Alexandra K. Newman

Library Technician

Alexandra Newman was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, and has heard every Wizard of Oz joke you can think of. Her ruby slippers have now carried her to the Cullman Library at the Smithsonian, where she works as a Library Technician, managing the reading room and combing the collection for items to be conserved, digitized, and displayed. She regularly shares her bibliographic experiences on Instagram (@book_historia) and Twitter (@book_historia), and writes longer-form articles on interesting aspects of book history on her Blog (

Alexandra recieved her undergraduate degree with honors from the University of Kansas in Linguistics, the field which first put her into contact with rare books and materials. From there, she attended the University of Edinburgh, earning an MSc with merit in Material Culture and the History of the Book, focusing on the rebinding and conservation of medieval illuminated manuscripts. Deciding that one Scottish master's degree was not enough, she also attended the University of Glasgow, this time earning an MSc with merit in Information Management and Digital Preservation. Her thesis for her second MSc laid the groundwork for a wider study of the influence of the English bindery of Douglas Cockerell and Son, a project that she is actively pursuing.


Newman, Alexandra. 2016. "Issues in the Rebinding of Illuminated Manuscripts: Facing the Future, Conserving the Past, and Creating Useable Objects for Today." The International Journal of the Book 15(1): 1-16. doi:10.18848/1447-9516/CGP (Journal)