Bookbinding community is not a very small one. However, when it comes to sharing secrets of trade online, some bookbinders prefer to not to participate. Luckily, there still are quite many blogs to allow both beginners and experienced bookbinders to educate themselves.
The list below contains top 30 of almost 100 blogs that are related to bookbinding, book history, book arts and book conservation. Some of the blogs are also covering some other issues.
Some of the sites are not really blogs. However, they have some regular updates (posts), that allowed them to be included to the list.
For obvious reasons, iBookBinding.com is not included to this rating.
Unfortunately, there are some really nice bookbinding blogs, that were not active for a year or more. To be included to the list a blog had to have a least one post in the year 2016. Hope some of these blogs would be updated next year.
Blogs were rated based on a composite index, that accounts for Alexa rating, SeoMoz Page Authority, and number of subscribers of respective Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
There are several blogs on the list, which are owned by large institutions like universities or libraries. That made it harder to create a rating, not spoiled by the influence of these mother organization’s web sites. However, both Preservation Underground operated by members of the Duke University Libraries Preservation & Conservation Departments and Medieval Manuscripts Blog of the British Library have earned their places on the top of the list.
By the way, one of the authors of the blog is none other than Henry Hebert, bookbinder and book conservator, whose blog Work of the Hand is one of the pitiful losses of the past year.
You will find almost no information on bookbinding techniques here. However, even just seeing all these old codices may inspire a bookbinder to do something new and beautiful.
News about new workshops and exhibitions at the Center for Book Arts (New York, USA) and other things.
Unfortunately, blog wasn’t updated since August 2016.
Publications, news, job postings and other updates in the blog supported by the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.
A blog from the Special Collections of the University of St Andrews.
Blue Roof Designs is a bookbinding enterprise of Elissa Campbell. And it has a blog. No tutorials, just some day to day stuff.
Blog about medieval manuscripts by a Leiden University medieval paleography and codicology professor Erik Kwakkel.
Once again, not really a blog, but a news feed of the Brazilian Association of Bookbinding and Restoration. Worth following even if you do not know Portuguese — they post some nice photos and automatic translation works better with every passing year.
More of a storefront of a bookbindery than a blog. However, you can find some nice photos and occasional educational materials there.
Personal blog of a bookbinder and book conservator, who is especially famous for his wonderful bookbinding knives (and other tools).
11. Ladies of Letterpress
Blog platform of the Ladies of Letterpress international trade organization. Posts by multiple authors.
12. Becca Making Faces
Lots of wonderful Japanese binding patterns and other things. Hope the blog would become regularly update once again in the next year.
13. Flash of the Hand
Beautiful blog kept by a bookbinder from Boston — Erin Fletcher. Erin is a graduate of the North Bennet Street School and the owner of the Herringbone Bindery.
14. Books and Vines
Musings on classic literature, collectable books, fine wines and a sundry other things that make life interesting.
15. elbel libro
Professional web site of the binder of Ben Elbel and Kieke Schaaper (Netherlands). There is no blog here, however, sometimes they post some really insightful articles.
16. American Bookbinders Museum
Regularly updated with book history and book craft posts blog of the American Bookbinders Museum (San Francisco, USA).
17. han-made bookbinding
Blog of a self-employed bookbinder from West London.
18. Preservation at the National Archives
Another blog of an official institution. You will find mostly posts about paper restoration here.
19. Parks Library Preservation
Not only book and paper objects restoration, but also some other strange things.
20. Art Print Residence
Blog of the Art Print Residence (Arenys de Munt, Barcelona, Spain) — prints and stuff.
- Dimitri’s Bookbinding corner — https://koutsipetsidis.wordpress.com/
- Rita Udina. Paper & Book conservation and restoration — http://ritaudina.com/
- The Guild of Book Workers — https://guildofbookworkers.org/blog
- Notabilia — https://blogs.princeton.edu/notabilia/
- Sexy Codicology — http://sexycodicology.net/blog/
- Provenance Online Project — https://provenanceonlineproject.wordpress.com
- Alcuin Society — http://alcuinsociety.com/blog/
- Jack & Taff Fitterer — http://www.fittererbookbinding.com/blog/
- Preservation Beat — http://blog.lib.uiowa.edu/preservation
- West Dean College School of Conservation Blog — https://www.westdean.org.uk/study/school-of-conservation/blog
If you agree or disagree with the list, just post a comment below.
There are some other blogs worth following that didn’t make it to the top-30. Maybe it would be reasonable to make a follow up post listing them and some other blogs, that are really nice, but not updated for some time.
Top photo by Juan Antonio F. Segal, CC BY