Don Etherington

Summerfield, North Carolina

James Joyce, Ulysses, 1936

Covered in full black super Chieftain, green Oasis, and orange French levant goat skin; orange, white, and green handsewn silk endbands; décor of colored onlays with blind and palladium tooling. 26 x 20.5 x 6.5 centimeters. Created 1982. Lent by the Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin.

Don Etherington began bookbinding at age thirteen as a student at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London and as an apprentice at Harrison’s & Company in London. He studied bookbinding and design with Edgar Mansfield and Ivor Robinson at the London School of Printing and worked as a conservator for the BBC and Roger Powell and Peter Waters. From 1967 to 1969 he was a training consultant at the Biblioteca Nazionale in Florence where he trained individuals in conservation practices as part of the flood response effort. He came to the Library of Congress (LC) in 1970 with Peter Waters where he served as Training Officer and Assistant Restoration Officer. While at LC he developed new techniques for the conservation of large collections of materials and helped shape the field of book conservation. He served as Assistant Director and Chief Conservation Officer at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1987, he joined Information Conservation, Inc. where he created a new conservation division. In 1982, he co-authored, with Matt Roberts, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, the first comprehensive attempt to compile terminology from all the bookmaking and conservation fields. Etherington is highly sought after as a workshop presenter. He initiated the the Guild of Book Workers Standards of Excellence meetings in 1980 and served as chair until 1987. He is a past Fellow of Designer Bookbinders. His work is held in significant collections worldwide. Website at