Dr. Mandana Barkeshli by profession is a conservation scientist and her interest include material technology of Persian medieval manuscripts with special reference to papers, dyes, pigments, and sizings based on historical recipes, re-creating medieval recipes, and making a database to archive materials, their analysis, and their comparison on original samples. She is internationally recognised for her discoveries related to traditional preventive measures in Persian manuscripts such as saffron stigmas used as an inhibitor to counteract the destructive effect of green verdigris pigment in Persian miniature paintings, and henna dye used as a fungicide in Persian paper dyeing processes during the 15th to 19th centuries.
She has held both senior academic and museum positions, including faculty member of Art University of Tehran and Isfahan, International Islamic University Malaysia, and the first Head Curator of the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia. She has also been a founding member and chairman of the Islamic Manuscript Association (Cambridge), and on the Board of Directors. She is also on the Editorial Board of the highly reputable journal Restaurator: International Journal for the Preservation of Library and Archival Material.
She has received numerous fellowships and awards in recognition of her internationally recognised research, such as the Petra Kappert Fellowship – The Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures at the University of Hamburg, MacGerorge Fellowship – University of Melbourne, and The Barakat Trust – United Kingdom. Furthermore, she had been invited internationally to conduct many professional artists material workshops at the Bodleian Library – The University of Oxford, Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation – University of Melbourne, Qatar Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar National Library, Alzahra University – Iran, the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), University Kabangsaan Malaysia (UKM).
Dr Barkeshli is currently an Honorary Principal Fellow at the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation – The University of Melbourne. Her latest research project is entitled ” Paper Dyes used in Persian Medieval Manuscripts: Creating a Materials Construction Digital Database” with the generous support of The Barakat Trust.