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Bookbinding Organisations

ARA Belgium - ARA (Amis de la Reliure d'Art) is an international non-profit-making organisation, founded in France in 1982 by Marcel Garrigou and friends. Today, the association has a total of more than 1000 members in various countries. Its main goal is to promote the distinctive and not widely known art of bookbinding as fine art. The association is not only involved in traditional and modern bookbinding, but also in contemporary bookbinding trends in all countries. According to its statutes, A.R.A supports or generates various events, exhibitions, competitions and fairs, in order to show bookbinding works of art to large audiences. It strives to organise a biennial event, the 'International Forum of Art Bookbinding' FIRA (Foire Internationale de la Reliure d'Art). The last forums wer held in Freiburg, Switzerland in 2007 and in Bruges, Belgium in 2011.

The Book Arts Web - Book artists and others interested in the book arts will find the 'Book Arts Web' page to be chock full of information and links to resources relating to handmade small edition bookbinding and printing. This simply-designed but extensive site also features links to a large selection of book-arts related sites on the web where visitors will find many useful links to a great many book arts, printing, calligraphy, papermaking and associated sites. Perhaps most interesting, however is the page's 'Book Arts Gallery" which includes photographs of books and book works by many leading bookartists. Also includes curated exhibitions of book works by members of the Guild of Book Workers and students at Syracuse University making this an interesting look at a little-known art form.

Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild - This site details the aims, programs, exhibitions, workshops, and publications of Canada's major book arts group which represents over 480 members in Canada and another 100 members around the world. (The semi-annual CBBAG full-colour magazine of articles, techniques, reviews, etc, is very highly regarded.) In addition, an extensive page of links to other book arts web sites is organised by category such as bookbinding, calligraphy, papermaking, paper decorating, conservation, type & printing, etc.

The Center for Book Arts - is located in New York City. It was the first organization of its kind in the USA (1974) and has been the model for many similar organizations nationwide. Over 140 exhibitions have been mounted in its gallery since its inception. A faculty of 40 professional book artists offers more than 100 courses annually. Studio rental facilities are maintained, with a professional letterpress printshop and hand bindery. At their website you can see the current program and class schedules and view some of the exhibits.

Designer Bookbinders - From its small but enthusiastic origins some fifty years ago, Designer Bookbinders has gained universal recognition as one of the largest society's in its field and one of the most active. As the society moves forward into the next century it has also achieved its fundamental objectives which are to promote, maintain and improve the standards of design and technique of the hand bound book.

Fine Press Book Association - The Fine Press Book Association (FPBA) is an organization of individuals interested in the art of fine printing, formed with the goal of promoting the appreciation of beautiful books and printing skills. FPBA had its first official meeting and issued the first issue of Parenthesis in 1998. Today it has a worldwide membership of those interested in the fine book and contemporary fine printing: collectors, printers, artists, illustrators, museums, libraries, and dealers.

The Guild of Book Workers - The Guild of Book Workers is the national non-profit organisation for all the book arts. It was founded in 1906 and since that time, especially the last 15 years, has grown immensely in scope. It currently boasts over 900 members world-wide. Areas of interest include bookbinding, printing, conservation, marbling, calligraphy, and papermaking. At this site you will find information about the Guild, back issues of the Newsletter, exhibits, publications and an extensive study opportunities list of places where one can find instruction. NOTE, this is primarily a US based resource.

The Institute of Conservation (ICON) - (was the Institute of Paper Conservation) is the lead voice for the conservation of cultural heritage in the UK. Icon's membership embraces the wider conservation community, incorporating not only professional conservators in all disciplines, but all others who share a commitment to improving understanding of and access to our cultural heritage. Within ICON, the Book and Paper Group is devoted to the conservation of paper and related materials and the advancement of the craft and science of paper conservation both within the profession and in terms of public awareness.

The Morgan Conservatory - of Papermaking Consevatory and Educational Foundation is a Cleveland, Ohio non-profit art center dedicated to the production and preservation of hand papermaking and the art of the book. The Morgan Conservatory will pursue its educational and charitable purposes by serving the greater community locally, nationally and internationally with sustainable practices in an innovative green environment.

Nobel Museum Bookbinding Exhibition - is a collaboration between SBI (Swedish Bookbinders Guild) and the Nobel Museum. From its inception in 2005, when Harold Pinter was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2005, this collaboration has resulted in an annual bookbinding exhibition. The goal has been and continues to be to give bookbinders an opportunity to work together on a current event. What could be better than the Nobel Prize for Literature? This site provides news and information about future exhibition projects. Visitors can also view the extensive collection of photographs from previous exhibitions. The site also serves as an information channel for participants in the current exhibition project.

Professione Libro - is an Italian association whose aim is to promote the arts of the book. As well as promoting book-related events, workshops and research, it collaborates with typographers, calligraphers, illustrators, designers and bookbinders on projects such as limited editions, children's books and bookbinding exhibitions. New members, ideas and initiatives are welcome. Professione Libro organises courses and workshops to suit all levels of interest and skill, such as basic bookbinding, fine binding, experimental binding, book and paper repair, paper decoration and the use of textiles in bookbinding.

Queensland Bookbinders Guild, Inc. - whose aims are to promote and practise the arts of bookbinding and related arts, are based in Queensland, Australia. To fulfil these ideals, regular meetings, workshops and courses are held throughout the year. Their site also has details on membership of the Guild, whose members receive quarterly newsletters.

The Society of Bookbinders - Welcome to The Society of Bookbinders (UK based), dedicated to traditional bookbinding, preserving and conserving the printed and written word. Membership application details are available at this site.

The Victorian Bookbinders Guild - aims are to maintain and foster the art, craft and practise of bookbinding, both contemporary and historical, so that traditional techniques will be preserved as a basis of knowledge for the ongoing development of the book, and provide an understanding of book structure through time. They are based in The State of Victoria, Australia and their site gives details of membership, forthcoming events and extracts from their recent newsletters.

The Wessex Guild of Bookbinders - was formed in 1968 with the aim of keeping alive and promoting the craft of bookbinding. As amateur binders, they meet regularly in their own bindery near Wimborne Minster in Dorset, more information is available on their website.