Following discussions in 1974, Terry Walker, John Coleman and a small group of colleagues formed The Society of Bookbinders in Manchester, England, the following year. They were concerned at the closing of National Bookbinding Apprenticeship schemes and recognized the need for a society devoted to the appropriate training and education required to fill this void. They also saw the organisation as representing the interests of bookbinders, conservators, librarians and book collectors, and acting as a forum for the exchange of information.
A further aim was the promotion of the highest standards of bookbinding, preservation and conservation of our written and printed heritage. From its inception, the Society has successfully striven to ensure these aims are met. From those early beginnings, the Society has grown both in numbers and in influence. It now has members in all parts of the world and includes amongst that membership some of the most highly regarded names in the profession. It became The Society of Bookbinders and Restorers circa 1980 but reverted to its original name in 1990.