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Born on May 16, 1974, in Piotrkow Trybunalski, Poland.


01/11/2011 – 30/11/2011 - Postdoctoral training course (Wood anatomy and Tree-Ring ecology) at Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL Landscape Dynamics/Dendroecology, led by Prof. Fritz Schweingruber and Dr. Holger Gärtner.

01/10/2002 – 23/01/2007 - PhD (Conservation Science) at Faculty of Fine Arts/ Institute for the Study, Restoration and Conservation of Cultural Heritage, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń, Poland. Title of dissertation: “Tibetan books in Polish collections: scientific examination and conservation approaches” supervised by Prof. Dr. habil. A. B. Strzelczyk (defended January 23, 2007).

01/10/1994 – 13/07/2001 - Master of Art and Specialization Diploma (Paper and Book Conservation) at Faculty of Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art, Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland. Thesis: “Art of the Buddhist Books /Traditional techniques and technologies,” and diploma: “Conservation and restoration of Nepali book with Tibetan text of Diamond Sutra.

01/09/1989 – DD/MM/1993 - Artist, Matriculation and Specialization Diploma (Visual Arts) at College of Fine Arts in Cracow, Poland.


15/02/2013 – up to present - Research Associate (part time) at College of Science, LTRR, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA

08/11/2010 – 30/11/2013 - Research Associate at Abteilung für Sprache und Kultur Chinas, Universität Hamburg/AAI, Germany Within DFG-Project: History and typology of paper in Central Asia during the first millennium AD: Analysis of Chinese paper manuscripts.

15/04/2007 – 15/01/2012 - Visiting scholar at Cornell University, Department of Anthropology, Ithaca NY, USA

01/10/2002 – 24/06/2006 - Lecturer and PhD student at Department of Paper and Leather Conservation, Institute for the Study, Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń, Poland

15/04/2000 – 15/04/2001 - Research assistant at Chungbuk National University, Wood Anatomy and Paper Science Lab, Cheongju, South Korea


01/07/2012 – 30/12/2013 - Travel/research supporting grant of the Frederick Williamson Memorial Fund, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge: Mapping Tibetan Paper.

01/05/2010 – 15/05/2010 - Award received from the Library of Congress Florence Tan Moeson Fund, USA for research on the Tibetan Collection of the Library of Congress, Washington DC.

01/02/2009 – 30/03/2009 - Scholarship, University of Hamburg, Asia and Africa Institute: Forschergruppe Manuscript Cultures in Asia and Africa, Germany.

01/01/2007 – 30/12/2009 - Scholarship within the research grant at the University of Warsaw: The lost fragment of Wanli Kanjur in the Jagiellonian Library? The value of authenticity of Tibetan books from Pander Collection in Poland, with Marek Mejor and Thupten Kunga Chashab, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Poland

01/01/2004 – 30/12/2006 - Faculty of Fine Arts, Institute for the Study, Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń, Poland, Ph.D. Research Grant of the Polish State Committee for Scientific Research No. 1H01E00427 Tibetan books in Polish collections: scientific examination and conservation approaches.

01/01/2003 – 30/12/2004 - Award received from the Polish Science Foundation (Program: Individual award for young scientists 2003 and prolongation for 2004), Poland.

01/05/2005 – 30/06/2005 - Internship, the Oriental and Eastern Book Conservation Studio, The British Library, London, U.K.

01/01/2004 – 30/12/2004 - Subsidy for the conservation project: Tibetan 19th c. Pharmacopeia from the Ethnographic Museum in Cracow, The Ethnographic Museum, Cracow.

01/01/2003 – 30/12/2003 - PhD Scholarship, Nicolaus Copernicus University (No. 458-Z, Tibetan Art on the paper in Polish Collections – conservation-restoration problems), Poland.


01/10/2002 – 11/09/2014 - Guest Lecturer – Postgraduate seminar series Conservation of the Library Collections Warsaw University, Institute of Information and Book Studies, Faculty of History, Poland.

