Skip to main content

Past Standards

The Standards of Excellence Seminar in Hand Bookbinding is the annual Guild of Book Workers conference. Held at a different locations around the country, participants attend presentations by leading experts in the fields related to the book and paper arts. Tours of binderies, conservation facilities, rare book libraries and papermaking establishments are regularly arranged in conjunction with the event.

Below is a list of past meetings, including links to streaming videos of the presentations, downloadable presenter handouts, and reviews of each event in the Newsletter. A list of past Vendors and Sponsors is also available.

Video recordings are available to rent or buy as streaming video through Vimeo. You will need to create a free Vimeo account and there are two purchase options:

  • Rent - Videos are available to stream for 7 days after purchase. The cost is $3.99 for members or $7.99 for non-members.
  • Buy - Stream anytime. The cost is $19.99 for members and $29.99 for non-members.

Login to your account to see member discount codes displayed on the right hand side of this page. If you are having trouble logging into your account or have copies of any missing handouts, please contact the Communications Chair.

Past Standards Chairs
  • Donald Etherington (1979 - 1986)
  • William Anthony (1987 - 1988)
  • Monique Lallier (1989 - 2000)
  • Pam Barrios (2001 - 2002)
  • Nancy Lev-Alexander (2002 - 2006)
  • Christopher McAfee (2006 - 2012)
  • Brenda Parsons (2012 - 2016)
  • MP Bogan (2016 - 2020)
  • Jennifer Pellecchia (2021 - Present)

Past Standards Seminars


2023 - San Francisco, CA

(Videos and Handouts made available after the event)

Finishing Tool Making: An Economical Approach

with Brien Beidler

Finishing tools are expensive and often difficult to find, so being able to make one’s own is an asset to any binder. Though primarily used on leather surfaces, these tools can be used on cloth, paper, and, with some additional consideration, even wood. This presentation will focus on empowering bookbinders to fashion their own custom finishing tools. Brien will demonstrate the process of transforming commercially available brass stock into beautiful and functional tools through metalworking operations such as sawing, filing, drilling, more filing, and basic engraving. With an emphasis on approachability, he’ll illustrate how simple hand tools can result in finishing tools that suit one’s own aesthetics and needs.

Paper, Books, Art, Community: My Journey with Hanji

with Steph Rue

Hanji (Korean paper) is an ancient material, made from the inner bark of the mulberry tree. With a long history deeply intertwined with the development of printing and books in Korea, hanji remains a transformative and adaptable material. This presentation will cover a history and technical overview of Korean papermaking as well as a demonstration of Korean bookmaking, with a focus on how book covers were traditionally prepared. The presentation will move on from tradition to explore the intersection of hanji and textiles and the use of hanji for creative expression, including methods for using paper to create patchwork bojagi (a traditional Korean textile). We will conclude with a discussion of recent projects that use hanji as a vehicle for collaboration and community building.

Tattooing on Leather: A Journey into a New Decorative Technique

with Gabby Cooksey

Gabby Cooksey demonstrates how to tattoo on leather. Cooksey has always loved illustrative line work and wondered how to incorporate that into her design bindings. In 2021, when designing for a book about human skin bindings, the opportunity finally came about. It took her 3 months of self-taught experimentation which has led to an array of new and exciting ideas. She’ll cover details of the tools used in tattooing, show a brief history of tattooing and finally how to experiment with it yourself so you can make indelible marks on your own skins.

Fifty Ways to Reattach Your Boards

with Jeff Peachey

Detached boards are arguably the most common problem in bound book structures. Traditionally, rebacking was the go-to treatment, but recently less invasive techniques have been developed. The rise in minimally invasive treatments is especially prevalent in book conservation, as books are becoming material evidence of historical communication networks rather than repositories of textually based information. Peachey will present a new way of organizing fifty ways of board reattachment. There are five overarching categories: sewing extensions and joint tacketing, inner and outer hinge repairs, interior board attachments, and rebacking. An overview of the first four categories will be presented, a selection of practical techniques demonstrated, and a framework of their relative advantages and disadvantages established.


2022 - Atlanta, GA

Art in 1000 Cuts: The Path of the Blade

with Béatrice Coron

Béatrice Coron will introduce the many facets of contemporary paper cutting, as well as their historical roots. From a panorama of international artists and her own work, she will demonstrate the endless possibilities and applications of this simple media. Recently a renaissance of these techniques can be seen in paper theaters, artist books, decors, costumes, animations and installations; papercutting is in a full renaissance! Ms. Coron explores visual silhouette storytelling in artist books, paper cutting and public art to create stunning works of art. During her lecture, she will elaborate on how she creates these intricate and playful worlds.

Stitching through History - Embroidered Bindings from the 14th C. to Today

with Erin Fletcher

Embroidery as a decorative technique for bookbinding may not be considered common, but its use has been found on bindings from the 14th century to today. This presentation will focus on both the past and present of embroidered bindings by showcasing an overview of historical examples from across Europe as well as contemporary work from binders located in Europe and North America. Many historical embroidered bindings were produced on canvas, velvet, silk or satin. Today binders making embroidered bindings are using the same fabrics, but also experimenting on other materials such as leather, paper, veneer and suede. Embroidery as a technique for bookbinding has seen a revival in all manner of binding styles, but particularly with design bindings. Erin will show a range of techniques to demonstrate how embroidery is incorporated into her own binding work with a particular focus given to working on leather and using embroidery alongside other decorative techniques.

Adhesives for Book Artists and Conservators

with Dr. Cathleen A. Baker

This presentation focuses on water-based adhesives, including wheat- and rice-starch pastes and two cellulose ethers, methylcellulose and sodium carboxymethylcellulose. An introduction to the properties of these adhesives will be followed by preparing them, using them as adhesives and as “water delivery systems” to aid in the removal of old adhesives and guards, and making pre-coated papers for making repairs and for other creative uses.

My Life in Bookbinding:
Fifty Years of Creativity, Challenges, Experimentations, Frustrations & Pure Joy

with Monique Lallier

It is a humbling and rewarding experience to show and talk about what I have done in so many years. With examples of my bindings of the last 50 years I will try to show how I came up with a specific design, the choice of materials and colors, when I was happy or frustrated, how a design evolves from the first draft and all the emotions that come with creativity.


2021 - Virtual


with Jeanne Goodman and Jerushia Graham

The Guild’s 11th traveling exhibition opened in the summer of 2021 and an online gallery of the exhibited and submitted work debuted during Standards. Exhibitions Chair Jeanne Goodman introduced a video featuring each of the 50 works from the exhibition and a behind-the-scenes look at installation in the American Bookbinders Museum in San Francisco. Jerushia Graham, Museum Coordinator for the Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking, shared images of the galleries and the Wild/ LIFE installation process in Atlanta, GA.

Fish Skin Bindings

with Peter Verheyen

In the spring of 2020, Peter Verheyen turned many of us on to making leather and parchment from fish skin. It was difficult to conceive of an at-home Standards without mention of in-home tanning, and so I asked Peter to round out the session with Fish Skin Binding: [Re]introducing this distinctive material for unique bindings. Peter shared resources and inspiration for making and using pescatarian leather, and generously answered a number of questions about it during the Q&A. Many attendees of Session One had done their own fish skin tanning, and shared their experiences during the Q&A.

17th Century Bookbinding Tools and Even More Simplified Binding

with Jeff Peachey and Karen Hanmer

Session 2 will begin with "An Investigation of Seventeenth-Century English Bookbinding Tools in Randle Holme's 'Academy of Armory,' " a lecture by Jeff Peachey. Randal Holme's 1688 'Academy of Armory' contains the only known images of seventeenth-century English bookbinding tools. Holme describes six essential tools: a folder, a beating hammer, a needle, a sewing frame, a lying press, and a plough. The context of seventeenth-century English bookbinding and other contemporaneous sources will be noted, and the relationship between actual books of the time and the tools used to make them will be explored in this lecture.

