Shaun Thompson

Shaun Thompson has 30 years’ experience as a professional bookbinder. He began his career at London Journal Bindery, now Blissett Bookbinders, where he served a four-year modern apprenticeship. In 2011, he took up a new position at Cambridge University Library, where he is currently Conservation Collection Care Manager. He is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the activities of six members of the Collection Care Team. He has a comprehensive knowledge of the methods and materials and their suitability from different genres that include trade bookbinding, modern journal rebinding, fine binding, artisan binding and medieval book construction. Over his career, he has acquired considerable knowledge of techniques used in the repair and conservation of books from medieval parchment to digital press paper.

He is particularly interested in the history of books and their structural qualities. he has taught historical book structures in the UK and Europe, focusing mainly on Romanesque, Gothic and limp book structures. In 2013, he taught a short course to the MA conservation students at West Dean College.


  • 2016 – current, Cambridge University Library, Conservation and Collection Care Manger
  • 2014 – 2016, Cambridge University Library, Deputy Head of Conservation and Bindery
  • 2011 – 2014, Cambridge University Library, Bindery Supervisor (acting)
  • 2003 – 2011, Cambridge University Library, Bookbinder
  • 1987 – 2003, Blissets Bookbinder Acton, London, Bookbinder/overseer



  • 2019, West Dean College: short course. Romanesque book model
  • 2018, Montefiascone Conservation Project: A study of sewing techniques in Romanesque book production
  • 2017, Icon Book and Paper Group, British library: Workshop: 12th century English Limp Tawed Skin Binding
  • 2017, Montefiascone Conservation Project: An Italian fifteenth century binding
  • 2016, Montefiascone Conservation Project:  The Unicorn Binder
  • 2014, Montefiascone Conservation Project:  12th century English limp tawed-skin bindings
  • 2014, Cambridge Science Festival, Beasts in the University Library: Patterns in parchment and structures in skin Power point presentation.
  • 2014, Society of Bookbinders: presentation and workshop. The Glazier Codex and Mudejar Binding.
  • 2014, Probus Club, Bury St Edmunds: Presentation: Making of medieval manuscripts.
  • 2013, Church Gate Association, Bury St Edmunds: Presentation: Making of Medieval Manuscripts.
  • 2013, Montefiascone Conservation Project: Early Gothic Binding (late 13th century)
  • 2012, U3a Watford: Power point presentation: Making of medieval manuscripts.
  • 2012, West Dean College: short course Concertina Binding.
  • 2012, West Dean College: short course. Spine plated Limp vellum bindings- an introduction
  • 2011, Judith Wiesner: Conservation Studio. Limp vellum bindings,an introduction.
  • 2010, Judith Wiesner: Conservation Studio. Wooden board bindings, an introduction.
  • 2010, Society of Bookbinders: presentation and workshop, Limp Vellum bindings, an introduction.

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