By Harry Darkins
The Bodleian Library is to host the second International Bookbinding Competition this year.
The Competition aims to encourage professionals, amateurs and students to produce originally designed and well-bound books, and to give them the opportunity to exhibit their technical and artistic skills. The event will be run in association with prominent UK-based bookbinding society ‘Designer Bookbinders’ and Mark Getty, the Oxfordshire-born chairman of Getty Images.
This year’s Competition is to have the theme of ‘Shakespeare’. According to guidelines, entrants “may choose any edition of Shakespeare’s work in any language. They can choose his dramas, his poetic works, a single play or a collected volume, or a text relating to his life and work.
“It is hoped that in freeing the binders from the constraints of a ‘set book’, entrants will be stimulated by the opportunity to source and work with a text of their choice and feel encouraged to use a wide range of structures, materials and design techniques.”
Judging is to take place in Oxford this week with Richard Ovenden, Deputy Librarian of the Bodleian Libraries, chairing the panel of five. Other judges include Greg Doran, a theatre producer at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon and US-book artist Timothy Ely.
The winner of the competition will receive a prize of £10,000, with the runner-up receiving £6,000. An additional 25 highly-commended entrants will also receive a ‘silver prize’.
According to the Competition’s website, the judges will be looking for a “high standard of craftsmanship and technical ability with relation to the bookbinding process.
“Successful entries will show evidence of good forwarding and structural functionality, together with original, innovative and accomplished design.”
The prizewinners will be announced during a two-day event in Oxford in June.