Scene on Campus


Binding books from scratch in the Silliman basement.

Christopher Capozziello

Christopher Capozziello

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Every month, the Silliman College basement is packed with students who love books. But they’re not reading. They’re crafting.

The Yale Guild of Bookmakers, which was founded by Hunter Ford ’15 (far right) and has grown to more than 600 members, runs frequent workshops in which students teach students how to transform a text into a keepsake. The bookbinding takes place in two basic stages, text and cover. Students first print the text onto specially formatted pages; any text in the public domain is fair game. They sew together several pages at a time to make small booklets, and then sew the booklets together to form the text block. To make the binding, they stretch material of their choice over two pieces of book board. The creations range from simple cloth covers to intricate leather bindings patterned with complex stitches. (One student bound a copy of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in stingray leather.) Finally, cover and text block are attached, completing the book. Ford says the process usually takes three to five hours, and he stays until the last person has finished.

1 comment

  • Jackson and Ming Yang
    Jackson and Ming Yang, 10:21pm March 06 2015 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    We are both very proud of you. Your dedication and effort in helping others would lead you to success in the future.

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