Collections

The American Bookbinders Museum collects and exhibits equipment, books, and ephemera related to bookbinders and the art of bookbinding. The only museum of its kind, ABM is dedicated to preserving and sharing the history, stories, and tools and craft of this remarkable art.

We seek to expand knowledge and understanding about the processes involved in bookbinding, the evolution of the book through time, and the people who were and are masters of this unique craft. This goal is achieved, not in small part, through access to the museum’s extensive collection of equipment, books and ephemera.

Have equipment or archival material that you would like to consider donating to our collection? Please contact us.

Catalog

The museum research collection is comprised of publications, archival records, and objects relating to bookbinding, the book industry, papermaking, labor history, and much more. Contact the Librarian for more information.

Access/Usage Policies

The museum collection, both library and archives, are research collections for use on site at the American Bookbinders Museum, Monday – Wednesday, by appointment. Researchers should contact the Librarian for more information or an appointment.

Equipment

The museum collection focuses largely upon the innovations of the industrial revolution. For details and history on some of these pieces, click View. Please contact Collections for more information.

Bookbinders Directory

This database contains biographical information on over three thousand American bookbinders and a lesser number of bookbinders from around the world. The database has been assembled mostly from primary sources including newspapers, city directories, letterheads, and bookbinders tickets. This is a work in progress and, as such, has not been thoroughly edited. Please check our data against the citations provided prior to publication. We welcome both corrections and additions if accompanied by verifiable citations.

If you have photographs of bookbinders, tickets, trade cards, letterheads or other ephemera that you would like included in this database you may send us scans or originals. If you send us originals please contact us first to make clear arrangements for us to either scan and return or acknowledge them as a donation to our collection. Unless requested otherwise, we will credit you with the citation. All scans provided to the American Bookbinders Museum become property of the Bookbinders Museum.

To avoid suggestions of favoritism we do not list contemporary bookbinders, but will publish biographies of deceased bookbinders if submitted by family members.

Permission is required for use of images on our website.