Binders from all over Europe take part in the annual Elizabeth Soutar Bookbinding Competition. Recent winners have hailed from Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Italy and the Netherlands, as well as Scotland and England.
Initiated by the Library in 1993, the competition recognises excellence in the field of craft bookbinding.
The competition was sponsored by Mrs Elizabeth A Clark (formerly Soutar) of Moray from 1993 until her death in 2008, and has been continued with support from the Magnus and Janet Soutar Fund.
Creative and craft binding categories
The competition aims to encourage the practice and development of both creative and craft binding skills which display individual expression and originality. The judges look for a best creative and a best craft binding. Each category carries two prizes — a main prize of £1,200 and a student prize of £600.
We define a student as any person receiving full-time training or education in bookbinding. We consider all student entries for both the main and student categories, but a maximum of one prize can be awarded to an entry.
We ask entrants to submit a binding that has been bound using materials of their own choice. It is a condition of entry that winning bindings must be donated to the Library to join our collection of fine bindings.
The 2018 competition
We are now inviting entries for the 2018 competition which has a closing date of 5 November.
- Download the 2018 competition leaflet and form (PDF) (1.2 MB; 6 pages)
Optional Muriel Spark theme
For the 2018 competion there is an optional theme of Muriel Spark to tie in with the Spark centenary exhibition at the National Library of Scotland.
Entrants are encouraged to consider binding a Muriel Spark volume. (Other themed bindings are equally welcome.)
Winners of each year's bookbinding competition are announced at a ceremony at the National Library that is usually held in February of the following year.
- Read about the 2017 competition winners
- Read about the 2016 competition winners
- Read about the 2015 competition winners
If you have queries about the Elizabeth Soutar Bookbinding Competition, email Simone Cenci at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +44 (0)131 623 3860.