Karen Hanmer will join Jeff in leading a brief ergonomic stretch break, before demonstrating "The Even More Simplified Binding: Laced-on spine wrapper with flange board attachment."Elegant and much leaner than the Simplified or Bradel, the Even More Simplified Binding is stripped down to only the essential elements: boards glued onto the flange of a separate spine piece that the sewing supports have been laced through. The spine wrapper is simply trimmed to match the boards of the head and tail, there are no turn-ins or caps to be formed. There are no endbands. The boards can be laminated sheets of colored paper left uncovered; book boards covered in leather, parchment, decorative paper, book cloth; wood; or some experimental materials. Joins between materials are neat but no more paring, sanding, lining or infilling needed to be done than is necessary for the book to function. This leaves the engineering of the completed binding easily discernible. The structure is inspired by a binding by Jen Lindsay.

Making A Place for Paper

with Radha Pandey

In this presentation, Radha Pandey will talk about two of her artist books for which handmade paper has been used, as an introduction to her work. "Memory of Long Ago" (2018) as well as her current work in progress, "Flora of Mughal India," a collaboration between Pandey and traditional craftspeople in India to create an artist book inspired by 17th-century Mughal manuscripts. The talk will be followed by a walkthrough of physical copies of both books, as well as a demo of the Indo-Islamic papermaking process.

What to Expect When You're Exhibiting

with Bexx Caswell-Olson, Jeanne Goodman, Erin Fletcher, and John DeMerritt

In 1906, the Guild of Book Workers was found, in part, to give "exhibitions of the work of its members, in New York and in other cities where local members request them." To be active in the Guild often means participating in the preparation, installation, and marketing of exhibitions at the national and chapter level. It can also mean creating, submitting, and shipping your work so it can be photographed, juried, and hopefully included in a GBW exhibition. Join President Bexx Caswell-Olson and Exhibitions Chair Geanne Goodman for tips and tricks for navigating the entire exhibition process, from intent to enter to de-instillation. Erin Fletcher will speak about the process of jurying the WILD/LIFE exhibition, and California chapter member John DeMerritt will discuss materials and techniques for building enclosures to store and protect your work.


No Standards Seminar was held in 2020.

2019 - Philadelphia, PA

The Art of Nature Printing

with Rebecca Chamlee

Directly printing forms found in the natural world has been used for centuries by scientists, naturalists, and artists to preserve the ephemeral beauty of nature. This presentation explores a variety of processes to create prints and book content on paper by direct impressions of fresh and dried plant materials. Techniques such as traditional Japanese nature printing and other hand printing approaches reproduce plants with intricate detail. The demonstration will also provide a basic understanding of the exciting and unpredictable botanical contact printing process using heat and natural dyes with foraged leaves and flowers.

The Continuously Convoluting Carousel

with Graham Patten

Graham will be presenting a new book structure, a Jacob’s Ladder Carousel or Continuously Convoluting Carousel. This book is the result of experimentation with structure, movement, and fold, and the idea of a book that can open in multiple directions. This multiplex carousel can be inverted on itself indefinitely, revealing a sequence of four different hidden openings or displays. A number of versions of the structure will be explored and demonstrated in this presentation, playing with variation in the dimensions, shapes, and materials of the different structural elements.

Modeling Ambiguity: Lessons Learned

with Julia Miller

The presentation will be two-tiered: images of selected historical bindings dating primarily from the first millennium of the codex paired with the display and discussion of models of the same codices created by the presenter. Ambiguity enters the arena every time we study a historical binding type; when we study fragmented early codices, relying on the early scholarship, if any, that describes them, ambiguity becomes relentless and confusion can overwhelm. On the other hand, the rewards are many, and we learn how to recognize, interpret and value what we are seeing –with connections forward throughout the history of hand bookbinding. The final portion of the presentation will focus on the idea of identifying “signature” binding structures found on some of the earliest surviving codices–“signatures” that can be looked for/compared as more early codices and binding fragments turn up in the future, when they emerge, as they surely will, from private collections, institutional storerooms, and the desert.

Metalworking for Book Workers

with Jeff Altepeter

This presentation will address some fundamental concepts of metalworking in an effort to demystify metals for the book worker. We will examine basic fabrication tools and techniques for the production of clasps, furniture, and some simple tools. Non-ferrous metals, particularly copper alloys, are no more challenging than the leather, parchment, and other materials we already use regularly. These techniques present opportunities for individual expression, creative control, and immediacy.


2018 - Minneapolis, MN

Hand-tooling on Books with Foils and Leather Inlays

with Jana Pullman

This presentation shows how finishing and decorative techniques need not be limited to traditional methods only! In this presentation, Jana will show how the use of foils can move beyond the stamping machine. She will cover both traditional and alternative decorative techniques using a stylist tool on leather, book cloth, and paper to show the advantages that foil can have over the traditional gold leaf tooling when introducing decorative tooling to new bookbinders.

Old Ways & Glory Days of Quality Book Materials and Structures

with Jim Croft

This presentation will demonstrate traditional processing of raw materials and their use in traditional book structures of old Europe. Gutenbergian pressures resulted in numerous compromises, but before that, there are many examples of books in “functional” to very good condition, even though they are 500 to 1200 years old and have spent most of their lives without climate-controlled storage. They show us what permanent and durable can be! In addition to his presentation, Jim will have materials on hand for participants to see and handle.

Bringing a Structure to Life with Pop-ups

with Shawn Sheehy

This presentation takes a kinetic approach to "making something look real" is one of the most satisfying for both the engineer and the viewer — a page is turned, and a paper object unfurls with wings flapping, legs kicking, or wheels turning. In this presentation, Shawn will explore lifelike movement in pop-ups by demonstrating a series of foundational structures that are particularly useful for such movement, and then contextualizing those structures in both his own work and the work of many prominent paper engineers.

A Natural History

with Gaylord Shanilec

This presentation discusses how Gaylord Schanilec's working life began in the Red RiverValley of North Dakota with the realization that daydreaming, the seemingly inevitable distraction of a young mind afloat in an ocean of prairie, might find tangible and permanent form in poetry. The tangibility of the word was increased exponentially by the simple act of folding a piece of paper and realizing the result was a book. Over the course of the next 40 years the form of the work, both textual and visual, would evolve of course but with always at the heart of it a dream, and the result of it a book. His presentation will begin with an illustrated lecture describing the evolution of the work followed by a demonstration of the techniques of working with metal type, wood engraving, woodcutting, the making of type-high blocks, printing in relief from found pieces of wood and stone, and finally a hands-on showing of the books.


2017 - Tacoma, WA

Make and Use Hanji: Applications for Korean Paper

with Aimee Lee

This presentation shows how hanji - Korean paper - is made in both Korea and the U.S. Aimee provides insight into how contemporary artists are using hanji for books, sculpture, jewelry, and artwork. She shows making the paper, as well as demonstrates creating paper cord by cutting down a sheet of hanji, making paired strips, and twisting and plying this paper to create strands and continuous string. Aimee discusses conservation uses, as well as creative ones, for this luminous, durable, and versatile material.

Much Ado about Nothing: Concept, Design & Techniques in Editioning “Zero: Cypher of Infinity”

with Suzanne Moore

In this presentation, Suzanne takes you from her inspiration for a pair of manuscript books, through the research and collaborative process of “translating” text and imagery into an edition book. Suzanne used new renditions and applications of traditional bookmaking techniques to make her edition of 53 “variant” books. She demonstrates how she worked out designs by using layering of processes, including painting, letterpress, paste paper techniques, freehand tooling, silkscreen, hand-work, and gilding.

Covered and Visible: Protected Multi-Section Pamphlet Stitch Structure

with Gabrielle Fox

Gabrielle discusses and demonstrates variations on a binding structure with a full leather, cloth or paper spine over inner exposed sewing that creates a natural combination of tight back and hollow all-in-one structure. It provides the strength and flexibility of a tight-backed book with the action of a hollow tube. One unusual aspect is that the entire case or cover of the binding is completed before sewing in the text. The delight of this structure is the ease with which it opens, lays flat, and the possible variations that can be used for both design and conservation binding. This structure can be kept very simple or adapted to something as complex as a full leather traditional binding with a difference.

