Applications are invited for this year’s Award.
The Norie Trust is a small charitable trust based in the South West of England. The Trust funds various projects, many of which are associated with literature and the arts. The Trust also assists community based projects which aim to improve the quality of people's lives.

The Trust have again generously offered the Society funds of £2,000.00 a year from 2018 - 2022 to fund an educational award to assist professionals in the book field.

The Trust wished to recognise Maureen Duke’s inspirational teaching and dedication to education and thus the award is known as The Maureen Duke Educational Award.

The recipient of the award each year should be a bookbinder, book conservator, book restorer or book artist who has worked professionally in the UK. for the last two years prior to the award. They should be intending to continue to work professionally, preferably in the UK.   

The Society of Bookbinder's Education and Training Task Force administer the award on behalf of the Trust and the award panel consists of the Chair of the Society, Chair of E&T and Maureen herself.  

The applicant will be required to email the following to Claire Redfern.

  • CV
  • A brief outline of the nature of study wishing to be undertaken, indicating how this will enhance their work, and their plans for the future.
  • Full Breakdown of costs - fees, travel and subsistence.
  • Images of work completed in the two years prior to application.
  • Two references.

The recipient will be required to write an account of their study and experience gained for others in the field.

This year the closing date for applications will be Friday 6th July 2018 with an announcement of the successful recipient to be made at the AGM at the Seminar at Chester University on the 30th August 2018. 

The announcement will be posted on the Website, in the E Bulletin, and by notification to Regional Secretaries of SOB and the secretaries to Designer Bookbinders, The Society of Archivists, The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and the Society of Scribes and Illuminators.


The Education and Training Task Force are looking for four helpers to assist with the running of the Seminar (30 August - 1 September 2018) at the University of Chester. You will see all the lectures and demonstrations. This is a very good way to get involved with the Society and get to know many members.
The four volunteers will be given a place at half the delegate rate.

If you are interested please contact Claire Redfern.


SoB Education & Training Seminar 2018

Full details of this year's Seminar – including online booking – are now available here.


The Queen's Bindery Apprenticeship Scheme – update
The first intake to The Queen's Bindery Apprenticeship Scheme has recently completed Year One and both Ellie Lanham and Matt Stockl have gained merit in City & Guilds Level 1 and distinction in City & Guilds Level 2 awards in bookbinding.

Matt and Ellie with Bernard Middleton

Their fascinating and comprehensive illustrated report can be seen here (PDF).



The Panel for this year’s Award was Maureen Duke, Sarah Burns (Chair of SoB) and Claire Redfern (Chair of Education & Training).

The standard of applications was excellent and only after much discussion was it decided that The Maureen Duke Award 2017 should be awarded to Kae Carlstedt-Duke.

Kae, a member of London & South Region, lives and works on the Isle of Wight, where she has her own bindery. She also runs workshops to introduce bookbinding at The Quay Arts Centre at Newport, where she is a resident artist.


SoB International Bookbinding Competition 2017

Full detalis and images of all the prize-winners are now available in the COMPETITION section.


The Queen's Bindery Apprenticeship Scheme

Recruitment of the 2017 intake to The Queen's Bindery Apprenticeship Scheme is now open. Full details can be seen here and application to this five-year hand bookbinding training programme is online via the Royal Collection Trust website.

Applications close on 18 June 2017 at 23:55 BST.


Martin Frost Wins Heritage Crafts Association Maker of the Year Award

We would like to congratulate fore-edge painter Martin Frost on receiving The Heritage Craft Association Maker of the Year Award. Martin is the only fore-edge painter still working in the UK and was a speaker at the Society’s conference in 2015. He has given lectures and demonstrations to SoB and Designer Bookbinders.

The Heritage Crafts Association is the advocacy body for traditional heritage crafts. Working in partnership with Government and key agencies, it provides a focus for craftspeople, groups, societies and guilds, as well as individuals who care about the loss of traditional crafts skills. It aims to support heritage crafts through a range of means, including advice, networking, training and access to public and private funding.

