Ivan J. Ruzicka was in born Prague in 1927. He pursued medical studies in Prague and further studies in Semitic languages and philosophy at Charles University. He was also an accomplished musician, working as a symphony orchestra conductor in Cracow, Lodz and Warsaw. He worked ten years as a writer and editor for Radio Prague. He became a master bookbinder through the full European course of training, studying under Josef Vyskocil, founder and first director of the State Laboratory for Restoration at the Charles University Library in Prague and under Willi Tham, head of the Restoration Library of the Saxon Library in Dresden. In 1960, he married Jirina Mares, an outstanding actress-singer in musical theaters in Prague, Warsaw and Vienna. She later became an accomplished professional paper restorer and paper marbler. In 1968, they came to the United States. Since then they have
bound and restored books and manuscripts for many American customers, but especially for the Cornell University Library, including many items from the Burgunder Shaw Collection.