Gold Tooling in the 21st Century

with Don Glaister

Perfectly executing gold tooling on the surface of leather bindings has been a goal - often elusive - of bookmakers for centuries. Done successfully, gold tooling is magic. Don demonstrates fundamental techniques and practices that help successfully transform drawn designs on paper to sparkling gold designs on leather. Techniques shown include transferring drawings, blind tooling on leather, and application of gold leaf and color to tooled lines. Importantly, Don give tips to help with avoiding and repairing mistakes.


2016 - Charleston, SC

Conservation Treatment Revisited

with Betsy Palmer Eldridge

At the 1989 Standards Seminar Betsy Palmer Eldridge presented Paper Treatments for Bookbinders, a quick but comprehensive introduction to basic paper treatments commonly used by bookbinders: cleaning, washing, neutralizing, de-acidification, light bleaching, sizing, drying, and lining. A video was made, but like many of the early GBW videos, the quality was poor. For that reason, Betsy has revisited the presentation, including a number of treatments that have come to light in the last 25 years, notably some Japanese techniques.

Exploration of History and Techniques for PA German Liturgical Bookbinding before 1850

with Chela Metzger and Erin Hammeke

Swiss Anabaptist bindings do not exist in great numbers today in Europe, due to the severe persecution of Anabaptists during the 17th century. But many of these highly treasured books came to America in the colonial period along with their owners, and books continued to be bound in America by this religious community, using elements of this distinctive style. The Pennsylvania German style often used thick wooden boards, bold metal book furniture, punched metal date and initial plates and beefy metal studded spine straps late into the 19th century, unique work for American bindings. The method of building a wooden-boarded binding without lacing on the boards is also surprising compared to the more commonly documented laced wooden board work. Several techniques are demonstrated.

Herrnhuter Paste Paper

with Deborah Evetts

Deborah discusses and demonstrates the Herrnhuter paste papers produced by Moravian Sisters from the religious community at Herrnhut in Saxony during the mid-19th to early 20th centuries. These beautiful papers were often used for covers and endpapers on a variety of books and were made with diverse colors. Several techniques and tools for creating different patterns are shown.


with Cheryl Jacobsen

Lettering can be a creative outlet for makers from different disciplines, and can be applied to many projects and creative ideas. Cheryl shows some of her past work and discusses her journey to becoming a modern scribe. Being a part of a university community that honors book studies of all kinds and living in a creative city keeps her ideas and opportunities expanding. Several techniques in expressive mark making and writing are demonstrated.


2015 - Cleveland, OH

The Devil Is In The Details

with Christina Amato

Creating miniature books, which are generally defined as being under three inches in any dimension, presents a number of challenges as well as creative opportunities. In this presentation, Christina demonstrates and discusses making miniature books, with a focus on edition work and dealing with content. She discusses choosing an appropriate binding structure, materials, and tools, as well as general tips and tricks.

The Meeting Guard: Its Use Historically and Its Use in Fine Binding, Conservation and Artist Books

with Bill Minter

The binding of certain books can be a challenge: in some cases, the text paper might be too thick or stiff for the book to function properly; in diaries and record books, the writer wants the pages to lay perfectly flat; and in scrapbooks or albums, mounted materials might hinder the opening. These and other challenges can be addressed with a “meeting guard” binding structure. In this presentation, Bill looks at historical bindings that use the meeting guards and explores its place in artist books and conservation binding. His demonstration includes making meeting guards and sewing them for use on a number of books. The emphasis is to produce a fully functional book that meets our standards and provides the reader with a book that is user-friendly. Minter also provided his ‘hand-out,’ a thorough description of the process, as well as an extensive bibliography, available here.

The Paper Has Been Shipped!

with Andrea Peterson

Andrea takes you behind the scenes as a papermaker and designer by leading you through the process of creating specialty papers for bookbinders. Andrea discusses entertaining the many possibilities of handmade papers and why a binder would be of any interest. You will see the process of stenciled and watermarked papers as well as more simple paper styles. Andrea presents the components that are most important to handmade paper and to the binder as together they move forward to create amazing works.

Book Arts Discussion Session

Presenters: Tom Balboa, Karen Hanmer, Elsi Vassdal-Ellis Laura Russell, Bonnie Thompson-Norman, and Rebecca Chamlee. Examples of their work and collaborations, their background, training, philosophies and teaching.

Bookbinding Discussion Session

Erin Fletcher, Moderator

Panelists: Jeff Altepeter, Anna Embree, Don Glaister Monique Lallier, Priscilla Spitler, and Craig JensenTopics discussed include: current structure for training students, the focus and important skills learned in programs, how the current model might be changing; continuing education; what it takes to run a successful bookbinding business.

Conservation Discussion Session

Todd Pattison, Moderator

Panelists: Ann Frellsen, Amy Crist, Martha Kearsley, and Chela Metzger. Topics discussed include: Conservation programing the Guild can provide; training, and the role of the Guild in supporting conservation knowledge.


2014 - Las Vegas, NV

Historical Letterlocking: The Art and Secrecy of Letterwriting

with Jana Dambrogio

Queen Elizabeth the First did it. Marie Antoinette did it, too, and so did William Barton Rogers. People throughout history want to keep their communications private. Learn about the 4,000-year-old tradition of writing a letter on papyrus, parchment, or paper and folding it to function as its own envelope. Explore the techniques used to study and interpret the three dimensionality of letters written on paper. Try your hand at securing shut and “un-locking” facsimiles of historic letters provided by Jana. Learn how to preserve the historic manuscripts. Academics, bookbinders, conservators, contemporary book artists, origami makers, paper engineers, letter-writers, secret keepers and anti-tamper device seekers...if you identify as any or all of the above, this presentation is for you.

Parchment Over Boards

with Peter Geraty

Peter Geraty of Praxis Bindery explores the binding of books in parchment over boards. Because of its reputation, people tend to shy away from parchment as a binding material; the focus of this presentation is to dispel some of that anxiety. Peter demonstrates and discusses techniques that will enable you to work successfully with parchment. You may not be able to completely control the material but you can learn to work with it to achieve excellent results.

Romeo and Juliet Carousel Book

with Emily Martin

Carousel books first appeared as children’s books in the 1930’s and became more popular after WWII. A carousel book is a little theater in the round. They can take two forms – the window type or the wall and floor type that allows for the inclusion of pop-ups. The carousel book to be presented uses a hybrid format that I devised to allow for both scenes and separate text panels. The spine tabbing, also of my devising, functions both to hold the book together and to balance the thickness at the fore-edge. The book was my entry for the Designer Bookbinder’s International Shakespeare competition and won a silver prize.

Traditional Medieval Girdle Book: Making a Model

with Renate Mesmer

The traditional medieval girdle book has an extended covering of soft leather often ending with a Turk’s Head knot. The book was bound in this way so the knot could be tucked under a girdle or belt and the book swung up for reading. Renate’s presentation starts with a brief introduction into the history and variations of the girdle book. Her demonstration includes how to prepare a textblock for this binding, sewing endbands, preparing and attaching the wooden boards, paring the skin for covering, making the Turk’s Head knot as a finish on the extended covering and attaching a pair of simple brass clasps.


2013 - Washington, DC

Traditional Bindings, Untraditional Books: Japanese Manuscript Bindings and Boxes

with Eric Alstrom

The Japanese tradition of binding departs from the Western tradition in many ways, including materials, methodology and functionality. These differences lend themselves to a fresh approach when used in modern artists' books. Traditional techniques for binding, sewing pattern variations, and wrap-around style box with bone clasps are demonstrated. Examples of using this tradition applied to modern artists' books are shown.

Leather Rebacking

with James Reid-Cunningham

Traditional leather rebacking techniques for both tight and hollow back books are demonstrated. Leather rebacking utilizes thinned and colored leather to repair broken joints and reattach loose boards and spines. Facing and lifting an original tight back spine, adding a new spine lining, paring, coloring and application of repair leathers are all shown. Topics of discussion include various adhesives, leather dyes, surface coatings, and tools. Reid-Cunningham also provided as his 'hand-out' a comprehensive description of the process, as well as an extensive bibliography available here.