Examples of Martin’s work can be seen here.


It is with great sadness that we must announce the death, on 30th March, of Chris Clarkson, who would have been known to many members. He worked at Sandy Cockerell's and was involved in the rescue of books following the Florence floods, amongst many other achievements.

These words from his friend and colleage Nicholas Pickwoad (via Conservation DistList):
'Chris was the pre-eminent figure in the world of book and manuscript conservation and the history of bookbinding. His wide interests, extraordinary capacity for hard work, his thoroughness and endless curiosity, as well as his remarkable manual skills, gave him a stature in the field that it will be hard to equal. He taught and lectured in many countries across the world and will be remembered as an inspiring teacher and an unequalled source of knowledge. He will be greatly missed.'

31 March 2017



The Set Book
Emily Dickinson: Selected Poems
Introduction by Lavinia Greenlaw

The Folio edition is 216x138mm, 160 pages. It is a beautifully presented collection that celebrates the radical style of a visionary American poet. Integrated wood engravings by Jane Lydbury draw on Dickinson’s love of nature.

The cost of the set book is £25 (to Members) and £30 for non-members to include packing, postage and entrance fee. Entry details and a copy of the 2017 set book can be obtained via the DB website.

Every entrant must bind the set book but we welcome open-choice books and artist’s books. The closing date for entries will be October 14th 2017.

The Bookbinding Competition is sponsored by Designer Bookbinders and The Folio Society and is open to anyone resident in the UK with the exception of Fellows of Designer Bookbinders.


The Royal Collection Trust have announced two new appointments within the Royal Bindery, Windsor Castle:

Glenn Bartley commences as Bookbinder on 6 March 2017. He has been a professional bookbinder for over thirty years. Having studied at Guildford College he then worked for a bindery in Oxford for five years, and established his own bindery in Culham, Oxfordshire in 1991. Elected a Fellow of Designer Bookbinders in 1999, Glenn has exhibited his contemporary bookbindings worldwide. In 1996 he won the DB Silver Medal (Mansfield Medal) and in 2005 the SoB International Competition 1st Prize, Fine Binding category for professional binders. He has worked for clients from Oxford University to private collectors and institutions around the world as well as demonstrating and lecturing widely on traditional binding techniques.

Philippa Räder takes on the position of Head of the Royal Bindery with immediate effect. She has been a book conservator-restorer in various capacities for the Royal Collection since 2003 and is professionally accredited through the Institute of Conservation. A Cambridge graduate in English, Philippa trained in book and paper conservation at the Getty Research Institute, California and previously held positions at The Huntington Library, California and The National Archives (UK). She was elected Chair of the London & South Region of the Society of Bookbinders in February.


Applications are invited for this year’s Award.

The Norie Trust generously offered the Society funds of £2,000.00 a year from 2013 - 2017 to fund an educational award to assist professionals in the book field in recognition of Maureen Duke’s inspirational teaching and dedication to education.

Full details here (PDF)



Maureen Duke BEM

We are delighted to congratulate Maureen Duke on being made a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) in the Queen’s 2017 New Year Honours List, for life-long service to the teaching and propagation of the crafts of Bookbinding, Conservation and Restoration.

Maureen Duke has been a skilled practitioner and inspirational teacher of the crafts of Bookbinding, Conservation and Restoration for 70 years. She has had a profound influence on students and fellow craftsmen and women across the UK and around the world and has continuously motivated the members of the Society with energy, commitment and high distinction. She commands the deep respect of all of us for the vigour and enthusiasm with which she has preserved, nurtured and interpreted these crafts for several generations of bookbinders and craftsmen.

Not only have so many of us here in the UK benefited from her tuition, Maureen has lectured and advised in the United States, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, Romania and Venezuela. Her election as Chair, President and one of the two Patrons of the Society of Bookbinders was tangible proof of the love, respect and admiration in which she is held, and this Royal honour is very welcome and long overdue recognition of an exceptional colleague and friend.