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American Bookbinders Museum
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Review Highlights
A Gem of a Small Museum!

For anyone who loves books--the physical objects--this museum is a must. Our group booked a guided... read more

Reviewed September 3, 2019
JC-OMCA
,
Berkeley, California
Fascinating Tour

The guided tour was fascinating and very informative. The guide was so knowledgebable and patient... read more

Reviewed August 28, 2019
lindaaG5654YY
,
San Diego, California
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Reviewed September 3, 2019

For anyone who loves books--the physical objects--this museum is a must. Our group booked a guided tour, which was really more of a fascinating lecture. The talented docent (Madeleine) was knowledgeable and articulate and kept us enthralled for almost two hours (including our many questions) with the history of books from papyrus scrolls through the Industrial Revolution to the present. We moved stools and chairs along as she demonstrated the workings of arcane machines and explained the social history of the craft of bookbinding as well as its economics, so we didn't have to stand during the tour. Really--this was a delight.

Date of experience: August 2019
1  Thank JC-OMCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2019

The guided tour was fascinating and very informative. The guide was so knowledgebable and patient and there are vintage tools and equipment to demonstrate the history of bookbinding. I will never look at a book the same
after visiting and touring this museum. I truly appreciated visiting this charming
museum and it's staff. Thank you.

Date of experience: August 2019
1  Thank lindaaG5654YY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2019

This is a great little museum about a little known topic. It is designed so that one can take a tour or a self-guided tour with a map that helps explain most of the machines. The interpretation for exhibits not on the map also provides good information. My friend and I were there last week, and our only disappointment was that we arrived about 5 minutes too late for the morning tour. We explained the traffic issue, but the woman at the desk just shrugged her shoulders and said we could not join a tour. Not sure why as there was no tour going on; we were the only two people in the place besides the woman at the counter. We later learned from another docent that docents take turns on the tours, leaving us to wonder why the first woman at the counter couldn't have done the tour for us, even 5 minutes later than normal. As said, there were no other people in the museum at all, no other tours. So, moral to the story: a very interesting, well-done museum, but don't be late for the tours.

Date of experience: July 2019
Thank JettaMay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2019

I found the American Bookbinders Museum on a general search for museums in San Francisco. It's a gem. The tour guide was very interested in her subject of the history of the printed word and gave us demonstrations of the various old presses that the museum has on hand. Visitors get to try their hand with at least one of them. The gift shop is small but has a great selection of books, prints, vintage post cards, and other book-related items. I highly recommend that you set aside a couple of hours when you are in the downtown section of San Francisco. Go online or call for days and hours of operation and tours.

Date of experience: August 2018
1  Thank reikitraveler3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 14, 2019 via mobile

This is a lovely, charming little museum. It is based on a single floor. Initially you walk through a series of exhibits that give a practical insight to the craft. Then the later exhibits focus on the industrialization of the process.

Informative and easy to follow. There are tours twice a day but we just worked our way around on our own. Took around 60 minutes in total.

Admittance was $12 without the tour. Small but nice shop. No cafe.

If you have an interest, it’s well worth the trip.

Date of experience: June 2019
Thank Denis M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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