Janet Backhouse (born Corsham, Wiltshire, 8 February 1938; died 3 November 2004) was a leading authority in the field of illuminated manuscripts.
Backhouse was educated at Stonar School and Bedford College, London. On 17 September 1962 she joined the British Museum's Department of Manuscripts as an Assistant Keeper. In 1998 she retired from the British Library (as it had since become) as Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts. By the end of her career "she had established an international reputation as one of the foremost scholars in her field".
A Festschrift was published on the occasion of her retirement, Illuminating the Book: Makers and Interpreters: Essays in Honour of Janet Backhouse, edited by Michelle P. Brown and Scot McKendrick (1998).
^Pamela Porter and Shelley Jones, "Janet Backhouse: Colleague and Friend", in Illuminating the Book: Makers and Interpreters: Essays in Honour of Janet Backhouse, edited by Michelle P. Brown and Scot McKendrick (London: The British Library, 1998), p. 11.