Initiated in 1993 The National Library of Scotland's Elizabeth Soutar Bookbinding Competition recognises excellence in the field of craft bookbinding. Such is its appeal that it now attracts binders from all over Europe. Recent winners have hailed from Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Italy and the Netherlands, as well as Scotland, England and Japan. Mrs Elizabeth A Clark (formerly Soutar) of Moray sponsored the award from 1993 until her death in 2008. Thanks to a bequest from her, the competition continues.

2014 Winners

Creative and craft binding categories
This competition aims to encourage the practice and development of both creative and craft binding skills which display individual expression and originality. The judges look for a best creative and a best craft binding. Each category carries two prizes — a main prize of £1,200 and a student prize of £600.

We define a student as any person receiving full or part-time training or education in bookbinding. We consider all student entries for both the main and student categories, but they are only eligible for one prize.

Exclusive binding
We ask entrants to submit a binding that has been bound exclusively for this competition using materials of their own choice. The winning entries join our collection of fine bindings.

The closing date for the 2015 competition is 9 November.

Full details, including an Entry Form can be found here.



Reminder of closing date
The closing date is 31st July 2015. If you wish to be considered for this year’s award, please send your application to Claire Redfern, 21 Moat Way, Goring by Sea, West Sussex, BN12 4DR

Full details here



Many congratulations to Trevor, an SoB stalwart and past Editor of BOOKBINDER, on the award of an MBE for services to bookbinding and book restoration. Highly deserved!

Trevor Lloyd



Late booking deadline extended until 30th June.

We are very sorry that Pamela Spitzmueller has had to withdraw from the Conference for health reasons and will not, therefore, be participating as a speaker.

However, we are delighted that Gary Frost has agreed to take her place. Gary is an experienced conservator and teacher, and has made a particular study of mediaeval structures and how they can be used in conservation. Details now on the CONFERENCE page



It is with great sadness that we must inform members of the death of Liz Anderton. Although Liz was known to most in the Society as Liz Anderton, she was in fact Dermott Creece’s wife.

Sadly Liz has suffered ill health for many years and she passed away peacefully on Friday (24th April). The funeral is at St John the Evanglist Church, Bridgnorth on Wednesday 13th May at 11am.

Liz was a founding member and Chair of the Birmingham Region and served as a Regional Representative on Council for many years. She was also Joint Editor of Bookbinder for the 1995, 1996 and 1997 editions. Many of us will also remember the 1999 conference in Telford which Liz organized with Dermott.

Liz, in her lovely gentle way, did much for our Society and will be missed by all who knew her.




It is with great sadness that we must inform members of the death of David Sellars, one of our foremost designer binders and a longstanding and staunch supporter of the Society. He died yesterday (20th January) after a short illness, aged 65.

David taught and mentored many bookbinders during his career and was a regular lecturer and demonstrator at both regional and national SoB events. Also a longstanding Fellow and past President of Designer Bookbinders, he was a frequent contributor to the journals of both societies.

He was an inpirational figure for countless bookbinders and will be sorely missed.



The Maureen Duke Educational Award 2015
Full details of how to apply for the award – funded by The Norie Trust and worth £2000 – can be found here.


Conference 2015

The Society of Bookbinders Education & Training Conference 2015 will be held at Keele University, Staffordshire from Thursday August 20th to Sunday August 23rd 2015.

There will be lectures and demonstrations on: gold tooling; book arts; paper marbling; techniques; boxes and much more.

Full details plus online booking available here.