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Po Box 193216
San Francisco, CA

A close-knit group of hand bookbinders, with shared interests in creating and collecting fine bindings, joined together to promote hand bookbinding and related book arts and to exchange information and ideas. 

Upcoming Workshop Registration

Workshops are offered several times a year, at various bay area locations, either at teachers' studios or at the San Francisco Center for the Book. Courses are held by nationally recognized instructors with hands-on instruction in fine binding, book structures, paper decorating, equipment maintenance and many other techniques. Open to all those who are interested, some course may have prerequisites. 

SCHOLARSHIPS: As a member organization which includes binders of all levels, we strive to create space for everyone to learn new skills and applications. To apply for a scholarship CLICK HERE and fill out the PDF form. Details of the scholarship are included at the top of the form.  


Two Semi-limp Parch­ment Bind­ing Styles
March 19-23, 2018

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sold out

Two Semi-limp Parch­ment Bind­ing Styles
March 19-23, 2018

from 400.00

Instructor: Ann Hillam
Dates: March 19-23, 2018
Times: 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Location: 1890 Bryant St Studio, San Francisco CA 94110

Much research has focused on limp parchment bindings, resulting in a clear terminology used to describe these structures. This class will focus on the relatively less-researched genre of bindings referred to as “semi-limp”. On its surface a simple structure, this style of binding presents many quandaries for researchers and conservators. The lines between semi-limp and stiff-board bindings can be blurry at best, and even the task of compiling a consistent vocabulary to describe them is far from straightforward.


We will construct and compare two (2) semi-limp structures from 16-17th century European imprints. The bindings share the characteristic of a parchment cover laced on only by the endband supports.

1) The first model will be based on a binding style noted by Nicholas Pickwoad in the Ramey collection at the Pierpont Morgan Library. This binding is distinguished by a laced, flexible cover liner usually consisting of cartonnage or laminated paper, forming what could be viewed as a primary cover (under a secondary parchment cover).

2) A second, more common structure composed of thin, floating flexible boards will also be constructed. Participants will learn about the history of board making and will construct pasteboards used for the floating boards. Sewing supports will be made by hand following the principles used in simple rope making.


Some knowledge of and experience in bookbinding is desirable for this class.


Instructor Bio: Anne Hillam is a book conservator in private practice providing consulting and conservation services for institutions and individuals in New York City and Western Massachusetts. She has been in the field for more than twenty-five years, specializing in the conservation of books and paper artifacts, with a strong interest in parchment bindings. Anne acted as Head of Conservation at the New York Academy of Medicine’s Gladys Brooks Book & Paper Conservation Laboratory from 2007–2012, where she also held positions of Conservator and Senior Conservator of special collections. She is currently a contract conservator in the Barbara Goldsmith Conservation Laboratory at New York University. Anne is a Professional Associate in the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC).


Materials Cost: All materials for this week long class (including parchment) will be provided by the teacher and the cost is included in the workshop fee. Each student will have all the necessary materials to construct 2 semi-limp bindings.

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