Congratulations to former Bookbinding Department Head Mark Esser, recipient of the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Guild of Book Workers. With a career as a fine binder, teacher, and conservator spanning four decades, he's considered one of the finest bookbinders in the country. Mark created the curriculum for the two-year, full-time Bookbinding program at NBSS, and served as the program's first Department Head and Instructor.
The two-year, comprehensive Bookbinding program teaches students how to make, restore, and preserve books and other printed treasures.
During the first year, you’ll learn the history and development of this traditional craft, as well as develop a host of necessary skills. You'll make a variety of historical and modern binding structures, boxes, and other protective enclosures. The repair of cloth and paper bindings will supplement your understanding of the way books function and break down.
Toward the end of the first year and throughout the second year you will create and repair leather bindings. During your second year, you'll have the opportunity to choose additional projects that reflect your personal career goals in conservation, fine binding, or other areas of the field. Additional learning takes place outside of the classroom — through exhibits, conferences, and field trips to binderies, historic collections, private studios, and conservation labs.