James Cassels is a freelance bookbinder and conservator with over thirty years experience. Based in Devon, He works mainly on the conservation and preservation of early printed books and manuscripts for some of the most important libraries and collections in the country. Many of the tools and techniques used have remained unchanged over hundreds of years. Only the most durable of traditional materials are used that have stood the test of time over many centuries.
1981-83 – Studied Book and Archive Conservation. Colchester Institute School of Printing.
1983-88 – Established own bindery in Cambridge with wife Lucy, a paper conservator.
1985- Book restoration masterclass with Bernard Middleton MBE, Roehampton, London.
1985-88 – Assistant to Dr. Sydney Cockerell OBE. , world-renowned bookbinder and conservator, at Granchester, near Cambridge. Working mainly on medieval manuscripts and incunables.
1988 – On Cockerell’s death moved to new bindery at Great Shelford, near Cambridge.
1997-2003 – Teaching – Firstly at Camberwell, then at The City Literary Institute, London.
2006 – James and Lucy felt able to move back to his native Devon with their family, where a new purpose-built and fully-equipped workshop was set up.
James has been an accredited member (ACR) of The Institute of Conservation (ICON) since 2000.
Cambridge and Oxford university
Royal Society of Arts
Natural History Museum London
Royal Academy Library