The Guild of Book Workers Library – Introduction

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The Guild of Book Workers Library is housed in the Special Collections Department of the University of Iowa’s Main Library and holds over 700 volumes which focus on the arts of the book, particularly hand bookbinding techniques, but also contains volumes on the history of bookbinding and bookbinders, papermaking, paper decoration techniques, calligraphy, printing, and book conservation. By trading newsletters and journals produced by the Guild, the Library also receives current periodicals on binding from similar organizations in England, France, Spain, the Netherlands, and Australia. Videotapes and DVDs which document the annual Guild Standards Seminars are another important component of the collection, now the most frequently borrowed items because they demonstrate techniques that cannot be adequately described in print sources.

The holdings for each of these major parts of the Library are listed on their own page: monographs and individual print titles; serials in substantial runs; and CDs, videotapes and DVDs.

The list of print titles is the longest page (largest file = 220KB) with each title entered in a single alphabetical inventory.  Remember that most internet browsers permit you to search-in-page — which may produce faster results for you than scrolling through the entire list — and also keep in mind that if you save the page to your desktop, you can edit or reorganize it to make it more convenient for your purposes.

To facilitate searching, the page is also being “broken” into large subject categories, two of which are now available: Bookbinding manuals and how-to and Bookbinding – History of, including bibliography, exhibitions, etc.

For a history of the Library see “The Guild of Book Workers Collection at Iowa” by Pam Spitzmueller which appeared in the February 1996 issue of the Friends Newsletter, published by the Friends of the University of Iowa Libraries (

For a finding aid to the archival records of the Guild of Book Workers, go to Records of the Guild of Book Workers. These materials include chapter newsletters and records, publications, financial records, membership records, and copies of handouts and papers from the annual Standards Seminars.

For further information about the Guild Library please contact:

Ann Frellsen, Collections Conservator & Guild Librarian
Emory University Libraries
540 Asbury Circle
Atlanta, GA  30322