure in my life. I inherited from him an insatiable curiosity, a love for my native Catalan as well as other languages, and a passion for art, history, and literature. In short, a love of life.

As a young girl I was very shy and introverted, painting and writing all the thoughts and feelings that I had trouble expressing in other ways. Perhaps this explains my great love of books. For me, books were loyal friends, revealing entire worlds that I was eager to discover. Thus I slowly emerged into the world, broadening my horizons and enriching my experiences. At the age of 21 I moved to Israel. Since then, even though I travel extensively, I have never really left.

In view of my love for art, drawing, and calligraphy I knew that I wanted to study Fine Art. My love of history, art history, and literature led me to specialize in conservation and restoration, which combines creativity in practice with a view to cultural continuity and national identities.

I have never regretted my choice of profession, and can state wholeheartedly that if I were to start over again, I would follow the same path.

I consider myself very fortunate, despite the trials and tribulations that are part of life for all of us. I have been blessed with beautiful children and grandchildren, a warm and supportive family, and boundless, great love. I work in a profession that I enjoy each day anew, I have a great and diverse array of friends all over the world, and I travel widely, learning and enriching my experience with each new place that I discover.

What more could a person ask for?

Background, experience and education.


1999  M.A. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. The University of Chicago. U.S.A.

1998-99 – Scientific Principles of Conservation of Archaeological Artifacts. ICCROM and IAA. Jerusalem. Israel.

1992-94 – Studies in Archaeology of the Middle East. The University of Chicago, U.S.A.

1989-91 – Studies in Biblical Archaeology. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Israel.

1983-89 –M. A. in Fine Arts,  specializing in Conservation. University of Barcelona. Spain.


2019 to present –    Conservator in Private Practice working with institutions and private individuals in Israel and abroad.

2007-19 – Head of the Books and Paper Conservation and Preservation Laboratory. The National Library of Israel. Jerusalem. Israel.

2005-07 – Books and Paper Conservator. Conservation and Preservation Laboratory. The National Library of Israel. Jerusalem. Israel.

2000-02 – Books and Paper conservator. Conservation Laboratory. The Hebrew National and University Library. Jerusalem. Israel.


2019 – “Identifying and Recording Bookbinding Structures of the Eastern Mediterranean”. Ligatus Summer School 2019. Krems, Austria.

2019 – Traditional Turkish illumination “Halkar”. With the Master of traditional Turkish Book Arts and Conservator Cahit Karadana. Vienna, Austria.

2018 – “The Medieval Palette” and “An Indo-Persian Binding”– Montefiascone Conservation Project, Italy. (Runner-up prize, the Nicholas Hadgraft Scholarship. Conservation by Design Limited, London.)

2017 – International course on Conservation of Japanese Paper. ICCROM and the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TNRICP). Tokyo.

2015 – Internship in Oriental Book Arts. The National Library of Austria. Vienna.

2014 – Internship in Oriental Book Arts. The National Library of Austria. Vienna.

2011 – Specialization Internship in Conservation of Photographs. Preus Museum of Photography. Horten. Norway.

2009 – Conservation of Photographs. The Northern States Conservation Center. Online Course. USA.

2009 – Course in Identification of Historical Photographic Processes, and Course on Negatives. The Center for Photographic Conservation. London. England.

2009 –   Specialization Internship in Conservation of Photographs. Laboratory for Photographic Conservation. The British Library. London. England.

 2008-12 – Bookbinding Internship. Shalom Yehuda Studio. Jerusalem. Israel.

2002-03 – Bookbinding Course I, II and III. The Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild. Toronto. Canada.

1998-99 – Scientific Principles of Conservation of Archaeological Artifacts, IAA and ICCROM. Jerusalem.


2019 Workshop on Archival Preservation at the City Archives Tel Aviv-Yafo, Tel Aviv.

2019 Lecture. “Manuscripts in Islamic Lands: Development and Features”, as part of a seminar on “Bookcraft in the Three Religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam”. Open University, Ra’anana.

2019 Conservation consultant, Institute of Archaeology Archives. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem

2019 Conservation consultant for the Weizmann Institute library archives, Rehovot.

2014 Member of the International Preservation Review Committee for the Dead Sea Scrolls. Jerusalem, Israel.

2011-2018 – Workshops on Archival preservation for the Israeli Archivists Association.



The Israeli Society for the Conservation and Preservation of Cultural Property.

Society of Bookbinders, UK.

Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artist Guild, Toronto, Canada.


1992-94 Century Scholarship awarded by the University of Chicago for Graduate Studies at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.

1989-91 Scholarship awarded by the Foreign Ministries of Spain and Israel for two years’ study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Catalan and Spanish – Native proficiency.

English and Hebrew – Full professional proficiency.

French – Professional working proficiency.

Arabic and Persian – Elementary proficiency.