Open Tues-Sat 10am-4pm: Closed Tuesday July 9th for a Private Event

EX UNO MULTIS: Out of One Many

A Conservator’s Challenge:

the repair and preservation of objects which have complex structures & materials.

Books may appear as single objects but they are actually composite items.  Particularly with older works, the materials used in a book may include paper, leather, parchment, board, cloth, wood, thread, and all sorts of media; manuscript and printing inks, paint, even gold leaf. When a volume comes to a conservator, those individual materials require different handling as well as specific kinds of repair. Often a very damaged book may need to be disassembled, and such treatments can be extensive, difficult, and expensive.

 A conservator needs to understand how each element interacts as part of the whole, before, during, and after treatment. Conservator Karen Zukor will discuss the challenges and specifics of three complex projects and their treatments.

  • 1482 printing of Euclid’s Elements of Geometry 
  • Turgot’s Birds-eye Plan de Paris, a bound series of  20 engravings from 1734
  • Alexander Wilson’s American Ornithology, 1812

Join her at the American Bookbinders Museum on Saturday, October 23, for a special, informative talk about book conservation.

Karen Zukor has been a paper conservator in private practice for 40 years. Her work has encompassed a full range of artifacts on paper, from the 15th century up to contemporary pieces. She has been responsible for many collections–including fine art, archival material, maps, historic currency and rare books. Her studio is involved in the repair and preservation of damaged items, but also provides information for archival display, housing, and storage. She has trained pre- and post-program conservation interns for over 30 years.

Note: Proof of vaccination and photo ID are required for admission, and a mask will be required.


Presented in partnership with the Bay Area Art Conservation Guild.

American Bookbinders Museum

The American Bookbinders Museum is the only museum of its kind in North America, celebrating and exploring the history, tools and stories of bookbinders and bookbinding, from its earliest forms through the changes and innovations of the industrial revolution.

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