Volume 52 - Autumn 2021


The American Bookbinders Museum

An Amazing Resource in San Francisco


The Story of the Book

We showcase bookbinding from the 1600s through the early 1900s, with an emphasis on the mechanical and business innovations of the Industrial Revolution. Our tours take visitors through the highly-evolved hand binding process in use by the 1600s and brought to this county when colonized. Hand binding remained virtually unchanged from the 1600s until it's mechanization in the 1800s. Our tours describe the processes of bookbinding and the influence of guilds, labour unions, publishers and the presence of women in 19th century binderies.

The only museum of its kind in North America, the ABM opened in its current location at 355 Clementina Street, San Francisco in 2015.


Much of the equipment still functions as it did in the 19th century.

ABM at a Glance

Self-Guided Tours
Tours are available at any time, Wednesday through Saturday (Covid hours), from 10am until 4pm. Most visitors take 30-60 minutes touring the museum at their own pace. We offer a self-guided audio tour and self-guided Signature tour in English and Mandarin.

Group Tours
Arranged by request for groups of 5 to 15, we encourage school groups (K-12), Special interest groups and seniors to call us to arrange a special tour with us.

Rotating special exhibitions include objects from the ABM's collection, as well as exhibitions created in collaboration with outside organizations such as The Hand Bookbinders of California, libraries and archives. Exhibitions focus on some aspect of books as physical objects. Our special exhibitions are always free to the public. Current Exhibitions can be found at bookbindersmuseum.org/exhibitions/

Museum Shop
Browse our curated selection of books on books, handcrafted artisanal bibliophile objects and ABM branded memorabilia like tee-shirts, caps, mugs and postcards.

Special lectures and workshops are offered, produced by ABM and in collaboration with local bookbinders and book arts organizations. Current events can be found at bookbindersmuseum.org/events/

Special Collection/Archive
Our special collection of bookbinding related books, periodicals and ephemera are catalogued and available online, and onsite by request. We accept donations within our collection policy and hope to continue growing this collection.

Our beautiful museum is available for special events.

American Bookbinders Museum
355 Clementina Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Phone: (415) 824-9754
Email: info@bookbindersmuseum.org



Skin Deep - Volume 52 - Autumn 2021

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