Rich, Varied and Exciting New Programme

We are pleased to announce an updated and finalised programme for the conference, click on the following link to view ABC2014NZ-Programme

Over the coming weeks we will be putting more information up on the website about our speakers and their presentations  There is already a lot to see on the site and registration is now open at

Dominic Riley is offering a choice of two workshops before the conference and Julie Chen is giving an extended presentation on the Friday afternoon of the conference. More details and prices will follow shortly for these associated events.

In the meantime, here is a taste of what to expect from Michael Burke who is travelling from the UK to present at the conference.


Michael will present the structure and form of these ancient bookbindings.
Discovered in Egypt, the Nag Hammadi codices are thirteen ancient manuscripts which were inside a clay pot that had been sealed and buried. Unearthed in relatively good condition, in 1945, the Nag Hammadi codices were the earliest extant codex bindings ever found and date from the third century AD. Michael's presentation will centre on the construction of these remarkable survivors and tell the extraordinary tale of their discovery.
They have a textblock of folded papyrus, held together with knotted tackets and were protected by boards of stiffened layers of papyrus. The boards were covered in goatskin, and the bindings enclosed by leather ties and wrapping bands.
Michael will discuss the steps involved in making these fascinating early bindings and consider their importance to the history of the early book. Variations in characteristic features will be discussed. These, along with the papyrology, can be shown to reveal some of the earliest inceptions of bookbinding techniques. Michael will also show how the Nag Hammadi codices reveal the influence of their codex form on the even more ancient craft of making papyrus.


Michael Burke studied bookbinding with Dominic Riley and paper conservation with Karen Zukor.
Michael lives in the Lake District, England, where he teaches bookbinding as well at events across the UK. He is a past chair of the North West and North Wales region of SoB. He has taught for diverse book arts groups in the USA, including Los Angeles, Seattle and Salt Lake City. In recent years he has taught at the Paper and Book Intensive, travelled to São Paulo to teach for the Brazilian group ABER, and in 2011 presented Byzantine binding at the Seminar of the Guild of Bookworkers.
Michael researches the structures of ancient and medieval bindings. He recently gained a Masters degree in the History of the Book at the University of London.