Lori Foley BB '95, Administrator of the Heritage Emergency National Task Force at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has charted what might be considered an unusual course: from training in the Bookbinding program at North Bennet Street School to leading the national effort on protecting cultural heritage from the damaging effects of natural disasters and other emergencies.
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.
For any questions, contact Rob O'Dwyer, Director of Admissions, at 617-227-0155 x111 or email@example.com.
"As far as I know, the U.S. does not have any bookbinding programs like NBSS... a multiple year program, bench-oriented, and focused on craft."
Samuel Feinstein BB ’12View More Bookbinding Alumni Profiles
A former grocery store and later, an apartment, the single-story space is a feast for the eyes with a newsprint-linoleum floor, artwork all around, and open shop space beyond. Print Craft offers affordable fine art prints, letterpress, serial publications, and experiments in stationery.
Over 20 years ago, Martha Kearsley BB '95, perused the Arts of the Book exhibit at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, Ireland. She examined ancient religious texts, all bound differently and well cared for and thought to herself, "Someone had to make these and somebody had to take care of them," she remembers. "I wondered if I could do this and become a bookbinder."
The prestigious Harvard Library has a top-notch team of book and document conservators on staff, including NBSS Bookbinding graduates Irina Gorstein BB '98 and Anne McLain BB '10. "Books sometimes come to us all but falling apart," says Anne. "To see the books leave sound and usable for patrons again gives you great satisfaction."
NBSS was a mecca this year for professional bookbinders and collectors of fine and design binding, thanks to not one but two traveling bookbinding exhibits. The New York-based Guild of Book Workers presented Vessel during the summer of 2016 at NBSS, and in the following summer of 2017, the Colorado-based American Academy of Bookbinding (AAB) presented Open • Set.
Bookbinding program alumnus and Continuing Education instructor Samuel Feinstein BB '12 specializes in fine bindings and gold finishing, with a style gracefully balancing modern and classic. Samuel was recently interviewed by a fellow bookbinder and explained how he got into the field and what led him to NBSS.