Our Story

The American Bookbinders Museum is the only museum of its kind in North America, celebrating and exploring the culture and tools of bookbinders and bookbinding from its earliest forms through the changes and innovations of the industrial revolution. In addition to the craft and artistry of binding, we focus on the stories of the men, women, and children who worked in binderies.

Mission and History

In the age of digital media our relationship with the book is evolving, making this the ideal time to tell the history of this object and memorialize its significance in regards to where we are today.

The American Bookbinders Museum was founded by Tim James, a commercial bookbinder who became fascinated with the craft’s history while he was amassing and upgrading his equipment. Researching and acquiring vintage materials became a dedicated hobby, but as his collection of machines, books and periodicals became more massive it raised the question of what he was supposed to do with all of it. The answer was to use these resources to share the equipment, materials, and the stories of bookbinders and binding through history, to shed light on the craft and the larger history of the book.

The American Bookbinders Museum is a registered 501(c)3 organization.