21/05/2007 – 23/05/2007 - Tutor – Asian fibres: What are Asian Historic Papers composed of? The British Library, London, U.K.

15/10/2007 – 22/10/2007 - Tutor – Training Program: Ancient Book Restoration: Conservation of Tibetan books and papers. The Office of the National Ancient Books Preservation Centre of China, The National Library, Beijing, China.

01/10/2003 – 25/06/2006 - Lecturer – Undergraduate lecture series on Techniques of Oriental Art (a lecture series for the Museum Study Department), Asian books (a lecture series for Museology of Non-European Art), Methodology of Conservation of Historic Artifacts (tutorials for fourth-year students of paper and leather conservation); Nicolaus Copernicus University, Institute for the Study, Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage, Toruń, Poland.


2011 – on Reviewer for the Ministry of Science and Higher Education Programs, Poland


2007 – The American Association for Asian Studies

2006 – The International Association for Tibetan Studies

2006 – The Polish Institute of World Art Studies, Poland

2005 – The International Association of Paper Historians

2005 – 2007 ICON – the Institute for Conservation, Book and Paper Group, UK

2003 – 2007 - The Association of Polish Artists and Designers, Poland


2013–2015: Consultant and partner for a project “Asian papers: development of a protocol for their identification” hosted by Conservation Restauration des Biens Culturels Université Paris I Panthéon – Sorbonne and coordinated by Claude Laroque.

2013–2015: Consultant for Dr. Michela Clemente’s Marie Curie Fellowship at the University of Cambridge (Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit) supported by the European Union “Tibetan Book Evolution and Technology.”

2010–2015: Consultant for a collaborative international project hosted by the University of Cambridge (Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit) in cooperation with the British Library and funded by the British Arts and Humanities Research Council “Buddhist Book Culture: The Introduction of Printing and Digital Text Reproduction in Tibetan Societies” coordinated by Dr. Hildegard Diemberger.

2007–2009: The Polish Conservation Laboratories S.A., Conservation Project on Manuscripts from Ossolineum in Wrocław, Paper conservator and consultant.


2014 -“Buddha's Words: The Life of Books in Tibet and Beyond” (The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge, UK), contributor to the exhibition curated by Mark Elliot and Hildegard Diemberger.
Chapter in catalogue: “Tibetan Paper and other Supports,” Buddha's Words. The Life of Books in Tibet and Beyond by Mark Elliot, Hildegard Diemberger and Michela Clemente (Cambridge: Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 2014): 99–102.

2011–2012 “Illuminated: The Art of Sacred Books” (The Rubin Museum of Art, New York, NY, and then The Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca NY), Co-curator with Elena Pakhoutova. Catalogue/booklet: Illuminated: The Art of Sacred Books, co-authored with Elena Pakhoutova (New York: Rubin Museum of Art, 2012).

2007–2008 Mnisi i bóstwa na Dachu Świata. Katalog drzeworytów tybetańskich ze zbiorów Muzeum Okręgowego w Toruniu [Monks and Gods on the Roof of the World. Co-curator with Katarzyna Paczuska, Katarzyna Lewandowska, and Mirosława Wojtczak. Catalogue/booklet: Mnisi i bóstwa na Dachu Świata. Katalog drzeworytów tybetańskich ze zbiorów Muzeum Okręgowego w Toruniu [Monks and Gods on the Roof of the World. Catalogue of the Tibetan Woodcuts from the District Museum in Toruń], co-edited with Katarzyna Lewandowska, Mirosława Wojtczak and Katarzyna Paczuska (Toruń: Muzeum Okręgowe w Toruniu, 2008). ISBN 978-83-60324-18-9.

Publications ( the entire list as a *.pdf file)


Helman-Ważny A., Kriakina L, Zorin A. The First Tibetan Leaves Acquired by the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences: Conservation Issues, Contents and Paper Analysis // Written Monuments of the Orient, 2. Moscow: Vostochnaya literatura, 2015. P. 61-76.

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