Victorian Bookbinders Guild

For all interested in the Art, Craft and Practice of Bookbinding                                             


Once again the bookbinding guild made the journey to Clunes to participate in the book fair. We had a fantastic setup with Tim and Jim bringing up a lot of equipment. There was even video’s running on the computer showing bookbinders at work. We had books in various stages of production to show how a case bound book is made. And there were a lot of tools on display to show what bookbinders use. Our display was located in the church, just up the hill from the main bookselling area. The State Library as well as other booksellers were in the church with us.

Even though the church probably does not get the full traffic that move through the book selling area in the main street, those people who did come through the church were really interested in our display. People were very interested to see how a book is made and we explained the process to a lot of viewers. Of course we also spoke about the bookbinding guild and our monthly meetings and hopefully we will get some new members from our participation in the book fair. We also advertised our case binding workshop which we arranged for June. Quite a few people signed up for this.

Some of our members stayed in the area over the weekend as they had to set up the display on Friday afternoon, ready for people coming through on Saturday morning. I just went up for the day so I spent a few hours talking to people, trying my best to get them interested in bookbinding and the guild. Then I had a great time looking around all the book stalls. Of course even though I intended not to buy many books, I did come back with about ten books. Now the problem of fitting them into my bookcase!

I find it fantastic to be involved with the book fair and represent the guild at this great book event. I enjoyed being on our stall and talking to interested people about bookbinding . Of course I also enjoyed looking around at all the bookstalls to find books I am interested in and would not see elsewhere. The most unusual book I purchased was “Union Cases”. What on earth is that about, you may ask. Well it is all about cases made for daguerreotypes and ambrotypes in the USA. Because daguerreotypes were fragile photographs they were covered with a glass plate and put into a case, often which had a velvet lining on the inside. The cases were made from a variety of materials and were considered as America’s first plastics. The union in the title is referencing the different materials that were combined to make the case. I have one of these cases which is what piqued my interest in the book. Also as I do photographic conservation it is important to know how these early photographs were cased. Daguerreotypes were first introduced in 1839 and the plastic union cases were produced from 1853 so they are there at the very early stages of photography.

Back to the book fair! It was only committee members looking after our stall for the two days. It would be great if other members would get involved and come up and be on the stall for a few hours. As I said it is really interesting talking to the public about bookbinding and being involved with the book fair. And of course it is fantastic to look around the book fair and maybe find a treasured book.

Debra Parry


Presenter Jim Finger

In this workshop we will explore the production methods of the oldest surviving complete codex books from the Nag Hammadi area of Egypt. These books show the migration of the scroll to the codex, and so have a significant place in the history of the book.

After the heat and humidity of China, we headed into Scotland. fter all we were already half way there. These is so much to see, so many uniques libraries, art collections, and amazing little churches hidden away with  amazing atworks. I would have liked to visit John Rylands Library now part of University of Manchester, but it didn’t fit into the schedule. However we did get to the Innerpeffray Library .

October Meeting 2017-10-26

Friends,  I had the pleasure of making a presentation at the meeting on Tuesday. I certainly had a good time as I like telling the stories of what I have been able to do, and I hope the people attending enjoyed it too.


I applied to The National Library of China to visit the conservation department of the library.


The main reason for our travelin 2017  was involvement in an immersion English program in China. A team of 25 or so volunteers from 4 different countries spend a week of training and 3 weeks of intensive English speaking. 

A design for a childrens book. This new style of black and white is intended for very young children, where they cannot see colours but shapes.

 English in Egypt  with the life of General Gordon,   published 1885?  Cloth boards with nice gold blocking. All edges Gilt. Badly damaged covers. To be repaired for my personal reading.

The Family Bible makes a lot of the work of many of todays binderies. Repairs to these pieces  of family history is important. But did you ever look to see where thay all come from?  

I was all set to depart for China in late June when an email arrived

Daphne Dobbins Bindery was for sale in mid NSW and that a clearing sale was to happen while I was away.

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Meetings & Events

Tue Jul 24 @19:00 - 09:00PM
July Meeting 2018
Tue Aug 28 @19:00 - 09:00PM
August Meeting 2018
Tue Sep 25 @19:00 - 09:00PM
September Meeting 2018
Tue Oct 23 @19:00 - 09:00PM
October Meeting 2018
Tue Oct 23 @19:00 - 09:00PM
November Meeting 2018

Victorian Bookbinders Guild Inc.  Incorporated 1981     Registration No A2896  ABN: 97 853 169 281     PO Box 355, Seddon West, Victoria 3011