The only museum of its kind in North America, ABM celebrates and explores the culture and tools of bookbinding, from its earliest forms to 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 digitization, our relationship with the book has evolved, 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 and 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.
- Anna Links, Director of Programs and Partnerships
- Elspeth Olson, Librarian/Archivist
- Jane Rades, Facilities/Office Manager
- Madeleine Robins, Operations Manager
- Stephanie Stokes, Volunteer and Program Manager
Tim James, Founder
- David Eves, IT
- Chris Saccheri, Web
Want to work at the American Bookbinders Museum? Check out our list of current job openings.
ABM in the News
- Peerspace Rentals Turn Extra Room into Money for Non-Profits (San Francisco Chronicle)
- Litquake Makes Writers Feel Like Rock Stars (San Francisco Chronicle)
- 422-Volume Rare Book Collection Becomes an Integral Part of the American Bookbinders Museum (iBookBinding)
- From the Design Desk: American Bookbinders Museum (Chronicle Books)
- The American Bookbinders Museum (Laughing Squid)
- American Bookbinders Museum, San Francisco (Fine Books & Collections)
- Bookbinder Opens Working Museum in SF (San Francisco Chronicle)