Covering a Book in Full Leather, Applying Leather Hinges, and Board Lining

with Don Glaister

The full process of covering a book with goatskins - from the initial pasting out of the leather to the final tweaking of the mitered corners is demonstrated in the first half of the presentation. The second half shows applying pared leather as hinges and cover board linings (paste downs). Throughout the presentation, discussion includes Glaister's tips and techniques.

Variations on the Sewn Boards and Drum Leaf Bindings

with Karen Hanmer

Sewn Boards binding incorporates stiffened outer signatures sewn along with the text block which then function as a book's cover boards. Drum Leaf binding is composed of single folios, not signatures, where the sewing thread is hidden and the complexities of text imposition are eliminated. Many variations are demonstrated and models, including cutaways, are shown of both successful and less-successful examples. Discussion ranges from principles of working with materials, the importance of models, and co-opting tools from other disciplines to tips for editioning books.


2012 - Salt Lake City, UT

Binding Structures Featuring Removable Pages

with Daniel Kelm

Demonstration of the mechanics of various binding systems that allow for removable and interchangeable pages. Some structures utilize Daniel’s wire edge binding system and others modify existing technologies, such as the Chicago screw post, for use in large and heavy books. Includes discussion relating to the making of various types of structures illustrated with models showing the production steps, and with images of finished work.

The Sandragraph Approach

with Steve Miller

Sandragraph low-relief printing plates are simple to make, varied, and exciting to print. They result in letterpress-printed shapes and images that stand alone or can provide a background to other content layers. The Sandragraph is also a creative way to produce unique end sheets and printed papers for bookbinding purposes. In this session the process of plate making is demonstrated, and Steve examines all the various elements of letterpress printing that effect the printed outcome. He also looks at examples of work that have been printed using this technique, and talks about possibilities for employing the Sandragraph in your work.

A Conservator’s Journey Through History

with J. Franklin Mowery

For his presentation, Frank will focus on improvements in book conservation over the years, including changes and mishaps. He will discuss raising the standards in book conservation, the quality of materials, and various tips and tricks. He will also talk about devices and tools that can be used in conservation.

Marbling: Traditional and More

with Pamela Smith

Demonstration of marbling techniques for both adhering to tradition (where patterns and color palettes are strictly dictated) and breaking free of its limitations. The demonstration moves step by step through the making of 18th century gold-veined French Shell, oak leaf, and zebra patterns and then focuses on the use of historic techniques to create non-traditional patterns – delicate floral designs infused with mica powers, unusual background textures, double marbles making use of resist methods. The idea is to push the edges, and to bring marbling into the realm of 21st century book design.


2011 - Boston, MA

Islamic Bookbinding

with Katherine Beaty

Demonstration of the construction of an Islamic style bookbinding from start to finish. Islamic bindings are often elaborately decorated, as the binding is covered and decorated off the book. Islamic bindings are best recognized by the chevron endbands and foredge flap. While incredibly intricate and time-consuming to produce, the Islamic chevron endband is also an integral component of the binding structure. This presentation shows how the various components of the structure are a product of use within a cultural context and play an important role in their conservation.

Edition Binding: A Hybrid Approach

with John DeMerritt

One of the most compelling components of edition binding is the “ensemble” aspect of its practice. The edition binder collaborates out of necessity; combining technical, aesthetic and practical skills and considerations to conceive a piece that is larger than the sum of its parts. This presentation focuses on using a hybrid approach, looking at some of the particular methods, techniques and approaches utilized in John’s studio – mostly tried and true trade skills. He also discusses and demonstrates his forays into the use of laser cutters, digital mat cutting and digital printing on fabric and leather.

Scratching the Surface: Disguising and Embellishing Wood

with Daniel Essig

Wood, when painted, burned and stained has a sensuous patina, and it is a versatile and forgiving material. Through demonstration and example Daniel shares the tricks and techniques he uses to create a time-softened feel of antiquity in his sculptural books and wooden journals. He also demonstrates his version of the Caterpillar Binding, which he redesigned to be sewn as an embellishment rather than as a structural element, opening a new range of binding possibilities.

Conservation of 19th Century Publisher’s Bindings

with Todd Pattison

Although 19th century cloth Publishers’ Bindings were typically produced in multiples, many of these bindings are just as rare or historically important as leather bindings from the same time period. This presentation focuses on techniques for quickly and sympathetically repairing cloth bindings of artifactual value. Although these techniques were developed for a production approach to treating circulating collections, they can also be appropriate for the treatment of special collections materials and for use by conservators working in private practice.


2010 - Tucson, AZ

Byzantine Binding

with Michael Burke

Byzantine structure encompass many methods of binding but typically have features which remained in use for over a thousand years across great areas of Europe. Asia, and North Africa. Those countries that were influenced by the Byzantine Empire, the Era of the Eastern Roman Empire. maintained their traditions of binding for many centuries. Byzantine structures are typically sewn with unsupported link-stitch sewing on thickish thread. This gives direct mechanical attachment of the signatures to the wooden board covers. The text block is flush with the boards, and is sewn in two halves to give a rounded spine, which prevents the book from sagging in its boards. The spine is lined with a coarse weave cloth that extends onto the outer faces of the wooden boards. The book is covered with leather, and can have one or more ties to keep the book closed. Leather covered boards were often decorated with patterns of blind tooling and metal furniture.

In Search of Content: The Joys and Challenges of Creating in the Book Form

Nancy Ruth Leavitt

Like an engineering project, a book is a complex 3-dimensional design made up of many parts. Our goal as book makers is to intentionally integrate all aspects of the design to strengthen the structure, form, and content of the book. These challenges may be solved like any engineering problem – by the practical application of a series of considerations and techniques. That said, it is the idea, the thought, and the imagination that is at the heart of a well-made book.

Book Forensics: Interpreting Evidence of Structure

Martha Little

Any detail, no matter how revealing it seems, can be misleading or simply insignificant. It seldom can bear much meaning on its own. Below are some things that are useful to look for, since they may direct your attention in fruitful directions and help you ask questions you might not otherwise have thought of. However, any conclusions should be supported by a variety of evidence. Remember that anything you notice on a binding may be the result of mistakes, inconsistency, lack of skill, whim or innovation. A binder doesn’t always do things that make sense to a future observer or accord with prevalent practice.

Late 18th Century French Binding Structures

Jeffrey S Peachey

In this presentation, Peachey discusses and demonstrates a number of aspects of late 18th century French bookbinding structures, mainly focusing on the ubiquitous stained, full calf binding style. This time period is important because it represents the end of inboards full leather as a vernacular binding style; soon afterward, cloth case binding begins to predominate. This transitional time is also unique because it is the first time that the techniques, workshops, materials and tools of bookbinders were extremely well documented by multiple contemporaneous sources: Diderot, Dudin and Gauffencourt. Because of this documentation, it is possible to reconstruct rare or nonexistent tools, learn about fabrication techniques not visible when examining the books themselves, and understand more about the materials that constitute these bindings. By studying these aspects, we can appreciate how these somewhat minor points begin to relate to larger questions concerning the history of material culture, conservation and preservation issues, the history of craft, the transmission of textual information, and, of course, the history of bookbinding.


2009 - San Francisco, CA

Tool Repair

with Tom Conroy

Examines the repair of small tools and benchtop equipment, showing many useful techniques for maintaining tools as well as discussion about their repair. Conroy is a book restorer, binding historian, toolmaker and fine binder. He is affiliated with the Museum of the American Bookbinder in San Francisco.

Dyeing Japanese Paper with Natural Dyes

with Tatiana Ginsberg

The steps involved in extracting and applying natural dyes and pigments to handmade paper, to achieve a rainbow of colors. Ginsburg spent two years in Japan on a Fulbright grant learning traditional methods of dyeing Japanese paper.

