3 years ago

Our aim is to encourage high standards and to take pride in all we do.

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.

In 1987, the first edition of the Society’s annual journal, ‘BOOKBINDER’ was published. A copy is sent to all members, as is a National Newsletter which is published three times a year. The history of the Society is described in an article by Frank Hippman (late editor of the National Newsletter) in Vol. 9 of BOOKBINDER (1995). Another, more personal account of our history, by Mike Duckworth, appears in Vol. 13 (1999). The latter may be viewed or downloaded here (PDF – 500k)

We strive for the highest technical and creative standards in anyone who wishes to make books



Many workshops and demonstrations at meetings introduce members to new worlds of binding and conservation.


Visit libraries old and new to see bindings from the past and which methods have produced effective bindings and which have failed.


There are many social events where bookbinder gossip and good company can be enjoyed.


Why are there so many different  types of binding?  From the Victorian Prize binding to the Yapp-bound prayer book or stub-bound atlas or the simple single section pamphlet, each has a history and a particular function.

If you are proficient with these binding types, help other members to achieve good results.  But if this is all new, join and find out the why and the how.

Many members are professional book binders or conservators but most are amateurs keen to learn and improve what they do.

There are frequent opportunities to show your off bindings at meetings and to get helpful comment and admiration for your work.  There are national and international competitions too – you too could be a prize winner.