Wonderful Women Wednesday: Dianne van der Reyden

Each week, the Archives features a woman who has been a groundbreaker at the Smithsonian, past or present, in a series titled Wonderful Women Wednesday.

Dianne van der Reyden was a paper conservator at the Smithsonian from 1981 to 2002. She was hired by the National Museum of American History in 1981 and was promoted to senior paper conservator and head of the paper conservation section before transferring to the Smithsonian’s Conservation Analytical Laboratory in 1984. There, van der Reyden was promoted to head of paper conservation, during which time she developed training courses, among other duties. 

Van der Reyden left the Smithsonian in 2002 for a role as the chief of conservation at the Library of Congress. Two years later, in 2005, she was named director of preservation. 

Van der Reyden earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Virginia Commonwealth University and a master’s in art history from New York University. She holds certificates in conservation and paper conservation from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University and the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University.

Van der Van der Reyden stands behind a conservator working on a document at a desk.

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