The Art and Science of Cloth Rebacking: Some Useful Techniques Shared

with Dominic Riley

The restoration of Victorian cloth bindings using techniques that ensure an invisible repair yet maintain the structural integrity of the original binding, including cover repair with paper and cloth, and rebacking with cotton. Riley is a bookbinder, teacher and occasional filmmaker. He is a Fellow of the Designer Bookbinders.

Methods of Approach

with Carolee Campbell

Slides and demonstration of the methods of approach that lead to the creation of an edition, from how concepts take shape to use of jigs and models, and simple methods used to add color and texture to both boards and text sheets. Campbell is the proprietor of Ninja Press, editions of which are held nationally and internationally. All Ninja Press books are designed, printed letterpress and hand bound in limited editions by Campbell.


2008 - Toronto, Ontario

This year's Standards was co-hosted by the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild (CBBAG).

Image Gallery

Finishing Tools

with Michael Wilcox

Explains how Wilcox makes finishing tools and blocks by hand and incorporates them into his creative work. Wilcox apprenticed in bookbinding in England and studied at Bristol College and West of England college of Art. He creates design bindings in Ontario.

Contemporary Applications of Wheat Paste on Cloth

with Martha Cole

Custom designed cloths using contemporary applications of wheat paste by integrating colored pencils, paints and ink & oil & chalk pastels as well as acrylic mediums. Examples also include stenciling, stamping and collage. Cole is a fabric artist who creates one-of-a-kind artist’s books and limited editions.

Alum Tawed Bindings

with Don Etherington

Full alum tawed binding reveals specific and interesting differences when compared to other structures. Etherington apprenticed in bookbinding in England before studying at the London School of Printing; since the 1960’s, has developed conservation programs, taught, and established the HF Group, LLC.

In Love with Paper

with Claire Van Vliet

Several versions of the paper strip bindings developed for recent Janus Press books.Van Vliet is the proprietor of the Janus Press.

Sixty Sewing Structures

with Betsy Palmer Eldridge

A compendium of sewing techniques from different bookbinding traditions, evaluated for their particular strengths and weaknesses and their suitability for various applications. Eldridge studied Book Arts at Wellesley College, in Germany, France, and with Carolyn Horton in New York.


2007 - Dallas, TX

The format of this year's Standards was different from previous years. There was the optional Foundation's session before the Seminar began. There were three presentations which all participants attended. Finally, there were three "Roundup" Sessions, of which everyone picked two.

Gold Leaf Tooling on Leather

with Stuart Brockman

Methods and skills for gold leaf tooling of labels on goatskin, use of line fillets and patterned rolls on boards and board edges, lettering a convex spine and use of pallets and center tools. Brockman trained with his father James in the UK; has led workshops and lectured in the UK, Canada, Finland, and the USA.

Original Binding Structures and Decorations

with Roberta Lavadour

Focus on original binding structures and book decoration inspired by the cowboy and Native American heritage of Eastern Oregon. Lavadour publishes her artist’s .books at the Mission Creek Press.

Creating Medieval Stationery Binding Structures: Lacing Patterns

with Chela Metzger

Stationers’ bindings with visible lacing and ticketing; closures with loops, ties or buttons; history and conservation of blank books.

Roundup Sessions

Behind the Design with Priscilla Spitler

Designer binding process of overall cover design, from concept to thumbnail sketch to laying out a final blueprint for leather onlay. Spitler studied printmaking at CA College of Arts and Crafts, bookbinding at London College of Printing and design binding at University of Texas. An edition binder, owns Hands On Bookbinding, Truth or Consequences, NM.


Practical Strategies for Editions with Kitty Maryatt

Designing a student letterpress edition of 100 copies demonstrates a variety of traditional and non-traditional materials and use of jigs for repetitive tasks. Maryatt directs the Scripps College Press and owns Two Hands Press in Playa Vista, CA.


Design Principles and the Book with Keith Owens

Foundational design and color prin­ciples and their use in innovative book design. Visuals illustrate the application of these principles in book design. Owens is assistant professor of communication design at the University of North Texas School of Visual Arts and teaches at Texas Tech. He designs custom books, albums and boxes; Education chair of AIGA Dallas-Ft. Worth chapter.


Plain-Jane Restoration: Making Books Functional with Catherine Burkhard

Basic, cost-effective, yet quality restoration techniques for books with personal value. Burkhard is a bookbinder and calligrapher and has been an instructor in both fields. Owns Books’n Let­ters Studio in Dallas.

Friday Night Forum

Jacob's Ladder Construction with Karen Hanmer

Read the Handout


2006 - New York, NY

Centennial Celebration

There was no Standards Seminar held in 2006. Rather, the Guild held a celebration honoring our organization's 100th birthday. The focus was "The Art of the Book in America" and included a two day conference on the history of the Guild and bookbinding in the United States; the opening of the Guild's 100th Anniversary Members Exhibition and Retrospective Exhibition; a dinner cruise around Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty; and many other exciting events. Pictures and reviews are available in the December 2006 and February 2007 GBW Newsletter.


2005 - Portland, OR

The Drumleaf Binding

with Timothy Ely

The drumleaf system is compounded from a variety of structures, and can be used to assemble books of one-sided folio spreads or single leaves formed into folios. Timothy Ely earned an MFA in design from the University of Washington and spent 1982 in the UK studying bookbinding methods and techniques. He lives and practices his craft in the Palouse Empire near the Idaho/Washington Border. His books can be found in collections worldwide.


with Renate Mesmer

This paper binding structure requires precise execution to function properly. The presentation includes a history of Edelpappband and shows examples. A demonstration covers sewing on frayed cords, spine lining, board attachment, and covering. Renate Mesmer is the Assistant Head of Conservation at the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the former director of the Book and Paper Conservation Program at the Centro del bel Libro in Ascona, Switzerland. She has a Masters in bookbinding from the Chamber of Crafts of Palatinate in Germany.

Traditional Marbling

with Peggy Skycraft

A demonstration, using modern materials, of traditional marbled patterns on cloth, paper and leather. The use of ground pigments is covered as well as techniques for lining cloth and protecting leather after marbling. Peggy Skycraft has been a self-employed decorative paper producer for 30 years. She studied at the Chicago Art Institute. Skycraft Papers offers marbled and hand-decorated papers, and supplies.

Lacunose (An Artistic Invention)

with Paul Delrue

A demonstrations of a technique developed to achieve a style of working with leather for fine bindings. Lacunose means furrowed, or pitted, and the leather is applied in pieces and sanded to reveal colors, shapes and textures within the skin. Slides of Lacunose bindings are shown. Paul Delrue has been in private practice since 1971 in England and has completed over 300 special bindings. He has won many bookbinding awards and medals, and is a Fellow of Designer Bookbinders and Honorary Fellow of the Society of Bookbinders.

Foundations Session: Letterpress Printing

with Inge Bruggeman

An overview of letterpress printing using handset lead type and photopolymer plates. The uses and strengths of each media is discussed, and participants print their own test plates on a Vandercook proof press. Inge Bruggeman earned an MFA from the University of Alabama Book Arts Program and then was artist-in-residence at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. She runs a letterpress and design business called Textura, and teaches in the Portland area.


with Hedi Kyle

Inspired by renaissance curiosity cabinets, Hedi creates architectural book environments of moveable nooks and crannies to hoard treasures of three-dimensional curiosities and self-made concoctions. Hedi Kyle recently retired as Head Conservator at the American Philosophical Society. She is Adjunct Professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and has taught workshops for 20 yrs. Hedi’s one-of-a-kind constructions have been exhibited and collected internationally.

Friday Night Forum:

Sharpening Tips with Betsy Palmer Eldridge

Read the Handout


2004 - Providence, RI

Japanese Pouch/Four Hole Binding

with Kiyoshi Imai

A demonstration of the binding style featuring a text block folded at the fore-edge forming pouch-like pages. Lining the cover material, preparation of the sewing thread and decorative sewing techniques are shown. Kiyoshi Imai is a book conservator at Northeast Document Conservation Center and teaches workshops at the North Bennet Street School and in Vietnam.

