Certificate of Completion - Core Coures

CBBAG gives a "certificate of completion" on completion of all six of the core courses. The six are Bookbinding I, II, and III, Restoration & Repair, Finishing, and Paper Treatments for Binders.


The Certificate of Completion is not formal accreditation. However, CBBAG has had students who were already working in conservation jobs who started back at the beginning with CBBAG, completed the six courses, and were extremely pleased with the mass of material they had learned and found it extremely useful in their work. 


Bookbinding I

Bookbinding I is considered the fundamental course of the CBBAG curriculum, teaching terminology, materials, tools, techniques, and basic concepts. The course includes six components: setting up the shop and tools; materials and techniques, making a picture frame; sewing variations, endpapers; book cloth and board; making the case; hanging-in the text block, adhesion; and expansion and contraction. This course includes pamphlet sewing, lap stitch sewing, quarter, half, and full cloth case binding; and concepts of grain, warp and pull, swell, and the joint.

Bookbinding II

Bookbinding II includes recessed cord lap stitch sewing, invisible and visible hinges, hooked endpapers, simples edge treatments, the traditional two stripe end band, rounding and backing, hollow tube and Bradel attachment of boards to text block as well as the concepts of the natural shoulder and expansion and contraction.

Bookbinding III

Bookbinding III covers the following techniques: joint construction, raised cord sewing, review of rounding and backing, hanging on boards, leather spine and corners, headcaps and finishing.


Restoration and Repair

Usually broken down in two parts. Part I deals with paper and cloth bindings and Part II with leather bindings. Restoration and Repair includes documentation, written and photographic, estimating costs, causes of deterioration (environmental and internal), basic structures, mechanical problems and some solutions.



This six day course will introduce basic concepts and techniques used in decorating leather bound books. This course will cover blind and gold tooling; titling; several methods of inlay and onlay; decorative tools; and typical elements of design. Participants will try their hand at various techniques using an assortment of leathers.

Paper Treatments for Binders

This five day course covers the basic treatments used to solve the paper problems that binders frequently encounter in printed book materials. The course includes topics such as mould, pressure sensitive tape, minor tears, tide lines, localized staining, cockling, acidity and discolouration. Washing, drying, and flattening methods are also covered.