Bookbinding graduates are prepared to use case bindings to bind new books or repair 19th- and 20th-century books, construct protective enclosures, and perform simple conservation procedures under the general direction of a supervisor. Graduates are trained to bind books in leather and perform simple finishing operations, including blind tooling and gold lettering, and perform conservation work on leather-bound volumes.

Historic book models made during the program

Upon completion of the program, graduates are qualified to seek employment in a wide range of settings, including university, college, and other academic and research libraries, public and private libraries, and custom and library binderies. The work experience at these jobs provides opportunities to gain and perfect the advanced skills necessary to work in areas such as art bindings and the conservation of pre-19th century books.

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.

In addition to the Full-Time program, we offer a number of book arts and bookbinding courses through our Continuing Education Department. View all CE courses here.

Student Work Gallery


Contact Rob O'Dwyer, Director of Admissions, at 617-227-0155 x111 or
Apply Now


Natalie Naor

So much time at the bench allowed me to really work through what we learned from our instructor and the conventions of my craft, make the mistakes I needed to make and learn from, and experiment.

Natalie Naor BB ’17