Half-Leather Trade Binding

with Mark Andersson

A demonstration of a trade binding popular in mid 20th century Sweden, used primarily on sewn paperbound volumes produced to be taken to a binder by the buyer. This structure featured hooked endsheets and was sewn on recessed cords. Mark Andersson graduated from the North Bennet Street School in 1992, worked at the University of Washington and received a Fulbright Scholarship for the study of Scandinavian bookbinding and conservation practices. He currently teaches at Boston’s North Bennett School.

Foundation Session: Photographing Your Artwork

with P.J. Saine

This Foundations Session reviews the basics of digital imaging and the principles of studio lighting for photography. A working studio is created and books provided by participants are digitally photographed. P. J. Saine writes, lectures internationally and exhibits his photography in galleries and museums. His latest book is New Hampshire Rock Portraits.

Edge Decoration Techniques

with Peter Geraty

A demonstration of several techniques including solid edge gilding and edge coloring. Different methods and their importance or superfluity are presented to provide participants a basis for making gilding decisions. Peter Geraty has been a bookbinder since 1975 and currently runs Praxis Bindery providing conservation, edition binding and fine binding.

Medieval Limp Vellum/Leather Structure

with Adam Larsson

Originating 600 years ago, the elements of this structure are guards of vellum, spine plates of wood, horn or leather, and the “over” weaving of the exposed spine. Ways of decorating vellum are demonstrated and slides are shown from the Uppsala University library. Adam Larsson has trained in Scandinavian and French binding techniques. He has been a book conservator at Uppsala University since 1994 and lectures on historical Scandinavian bookbinding techniques.

Conservation of Historic Bindings Using Adhesive and Non-adhesive Methods

with Nancy Southworth

An examination of conservation methods used on limp and hard board parchment bindings. Topics include cleaning, flattening, and mending covers on and off the text block. Mending or repairing endbands, pastedowns, spine liners and sewing slips is addressed as well as toning all materials used. Housings designed for parchment bindings are shown. Nancy Southworth is a book conservator in private practice in New Hampshire. She interned at the Folger Library and worked with Abigail Quandt and the late Barbara Giuffrida.

Friday Night Forum:

Hand Trimming Book Edges with Betsy Palmer Eldridge

Read the Handout

Binding Folio Images: Maps and Art Work with Betsy Palmer Eldridge

Read the Handout


2003 - Denver, CO

Incorporating 3-Dimensional Objects into Cover Design

with Tini Miura

A demonstration of several techniques to fix pyrite, a think slice of agate, semi-precious stones and mother of pearl into and onto the covers of books. Tini Miura teaches design binders at the school for graphic professions in Stockholm, and Meisie University in Tokyo.

Spring Back Ledger Binding

with Richard Baker

A demonstration of the construction of a traditional, spring back ledger syle binding. This style of binding is ideal for financial ledgers, journals, diaries, and guest books or other books which need to open fully to allow writing near the gutter margins. Details are giving on the endsheets, board attachement, and spring back structures. Richard Baker has been binding books since 1973, when he started taking classes with the late Bill Anthony. He has worked at Johns Hopkins University, the Smithsonian Institution and the American Antiquarian Society. Since 1989, he had his own book and paper conservation studio in St. Louis, where he also teaches students in bookbinding.

Presentation Considerations in the Design and Creation of Artists' Books

with Julie Chen

Ms. Chen shows slides and examples of elaborate book and box constructions. She demonstrates the use of magnets in both boxes and book covers. Julie Chen is a book artist and book arts instructor at Mills College as well as various summer workshops. She has published limited edition artist’s books under the Flying Fish Press for 15 years.

Presentation on Covering in Leather

with Mark Esser

Characteristics of leather to consider when choosing a skin are discussed. A demonstration follows of a traditoinal covering including paring, pasting out, laced board attachment, and forming corners, joints and caps. Mark Esser has been Rare Book Conservator at the John J. Burns Library in Boston since 1994. He apprenticed with Bill Anthony and developed the hand bookbinding program at the North Bennet Street School in Boston.

Getting the Look: The 4 "P's" Of Pastepaper Patterns

with Claire Maziarczyk


Foundations Workshop on Box Making with Craig Jensen

Friday Night Forum:

A Select Bibliograpy of Historic Endbands with Donia Conn and Peter Verheyen

Read the Handout


Finishing Without Finishing Tools with Betsy Palmer-Eldridge

Read the Handout


The Painted Clamshell with a Plate Inclusion with Sharon Long

Image Gallery


2002 - Minneapolis, MN


with Dennis Ruud

A construction of an illuminated page on vellum, using tools and techniques of modern calligraphers. Dennis demonstrates quill cutting, knife making, vellum preparation, writing, glilding on gesso and color application, resulting in a finished illuminated folio. Dennis Ruud has studied and taught calligraphy for 25 years and has been a book conservator in private practice in Minneapolis for 19 years.

Papermaking: Before and After

with Bridget O'Malley

This presentation addresses choices made before the sheet is formed and after. Appearance, feel and performance of the sheet are determined by selection of raw materials, processes used during formation and afterward by surface dyes, gelatin size, burnishing and calendaring. Ms. O’Malley is co-proprietor of Cave Paper in Minneapolis and teaches throughout the country. She completed a 5 year apprenticeship with Tim Barrett at the University of Iowa Center for the Book.

Historical & Contemporary Album Structure

with Olivia Primanis

Different types of historical album structures are demonstrated, and their various advantages and dis-advantages are addressed. How nineteenth and twentieth century albums are constructed offers inspiration for the design of contemporary albums. Olivia Primanis is a Book Conservator at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center in Austin TX. She was an apprentice of Jean Gunner at Hunt Institute, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Chemise and Slipcase

with Monique Lallier

This presentation focusses on the making of a chemise and a slipcase over a book already bound. The French “chemise” wraps around the book with narrow flaps at the foredge. The slipcase fits over the chemise and follows the roundness of the spine. They can be lined with suede leather, felt or paper. Monique Lallier studied French techniques at Líart de la Reliure in Montreal, with Edwin Heim and with Hugo Peller in Switzerland. She has over 30 years experience in book making and her work has been exhibited internationally.

Foundations Workshop on The History of Western Lettering with Cindy Haller


Keynote Speaker (Saint John's Bible Project) with Carol Marrin

Friday Night Forum:

Incorporating Original Spine Fragments into Repair Material with Pamela Barrios


The Molded Paper Spine with Donia Conn


The Checkerboard Album Structure with Betsy Eldridge

Read the Handout


3D Objects on Book Covers with Barbara Korbel

Read the Handout


Chemise & Slipcase with Monique Lallier


Tool Time with William Minter

Read the Handout


Two Tool Jigs with Brenda Parsons

Read the Handout


Board Attachement for Leather Bound Books with Elaine Schlefer


Jurying for Exhibitions with Priscilla Spitler


The Springback Binding with Peter Verheyen & Donia Conn


Starting Your Own Business with Edna Wright


2001 - Alexandria, VA

Romanesque Bindings

with Jiri Vnoucek

A look at 10th-13th century bindings, including parchment making, and a demonstration of practical examples of binding construction such as sewing, spine treatment and covering. Jiri Vnoucek is head of the conservation department in the National Library in Prague, and teaches book conservation at the School of Conservation in Litomyol.

Traditional Foundations of Non-Traditional Artwork

with Suzanne Moore

This presentation focuses on the adaptation of classical page design, concepts, and techniques to contemporary book design. Included is a hands-on demonstration showing many of the inventive paste paper techniques she has developed and a slide talk discussing how they can be utilized in modern book arts design. Suzanne Moore received a BFA in Printmaking and then pursued lettering study and book arts in San Francisco. Her painted and lettered books have been exhibited and acquired widely. She currently lives in Cleveland where she is the art director of the lettering design group at American Greetings.

