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Conservation and Preservation of Books and Paper

Timna Elper

Welcome to my web site. My name is Timna, and I am a conservator of ancient and modern manuscripts and printed works, documents, and photographs, on paper or parchment. I am also a consultant to cultural institutions, collectors, families and individuals concerning optimal conditions for preserving their treasured records, allowing future generations to study and enjoy them.

I attach great importance to history. The past holds the roots that nourish our identity in the present and upon which we can build our future. That is why I have dedicated myself to studying and preserving the past, as a way of molding the future with knowledge and awareness.

תימנה אלפר

The materials and techniques that were used in the past to produce books and documents offer important and rare historical information about the items themselves, their owners, and the cultural environment that gave rise to them. My work therefore includes documentation of items before and after the process of restoration, and uses materials that adhere as closely as possible to the original, all of archival quality.

My private conservation practice was launched in 2012. My resume includes twelve years as director of the Books and Paper Conservation and Preservation Laboratory at the National Library of Israel, and many years of professional conservation and preservation experience at a range of cultural institutions in Spain, Canada, and Israel. I hold an M.A. in Conservation from the University of Barcelona and have participated in several professional courses throughout the world.

Professionalism is important to me and I invest in continuing training and education and remaining at the forefront of developments in the field around the world.

Every project I am involved in, is undertaken with responsibility and love, and executed at international standards.

In the Press

Links to Articles


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

Link: Ligatus Summer School 2019 (English)


Pinkas Kehillat Frankfurt am Main (English)



Interview in Catalan about an exhibition of Haggadoth from Barcelona

“HAGADÀS BARCELONA. L’esplendor jueva del gòtic català”

As director of the Conservation and Preservation Laboratory at the National Library of Israel, I served as the courier for a Catalan Mahzor (festival prayer book) that was put on display together with a collection of Haggadot from Barcelona to round out the picture of Jewish cultural activity of this period. The Catalan Mahzor (festival prayer book) belongs to the collection of the National Library of Israel.

Link: Haggadot: Entrevista a Timna Elper (Catalan)

The Catalog of the exhibition in Hebrew, can be downloaded at:

Link: (Hebrew)


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When former Soviet political prisoner Natan Sharansky visited our laboratory at the National Library I told him what an impression his memoir, Fear No Evil, had made on me. In particular, I mentioned the story of the tiny Book of Psalms that he had kept with him despite the prison authorities’ prohibition on religious artifacts. As I spoke, he reached into his shirt pocket and drew out the prayer book, whose condition was a reflection of all that his owner had endured. We were glad to carry out a thorough restoration for him, mending torn pages, mending the heavily damaged cover, and treating eroded page corners.

Link: Natan Sharansky’s little Book of Psalms that survived the Soviet Prison (English)


Timna’s personal profile:

Link:  (Hebrew) פרופיל אישי: תימנה אלפר מנהלת מחלקת שימור ושיקום


Timna’s personal profile:

A Personal Profile: Timna Elper, Director of the Department of Conservation and Restoration. (English)



Story of a Catalonian manuscript donated to the National Library of Israel.

Link: History revealed in the National Library Collections: 16th Century Catalonia. (English)


The original manuscript of Albert Einstein’s landmark General Theory of Relativity was put on display just once, in 2010, at the Israeli Academy of Sciences and Humanities. At the time, the National Library of Israel was still part of the Hebrew University, and as director of the Conservation and Preservation Laboratory, I oversaw the preservation aspects of the exhibition.


Link: Obert al públic l’original de la teoria de la relativitat d’Einstein (Catalan)

Link: Einstein’s theory of relativity on display for the first time. (English)

Link: Una exposición muestra el manuscrito de Einstein con la Teoría de la Relatividad. (Spanish)

Link: El manuscrito original de la teoría de la relatividad se muestra por primera vez en público (Spanish)

Samples of my work

Additional examples are to be found in other sections of the website.