Following discussions in 1974, Terry Walker, John Coleman and a small group of colleagues formed The Society of Bookbinders in Manchester, England, the following year. They were concerned at the closing of National Bookbinding Apprenticeship schemes and recognized the need for a society devoted to the appropriate training and education required to fill this void. They also saw the organisation as representing the interests of bookbinders, conservators, librarians and book collectors; acting as a forum for the exchange of information.
A further aim was the promotion of the highest standards of bookbinding, preservation and conservation of our written and printed heritage. From its inception, the Society has successfully striven to ensure these aims are met. From those early beginnings, the Society has grown both in numbers and in influence. It now has members in all parts of the world and includes amongst that membership some of the most highly regarded names in the profession. It became The Society of Bookbinders and Restorers circa 1980 but reverted to its original name in 1990.
In 1987, the first edition of the Society's annual journal, 'BOOKBINDER' was published. A copy is sent to all members, as is a National Newsletter which is published three times a year. The history of the Society is described in an article by Frank Hippman (late editor of the National Newsletter) in Vol. 9 of BOOKBINDER (1995). Another, more personal account of our history, by Mike Duckworth, appears in Vol. 13 (1999). The latter may be viewed or downloaded here (PDF - 500k)