Book People | October 2009 | Chris Lowenstein

American Bookbinders Museum, San Francisco

Sometimes we book lovers lament the state of the printed book. Will it be overtaken by electronic media? Why are so many booksellers closing their shops? Why are libraries using valuable floor space, once the real estate province of books, for computers? Everywhere we look, it seems that fewer and fewer care about the printed book.

But if we take the time to look closely, we can find those who dedicate their lives and livelihoods to books. They're out there. Here's one example:

For those of you bibliophilic readers who live in the Bay Area or are planning a visit here, be sure to schedule some time to visit San Francisco's newest addition to the preservation of book history: The American Bookbinders Museum.

Founded by Tim James of Taurus Bookbindery, the museum and all it holds was featured in a recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle. You can read it by clicking here. The museum and its website have interesting exhibits of and information about equipment, manuals, documents, bookbinders, and endpapers.

Those of you interested in bookbinders' tickets, the little stickers and tags often found on the endpaper of an old book, should feast your eyes on the collection at the museum.

I haven't had a chance to visit here myself, but I plan to go soon. The museum is located in San Francisco at 1962 Harrison Street and is open 12-4pm on Saturdays or by appointment. Admission is free. The phone number is (415) 710-9369.

See you at the museum!

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