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Amazing Woman of the Suncoast: Sonja Jordan-Mowery

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Sonja Jordan-Mowery is an internationally renowned book and paper conservator.

"Book and paper conservators are responsible for salvaging, restoring and bringing back to life documents and artifax that are primarily composed of paper."

Her husband is also a book and paper conservator. They work side by side and moved to Venice about a year ago.

"We wanted to relocated to a warm climate but a place where there was some history and culture that would keep us engaged with the community."

Jordan-Mowery started the first conservation lab at the University of Notre Dame. Seventeen years later, she moved to the Chicago Public Library and then John Hopkins University as head of conservation.

Sonja started life a world away.

"My parents met in Budapest, Hungary where my father was a soccer coach and my mother was a translator."

After she was born, they escaped to Canada. Then her dad took a soccer coaching job with the Dallas Tornadoes. She grew up surrounded by books and culture.

She started her career path in college.

"I studied medieval and eventually I fell in love with the artifax.

She loves restoring the artifax that come to her. Her life lesson? Study history.

"I thrive on the fact that I know I got here because of all the events that happened before me. It gives you a better self-understanding and better understanding of others around you. And it makes you appreciate history in the moment as well."