Todd Davis, a 2016 graduate of the Bookbinding program, was recently featured on the Western Avenue Studios Artist Association's blog. Western Avenue Studios offers work space to more than 280 artists in Lowell, Massachusetts. In addition to owning and operating his own bindery there, Todd also currently works part-time at the front desk here at the School.
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.
- Curriculum: Investigate what students learn over the course of the two-year program.
- Facilities: Virtually walk through the program space and bench room.
- Faculty: Meet our talented instructors, who are experts in their field.
- Tuition: Check out tuition, costs, and class hours.
- Careers: Explore the wide variety of careers available to Bookbinding graduates and the employment outlook.
- Profiles: Read about our alumni, including how an education at NBSS opened doors for them.
"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
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.
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.