Hand bookbinding is an ancient craft, dating from the time when all books were individually bound for care and protection. Nowadays, with most new books being machine-bound, the emphasis is more on repair and conservation of older books, though books are still completely hand-bound for a variety of reasons and applications, including binding small runs of privately-published books, binding college theses, binding magazines into book form, as a special gift or presentation, or simply producing a book with a decorated cover as a work of art in its own right.
The Society of Bookbinders is a registered charity that was formed in 1970 upon the closure of the National Bookbinders Apprenticeship Scheme to provide ongoing support for training and education in bookbinding. It also took on a role as a representative body for bookbinders, conservators, librarians and book collectors; acting as a forum for the exchange of information.
The Midlands Branch is one of eight regional branches, drawing most of our members from Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, though many are from further afield (there is no fixed boundary).
We hold regular meetings throughout the year - usually but not always on the third Thursday in the month. We also organise a number of trips to various venues of interest and hold specialist workshops for members and non-members. A newsletter is published three times per year, which contains articles and tips on a range of topics and details of events elsewhere.
Our meetings take place at various locations throughout the East Midlands. The main venues being:
> Iveshead School, Shepshed, Leicestershire for our Thursday evening meetings;
We are currently looking for other venues that we can use for meetings, specifically in Derby. If you know of a suitable venue in Derby please use our contact form to let us know.