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Introduction to Bookbinding & Conservation @ RHACC


  • Richmond Adult Community College (map)

This class teaches traditional bookbinding techniques, understanding of materials, and how to use equipment safely in order to produce long-lasting professional books. You will learn how to make single and multi-section bindings and how to modify & adapt them to different purposes. We will look at historic and modern binding examples for context.

This course will set up the beginner to experiment in bookbinding, take further bookbinding or book conservation classes, and is the prerequisite for Intermediate Bookbinding.

You will begin with single-section and two-section pamphlet bindings and progress to a multi-section case binding with rounded and backed spine and a cloth cover, and half- or quarter-leather bindings on raised cords. While styles and aesthetics have changed, many of the techniques and equipment we will use have remained the same for centuries.

You will learn how to choose appropriate paper, adhesive, and covering materials, as well as how the different factors like thread, paper, and board thickness affect each other. Emphasis will be placed on understanding of the book structure and precision required to produce well-made, sturdy bindings. Opportunities will be given for experimentation & personally directed work.

Practical work will be led by demonstration of each process, then time to carry out the work with supervision & assistance as needed. Notes will be provided & digital/print resources recommended. Students are strongly encouraged to attend each session as work one week will be the basis for the next week’s work. We will look at old books in person and on Powerpoint.

While there is no formal assessment, for anyone who wants to pursue a degree in book conservation, a letter of recommendation can be provided upon successfully completing the course.

11 weeks: 16 January–3 April (Wednesdays): 1:30–4:30 pm
£241 To book and for more information, go to the RHACC website