A Sixty-year Odyssey in Bookbinding and Conservation

Streaming Media

Document Type





Bookbinding, book conservation, design binding, Florence flood, Brodsky Series for Library Conservation, preservation, conservation, Don Etherington




Archival Science | Art and Materials Conservation | Art Practice | Book and Paper | Library and Information Science


In a "A Sixty-year Odyssey in Bookbinding and Conservation," Don Etherington recounts his career experiences and describes how the bookbinding and conservation fields have evolved during this time and how he learned from and contributed to this evolution.

Don Etherington began bookbinding at age thirteen as a student at the Central School of Arts and Crafts and at Harrison’s & Company in London. He studied bookbinding and design with Edgar Mansfield and Ivor Robinson at the London School of Printing and worked as a conservator for the BBC and Roger Powell and Peter Waters. From 1967 to 1969, he was a training consultant at the Biblioteca Nazionale in Florence where he trained individuals in conservation practices as part of the flood response effort. He came to the Library of Congress (LC) in 1970 with Peter Waters, where he served as Training Officer and Assistant Restoration Officer. He served as Assistant Director and Chief Conservation Officer at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1987, he joined Information Conservation, Inc. where he created a new conservation division. In 1982, he co-authored, with Matt Roberts, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, the first comprehensive attempt to compile terminology from all the bookmaking and conservation fields

See more on the Brodsky Series Page at: https://library.syr.edu/scrc/programs/brodsky.php

Etherington-Cloth and Leather Binding Repair2.pdf (2134 kB)
Handout for cloth and leather binding repair workshop