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Welcome to the Multilingual Bookbinding and Conservation Dictionary, a project created by Suzy Morgan, a conservator at ASU Library, and Peter Verheyen, creator of the Book Arts Web and the BOOK_ARTS-L listserv. It is an international dictionary of bookbinding and conservation terms, free of use to anyone.

The dictionary is currently undergoing some major back-end updates, which may cause it to go down frequently during this period, or show strange errors on pages. But, it's totally going to be worth it, once these updates are complete! Thanks for your patience!


The goal of this project is to combine, in one place, all the known bookbinding and book conservation terminology, in as many languages as possible. We are also including both current and archaic terms, to make the dictionary useful for both practicing conservators and bookbinders, as well as book history scholars. There are already a variety of multilingual dictionaries in existence, but none so comprehensive as what we envision for this project. In essence, we have taken every available multilingual dictionary of bookbinding, conservation or library words, and combined them.

We are not seeking to define these terms, but rather provide a simple tool for translating words that can be used together with other tools such as Google Translate. There a variety of bookbinding dictionaries available that already have rich definitions of these terms - definitions are provided only when similar-sounding terms need to be clarified, or at the whim of the editor.

You may notice that some words have different translations (or no translation at all!) according to different dictionaries, which is where we need your help! We are very interested in finding collaborators to help us fill in the gaps in those languages other than English and German, and cross-check existing words in those languages for accuracy.

If you'd like to become a wiki editor and participate in the project, please send an email to: Suzy (at) gmail (dot) com and include your desired user name in the email. If you don't want to be an editor, but still have suggestions for corrections, a compliment, or want new words to be added, please send Suzy an email!

Outline of dictionary


... further results

What is included

The initial backbone of this project began with matching up the terms from from Etherington and Roberts' "Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books" with non-English entries in other bookbinding, library, or archives focused dictionaries. This website also contains information from The Language of Bindings Thesaurus, which is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License.

Other terms have also been added from various other dictionaries. A full list of the references used on this website is also provided.

A special section of profiles of bookbinders was also added in 2020.

What is not included

Translations and full descriptions of colors, pigments, or chemicals or other common materials can be found elsewhere on CAMEO: Conservation & Art Materials Encyclopedia Online. Most printmaking and typography terms are not included within the scope of this project, at this time.


This project would not be possible without the generous help of Jenny Hille, Sara Rubinow, and Peter Verheyen, who have all helped with providing corrections and suggestions for improvement.

View All Pages

Browse the categories below to view a list of terms in that language. You can also search for specific terms using the search box. Please note that most non-English terms do not have their own separate pages yet.

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Bibliography of other multilingual resources

A full list of other bookbinding, library, archives, and conservation vocabularies is also available. Many of these were used as source material for this project.

Resources for editors

A list of templates, reference shortcuts and other tools is available, to help keep the style of the dictionary consistent.

How is the dictionary updated?

While the initial input of data into this wiki was done in a highly technical and automated way, new words and other updates are done by hand, with love.

Available bookbinding styles in a 1912 Harrods catalog