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LET THE GAMES BEGIN! The Cotswold Olympics Rebound
Dominic Riley
Thursday 19 April 2018

As part of the NADFAS Golden Jubilee Year 2018, this lecture reflects the work of the volunteers from our society who meet in the library of Dorset County Museum restoring damaged books, guided by the bookbinder Frank Brown. 

Printed in 1636, Annalia Dubrensia - the Annals of Dover - is an exceptionally rare and valuable little book, which celebrates the famous Cotswold Olympics and their founder, Robert Dover, who is credited with inventing the modern Olympic Games in England in 1612. The book contains a series of tributes from his friends and admirers, among them Ben Johnson. The games are still held each June on Dover’s Hill in Chipping Campden, and are organised by the Robert Dover’s Games Society. In 2013 the Society was fortunate to acquire a copy of Annalia Dubrensia, and Dominic was asked to look at the book with a view to conserving it. This lecture tells the fascinating story of the Olympics, and then shows in detail the cleaning, mending and rebinding, in period style, of this charming little book.

About our lecturer: 

Dominic is a bookbinder, artist and teacher. He first learned bookbinding at 16 from Benedictine Monks at Douai Abbey in Berkshire and later at the London College of Printing. He has worked at the V&A, and for various binderies in London, New York and San Francisco, and spends part of the year teaching across the USA. He has his bindery in the Lake District, from where he travels across the UK teaching master classes and lecturing. He is Vice President of the Society of Bookbinders and was elected a Fellow of Designer Bookbinders in 2008. His binding work is mostly the restoration of antiquarian books and Design Bindings. He has won many prizes in the Designer Bookbinders competition, including both first prizes and the Mansfield Silver Medal in 2007. His bindings are in collections worldwide, including the British Library and the John Rylands Library in Manchester. In 2010 he bound a special copy of the winner of the Booker Prize which was presented to the author. In June 2013 he won first prize in the prestigious Sir Paul Getty International Bookbinding Competition. His winning binding was acquired by the Bodleian Library in Oxford.