California, here I come!

book bindings

Now I know what I’ll be doing next time I’m in SF: Tim James of Taurus Bookbindery has opened the American Bookbinders Museum. The Chronicle reports.

In the museum sits an 800-pound Imperial arming press from 1832 that James bought and had shipped from France three years ago. Asked how expensive that was, he answers “frightfully,” declining to elaborate. James has been working on the museum for 15 years, accumulating paper cutters, paper samples, lettering tools, contraptions for lining blank paper, photos, manuals, and union pins from the International Brotherhood of Bookbinders.

Earlier this year he attained nonprofit status and started giving tours by appointment. In August he opened to the public. Admission is free and on Saturdays binder Tom Conroy is there working in the traditional fashion.

Even if you’re not going to San Francisco in the foreseeable future, do look at their website, which includes, among other things, a database of books annotated with salty comments such as,

Edition:
First, one hopes
Annotations:
This may not be the most utterly useless self-published book ever written on binding your own books; and it may not be the very worst bound. It must, however, be in the final running for both prizes.
Condition:
Covers heavily cockled, pages cockled at gutter, from poor binding technique

(On A How-To Guide: Bookbinding from Home)

Have any of you dear readers yet been there? If so, please report.

(Thanks, Jack!)

2 Responses

  1. Sanjeev Sharma
    Sanjeev Sharma October 4, 2009 at 8:33 am |

    Well I have not had the pleasure of visiting the museum – frankly I did not know of its existence till I came acroos this post. Having said that I would like to mention that of my own collection of close to 2000 books, I have myself bound more than 1200 in the last 5 years or so – I buy paperbacks and after a few months I bind them so that they would be able to live longer. Hopefully.

  2. Dylan Tweney
    Dylan Tweney October 23, 2009 at 2:07 pm |

    Oh! This sounds cool. I hadn’t heard of it either. I am so there!

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