Understanding Book Structures for Conservation

This 5-day course will introduce the materials, tools and techniques most commonly used in Western European bookbinding. By understanding the historical context and changing manufacture of binding production, students will gain knowledge of how and why some bindings fail whilst others stand the test of time. Simple but effective preservation solutions will be explored to mitigate common library collection problems.

Ruth Stevens ACR will lead the practical course at her studio in the South Downs. Students will make three types of book: pamphlet, cased binding and flexible binding, each involving a variety of techniques. Through making, students will learn how materials work together and where inherent strength and weaknesses lie in binding structures. 

The last day of the course will be led by Caroline Bendix ACR. As the National Trust Advisor on Library Conservation for the past 27 years she has a unique and invaluable insight into the problems relating to historic collections combined with a wealth of experience in solving them. The students will visit a National Trust property in the area to be shown around the library which is currently undergoing a book conservation project.

Email Ruth on for more information.

Course dates: 30th September – 4th October 2019.                                           

Cost: £515.50 per student (includes 4 lunches and materials).