Mending Paper

with Christine Smith

A review of materials and techniques that fine art conservators use to mend tears and fill losses. Topics include adhesives, choice of papers and their treatment, tools and surface finishes. Christine Smith is President and Chief Conservator at Conservation of Art on Paper, Inc. She has an M.S. in Art Conservation from Winterthur Museum and was previously Paper Conservator for the Smithsonian’s CAL and National Portrait Gallery.

Vellum Binding

with Peter Verheyen

In this presentation, participants learn about covering a book in vellum using a technique based on the German Bradel binding, of constructing a case which reduces the pull created by the expansion and contraction of vellum. Variants include laced vellum sewing slips, full and quarter vellum, making corners and molding headcaps. Peter Verheyen studied book conservation in Germany and book restoration at Ascona Switzerland. He was a Mellon intern at the Folger, worked with Heinke Pensky-Adam, with Bill Minter and at Yale.

Leather Decoration

with S.A. Neff Jr.


Foundations Workshop on Color Theory and Practical Tips on Coloring Paper and Cloth

with Martha Cole


Willman Spawn, Speaker


On Illuminated Manuscripts with Will Noel

(at the Banquet)

Image Gallery


2000 - Salt Lake City, UT

Miniature Bindings from

with Gabrielle Fox

An examination of various possibilities in the structure and design of miniatures, and how it can apply to cased-in and fine binding, as well as restoring or conserving miniature bindings. Gabrielle Fox received her diploma in Fine Binding and Restoration at Guildford College. She has worked and taught in both the U.S. and England.

Examination of the Jacques Board Shear

with Bill Minter

A presentation on servicing and maintaining Board Shears, especially the Jacques Board Shear. Bill Minter is a bookbinder and conservator in private practice. He has developed several tools used in the preservation of books and paper.

Introduction to Adhesives

with Karen Zukor

How natural and synthetic adhesives are classified and formulated, their working properties, aging characteristics and other useful information for conservation and bookbinding. Karen Zukor is a professional paper conservator in private practice. She teaches conservation program interns and lectures widely.

Medieval Binding Technique

with Terry Buckley

A demonstration of how to bind a structure based on a 500-year-old German binding, but adapted to allow for more modern day aesthetics. Terry Buckley is a Senior Lecturer in Bookbinding at the London College of Printing.

Girdle Bindings

with Pamela Spitzmueller


Joy And John Tonkin, Speakers


Foundations Workshop on Leather with Betsy Palmer Eldridge



1999 - Chicago, IL

Rounded Spine Boxes

with Scott Kellar

Step-by-step instructions on making a rounded spine box. Scott Kellar is a bookbinder in private practice in Chicago and former Collections Conservator at Northwestern University Library.

Action on the Case

with Maureen Duke

A demonstration and explanation of case binding to show how skill is used to vary the method used and style of case with regard to the given use and materials. Maureen Duke has been a self-employed bookbinder and restorer, and a teacher of bookbinding since 1949. She is currently a tutor at Guildford College and Urchfont Manor in England.

Wire Edge Binding

with Daniel Kelm

This presentation explores both the theoretical and practical concerns for integrating movement with materials in constructing a wire-edged binding, a binding where each “binding unit” (either a signature or single page) has wire attached to all edges that are to be joined to all adjacent units. Daniel Kelm is proprietor of the Wide Awake Garage and Garage Annex School of book arts. He majored in chemistry, philosophy and education at the University of Minnesota. He taught chemistry for five years before shifting his focus to arts and crafts. Over the years he has worked at a number of binderies and has taught and lectured extensively.

Know Your Endpapers!

with Jesse Munn, Mary Wootton, Terry Boone

In this presentation three senior rare book conservators at the Library of Congress conduct a series of exercises designed to increase awareness of characteristics of handmade papers. Their work with hand papermakers to develop papers for use with a wide range of books includes consideration of relationships of new materials with old, including working properties and visual and tactual sympathy.

Audrey Niffenegger and Studs Terkel, Speakers


Foundations Workshop on Paste, Paper, and Cloth
with Betsy Palmer Eldridge

Read the Handout


1998 - Greensboro, NC

English and German Style Leather Paring

with Linda Blaser and Frank Mowery

Demonstration and discussion on two different styles of paring leather. Linda Blaser studied Crafts in college and worked as a draftsman/illustrator before taking the opportunity of being trained at the Library of Congress. She studied with Peter Waters, Don Etherington and Christopher Clarkson. Frank Mowery is head of Conservation at Folger Shakespeare Library. He studied bookbinding in Hamburg, Germany, at at the Staatliche Hochschule fur Bildende Kunste.

On the Ellesmere Manuscript

with Anthony Cains

A demonstration of the open-boarded covering of beech wood and paste-boarded models of typical 16th century bindings in the Trinity College, Dublin collections. Anthony Cains has had a distinguished career in Europe as a bookbinder and conservator. He designed and established a workshop and laboratory in the Library of Trinity College Dublin. He has published, taught and lectured extensively.

Decorative Papers

with Linda Hohneke

A look at historic decorative papers used in bookbinding and some of the techniques used in their manufacture. Linda Hohneke began working in book conservation as a volunteer with the Smithsonian Institution Book Conservation Lab and has worked in the Folger Shakespeare Library Conservation Lab since 1992.

Paper Engineering and Pop-ups

with Carol Barton

This presentation demonstrates five basic paper engineering pop-up structures and explains the mechanical principles that allow them to function with the motion of the turning page. Also discusses is the creation of a simple mat board jig to allow for production for a small edition of pop-ups, and the process of die-cutting for larger editions. Carol Barton is a book artist, curator, and arts administrator who has published several editions and organized local and national shows of artists’ books. She has taught around the country, including at Penland School of Crafts, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the Center for Book Arts in New York City.

William Ballinger, Speaker

Image Gallery


1997 - Ann Arbor, MI

Long and Link Stitch Binding

with Pamela Spitzmueller

An historic look at materials and techniques of this non-adhesive sewing. Models, diagrams and slides show the underlying structure and its component parts. Includes a look at contemporary expressions of long and link stitch. Pamela Spitzmueller is Chief Conservator for Special Collections at Harvard Libraries, and formerly head of conservation at the University of Iowa Libraries. Pam also makes artists books.

Gold Tooling

with Donald Glaister

Demystifying some of the elements of gold tooling using both type and line tools, and a demonstration of a step-by-step plan for successful hand tooling. Don Glaister began his career as a design binder and teacher, then worked as a book conservator at NEDCC.

Japanese Papers

with Donald Etherington and Nancy Jacobi

Nancy clarifies the confusion around washi with a hands-on examination of a variety of samples, and a look at ongoing changes affecting papermaking in Japan today. Don shows various ways in which Japanese paper is used in bookbinding and conservation, including guarding, mending, lining and reinforcement. Nancy Jacobi operates The Japanese Paper Place in Toronto Canada where she researches and sells fine quality Japanese papers. Don Etherington runs the Etherington Conservation Center. He was previously Chief Conservation Officer at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, and was instrumental in developing the conservation program at the Library of Congress.

How to Treat Wooden Boards

with Dag-Ernst Petersen

A demonstration in 2 parts showing how to Make wooden boards for a 16th century German book, and how to restore wooden boards. Dag-Ernst Petersen is head conservator of the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbuettel, Germany and a Master Bookbinder.

Jan Van Der Marck, Speaker

Image Gallery


1996 - Pasadena, CA

Exposed Spine Binding

with Louise Genest

This presentation focuses on the binder’s approach to the exposed spine binding of a multiple-section textblock, demonstrating from beginning to completion, the step-by-step process for a full leather binding. Louise Genest studied bookbinding in Montreal with Monique Lallier, served an apprenticeship in book conservation at Carolyn Horton and Assoc., and took courses with Deborah Evetts and Laura Young.

Opening Up Photo Album Possibilities

with Richard Horton

A short history of album production, materials and tools, photo mounting and stubbing, historical and recent models: advantages and disadvantages. Demonstrations of different styles of album pages. Richard Horton attended Columbia U. and U. of Texas, Austin. He studied hand binding with Craig Jensen and has written many articles on album and box making.

