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Bookbinders Directory


The Bookbinders Directory was compiled through archival research, bookbinders tickets, and other items from the collection. The directory aims to illuminate the variety and spread of bookbinders throughout the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The ABM makes no claim as to its completeness.
Currently, the directory is in stasis. No information is being added or removed.

Bound for Beauty - Online Exhibit


This special directory includes all Decorated Publishers' Bindings included in the Bound for Beauty online exhibit. The exhibit spans the mid-1800s to the early 1900s, and includes the design influences of the Civil War, Victorian, Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco eras. You can see the influence of technology as the simplistic designs of the 1840s evolve into more elaborate and colorful styles, made possible by increasingly sophisticated use of stamps, inks, dyes and techniques.

Exhibit Hall

The Exhibit Hall contains the bulk of the American Bookbinder's collection of historic machinery and tools, as well as books from the 18th through the 20th centuries. The history and use of these objects and their importance to bookbinding are highlighted during tours at the ABM.

Kathleen V. Roberts Collection of Decorated Publishers' Bindings


The Kathleen V. Roberts Collection is the work of many years of collecting. It highlights the changing styles and aesthetics of decades of cloth-bound publishers' bindings, from their beginnings in the 1830s, to their gradual decline in favor of printed dust jackets in the early 20th century.

Don't know where to start? Curious about a particular designer? Try searching for "Margaret Armstrong" to list all bindings in the collection designed by her. Want to explore by era? Search "1880s" to see all bindings designed in that decade.

Permanent Collection

The museum’s collection includes publications, archival records, and objects relating to bookbinding, the book industry, labor history, and rare/fine books. Contact the Collections Manager for more information.

Reference Books

This folder contains books and other printed or handwritten materials that inform the practices of bookbinding and trades related to bookbinding (paper-making, marbling, leather working, gilding, etc). The majority of texts are directly related to the process or history of bookbinding, while additional areas of focus include exhibition catalogs focused on rare or design bindings, printed and bound keepsakes from the Hand Bookbinders of California and private presses, and printing.

Reference Periodicals

Periodicals that inform the practices of bookbinding and trades related to bookbinding (paper-making, marbling, leather working, gilding, etc). They also contain newsletters and membership lists related to the organizations that published journals. Titles included in this category are “Bookbinding and Book Production,” “The Abbey Newsletter,” and the “Guild of Book Workers Journal.”

Riverside Press Dies Collection

These dies were rescued from the Riverside Press (Cambridge, MA) after it went out of business in the 1970s. A gift of Darrell Hyder, Sun Hill Press.

All Entries

All ABM Catalog Entries


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