Reason for the project

Larger established bookbinding workshops have been closed and a lot of small ateliers opened. The binding sections of the large printing factories have been automatized and many workers lost their jobs. A lot of binding sections in the libraries have been closed because of the tightening budgets and reduced visitors after the Internet expansion. Another negative tendency is that the printing and bookbinding industry shifted the investments to Asia.

In parallel to the declining large scale bookbinding workshops some new positive tendencies occurred. Last few decades there is an increasing demand for artistic bindings, increasing awareness of the old libraries and archives about their collections and the expansion of the Internet trade with old books. These tendencies are encouraging the appearance of new generation of bookbinders. In relation to the bookbinding, the conservation and restoration area grows. But most of the existing training materials are covering part of the problems and are rather old fashioned. There is a lack of training tools, and especially tools focusing on skills like entrepreneurship, intercultural learning and green skills in relation to the work of the “modern” bookbinders.  

Nowadays, in times of industrial development and technological innovation, the style of bookbinding is becoming more and more unified. Most young people haven’t even seen how an 18th or 19th century binding looks. However, more and more people are expressing an interest in purchasing or making small artistic objects, such as artistic notebooks, decorative boxes, decorated paper.

In some countries, with long-lasting traditions in bookbinding and art one can easily see shops and ateliers offering such artistic objects. In other countries one can hardly find something as simple as a quality artistic sheet of paper, for example.


Aims and objectives

The general aim of the project is to provide modern training materials and tools for vocational training for bookbinding and paper preservation.

The project objectives are:
•    to transfer and further develop the existing training materials (from The Netherlands and Italy partners) for bookbinding and photos preservation and to use the experience of Austrian and Bulgarian partners in the field of paper and photos preservation and bookbinding;
•    to empower the bookbinders, paper restorers and unemployed workers via producing updated module-based manual, e-learning materials and tools for bookbinding and paper preservation;
•    to train trainers and team leaders from the restoration sections of libraries/archives and ateliers and provide training materials for them;
•    to develop entrepreneurship, ICT and intercultural learning skills of the target group;
•    to raise awareness (in partner countries and specially in Bulgaria) about books, documents and photographs preservation;

Target group

•    bookbinders (self-employed) and workers in small bookbinding workshops/ateliers;
•    unemployed workers from former large bookbinding workshops or printing factories;
•    unemployed individuals willing to develop their entrepreneurship and professional skills in the area;
•    young artists who are willing to develop artistic bookbindings;
•    vocational trainers in the binding ateliers or team leaders in the restoration sections in libraries/archives.

Main products and results

•    a set of 9 online training modules;
•    a module-based manual;
•    bookbinding support tool;
•    piloting center (workshop) for bookbinding in Bulgaria;

All the materials will be translated in core partner languages.

Impact envisaged

•    increased capacity of bookbinders and small workshops;
•    provided assistance to young entrepreneurs, unemployed people from former binding sections of print factories;
•    empowerment of VET providers in the area of bookbinding;
•    modernization of the training tools and approaches in the field;


Central Library of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences /CL BAS/ - Bulgaria – Coordinator
Student Computer Art Society /SCAS/ - Bulgaria
Fratelli Alinari. Fondazione per la Storia della Fotografia – Italy
Stichting Restauratie en Educatie – The Netherlands
Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz – Austria