Dyeing and Staining Leather

with Terry Buckley

Using both spirit and water stains, Terry Buckley discusses the importance of leather colors and decorations, methods he has tried for dyeing and staining leathers, and what he considers best for a particular book: modern design binding, traditional gilt style, or restoration project. Terry Buckley is a specialist of Gold Finishing, Islamic Bindings, and Restoration. He served a six-year apprenticeship with W.T. Morrels, forwarding and finishing, and trained at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London. He is presently Senior Lecturer (Bookbinding) at the London College of Printing.

Cuir Cisele or Leather Schnitt

with Jan Sobota

This technique of cut leather decoration was used in Central Europe from 1350 through 1500, and can be a striking way to decorate a leather bookbinding. Jan Sobota attended the School of Applied Arts in Prague in 1957, received his Master of Applied Arts, majoring in Bookbinding in 1969. He was received the title of Meister des Einbandkunst by the MDE in 1979.

Monsiegnor Weber, Speaker

Image Gallery


1995 - Tuscaloosa, AL

Rx for Sick Books

with Elaine Schlefer

Book conservation techniques are demonstrated, many of which were developed while working with Carolyn Horton. These include vellum stretching, post binding, paper humidification, board attachment, pulp mending and sewing methods. Elaine Schlefer is Preservation Administrator/Conservator at the Gladys Brooks Book and Paper Conservation Laboratory, New York Academy of Medicine.

Danish Millimeter Binding

with John Hyltoft

A demonstration resulting in a well-constructed binding that combines the elements of good design, elegance, and an economic use of costly materials, including a short history of this binding style. John Hyltoft is the former Head of Conservation for the Smithsonian Institute Libraries, and is currently established as an independent contractor in Virginia.

Edge Gilding

with John Mitchell

This presentation covers the necessary equipment, the types of liquid adhesives that are available, the most effective gold leaf to use, and the most efficient techniques required to produce solid gilt edges. John Mitchell has taught at the London College of Printing, and was Senior Lecturer in charge of bookbinding. As Chief Examiner for the City & Guilds of London Institute, John is a silver medalist and author of two books on Edge Decoration and Gold Finishing.

Contemporary Edition Binding

with Mindell Dubansky and Priscilla Spitler

Ms. Dubansky’s slide lecture covered the many ways that books and art objects can be bound, with an explanation of the pragmatics of what makes a binding successful or unsuccessful and the differences in approach between library and edition binders. Ms. Spitler demonstrated her innovative time saving tips for cost-effective, edition case binding, including innovative jig designs, and discussion of supply sources and job bidding. Mindell Dubansky is head of Book Conservation at the Metropolitan Museum Library in New York. Priscilla Spitler is a teacher and hand bookbinder in her Smithville Texas studio, Hands On Bookbinding.

Colin Franklin, Speaker

Image Gallery


1994 - Dallas, TX

Modified Limp Vellum Binding

with Robert Espinosa

A demonstration of a binding with a three-component cover and an alum-tawed fitted spine piece combined with sides of limp vellum. This binding is an alternative to traditional limp vellum bindings for use in conservation treatments and creative binding. Robert Espinosa is Preservation Librarian at the Harold B. Lee Library of Brigham Young University, where he was previously head of conservation.

Mending Vellum Bindings

with Frank Mowery

A look at vellum production, and a demonstration of cleaning and repairing vellum with Japanese paper. How to flatten vellum and tips on storage and mounting techniques. Frank Mowery is the head conservator and preservation officer at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C.

In Search of Elegance: Board Edges Redefined

with Eleanore Ramsey

Slides, discussion and demonstration of techniques for covering complicated shapes, focusing on elegant finishing. Eleanore Ramsey teaches fine binding in San Francisco. Her bindings are in major exhibitions both in the U.S. and abroad.

Design Applications and Possibilities

with Tim Ely

Imaging and visual projection techniques and their employment on the triptych book surface. Unusual materials and technical methods are presented, as well as a history of symbolism and its usage on the book surface. Tim Ely is a book artist with training in traditional binding. He studies philosophical as well as technical and innovative approaches to designing bindings. Presented at the 1994 Standards of Excellence Seminar held in Dallas, TX

Decherd Turner, Speaker


1993 - Boston, MA

Sewing Variations

with Betsy Eldridge


Simplified Binding Structure

with Sun Evrard


Pastepaper Traditional & Contemporary

with Claire Maziarczyk


Using the Hot Stamping Press

with William Minter



1992 - San Francisco, CA

Box Making

with Daniel Kelm


Rebacking a Leather Tight-Back

with Bernard Middleton


The Making of Bone Songs Book

with Clair Van Vliet


Box and Sculptural Bindings

with Jan Sobota



1991 - Bloomington, IN

Conservation Treatments

with Don Etherington


Refinements of Case Binding

with David Bourbeau


Binding Design & Unusual Materials

with Donald Glaister


Special Enclosures

with Hedi Kyle



1990 - Washington, DC

Edge to Edge Doublures

with Monique Lallier


French Onlays and Tooling

with Tini Miura


Techniques and Logic in German Bookbinding (Part 1)

with J. Franklin Mowery


Techniques and Logic in German Bookbinding (Part 2)

with J. Franklin Mowery


Rebacking Leather Bindings

with James Brockman


Deborah Evetts, Speaker


1989 - Portland, OR

Suminagashi Japanese Marbled Paper

with Don Guyot


Basic Paper Repair for Bookbinders

with Betsy Palmer Eldridge


Mary Lou Florian, Speaker


1988 - Chicago, IL

Western Sewing Through the Fold

with Pamela Spitzmueller


Gougeless Onlays

with Sylvia Rennie


Japanese Side-sewn Bindings

with Cathy Atwood


Letterforms in Bookbinding

with Kay Amert



1987 - Austin, TX


with Jenny Hille


Rebacking Leather Bound Books

with Bruce Levy


Tools and Techniques of Paper Repair

with Barbara Meierhusby


Collaboration Between Binder and Printer

with Craig Jensen & Richard-Gabriel Rummonds



1986 - Iowa City, Iowa

Doublures, Endpapers, & Leather Hinges with William Anthony

Turkish Marbling with Paula Gourley

Book Enclosures with Scott Kellar

Read the Handout

French Sewing & Forwarding Techniques with Michelle Rome-Hyacinthe


1985 - Philadelphia, PA

Half Vellum Over Stiff Boards with Silvia Rennie

Watch the Video

Paper Cover Case Construction Conservation Rebinding with Gary Frost

Watch the Video

Gold Tooling with Gerard Charriere and Michael Wilcox

Watch the Video

Tool Sharpening with David Brock


Rebacking Cloth Bindings with Jerilyn Davis


Expanded Piano Hinge Album with Hedi Kyle

Watch the Video

Covering Fine Bindings in Full Leather with William Anthony

Watch the Video


1984 - Pittsburgh, PA

Paring of Leather Covers with Donald Etherington

Read the Handout

Gold Tooling Using Gold Leaf with Michael Wilcox & Don Glaister

Watch the Video

Edge Gilding and Gauffering with Hugo Peller

Watch the Video

Covering Techniques Using Vellum Over Stiff Boards with Heinke Pensky-Adam

Watch the Video

Lectures from Tini Miura & Hugo Peller


1983 - Boston, MA

Materials - Leather & Cloth with Samuel Ellenport

Materials - Paper & Adhesives with Jean Gunner

Guarding and Endpaper Construction with Donald Etherington

Read the Handout

Binding Styles with Deborah Evetts

Sewing Structures with Peter Waters & J. Franklin Mowery


1982 - Washington, DC

Read a review of the first Standards Seminar.

Conservation Binding with Thomas Albro

Restoration Binding with William Anthony

Limited Edition Binding with David Bourbeau

Artists' Books with Hedi Kyle

Designer Binding with Heinke Pensky-Adams



1981 - San Francisco, CA

Paper Cover Case Construction with Gary Frost

Half Vellum Over Stiff Boards with Silvia Rennie

Gold Tooling Using Gold Leaf with Michael Wilcox & Gerard Charriere