Bindery and restoration workshop

The bindery and restoration of old documents workshop

The bindery and restoration workshop has existed within the faculty for over 40 years.

The first bookbinder left for a professional retraining and was then followed by Mr. Kernst, who after a career in the book industry retired spending 15 years at the faculty.

Here I am, Myriam Pepino-Buecher, the third bookbinder of this workshop.

After 7 years working with a private bookbinder, I was recruited in 1997 through an external service entrance examination (category B) in Lille under the mandate of Mr. Mignot.

Before taking over, knowing that I was going to be alone on board, I came as a volunteer for several months to familiarize myself with the workshop. The transition was done naturally between the two binders without great apprehension for my part, nor for the regurlar users of the workshop.

When I arrived, the workshop was pretty much reserved for the mathematics library for simple binding work and series. The work consisted in binding periodicals by successive binding trains (a train is equivalent to 50 to 60 works at the same time of different titles), to repair damaged books and very occasionally to work for other libraries.

My work at the workshop gradually diversified (due to my previous professional career and my diplomas). I could offer various tasks and services such as simple binding and series, careful binding, art binding, repair of current and old books, restoration of old books and finally creative binding. In addition, i can offer my own expertise to librarians and staff in charge of small repairs of current and old collections. On top of that, i also organize visits of the workshop and receive trainees (3rd grade students).

In 2003, under the mandate of Mr. Schappacher, at my initiative and for the development of the workshop, I started in continuous training for the Brevet de Maitrise Supérieur "art of bookbinding" (BMS, level III) that I obtained in 2006.

During this training, I did a thesis on the creation of an inter-faculty workshop. For the elaboration of the latter, I had to carry out a survey on the needs in bookbinding works for different departments, laboratories and services of the University. I constituted a pool of customers which was added to my address book created by word of mouth as well as by the contacts I made during various events in which I participated (Heritage Days, exhibition at the gallery of scientific news, working group for the book "Rare Books", etc...) and the external orders became increasingly important.

Under the impulse of the faculty’s management, for several years now, my functions have become even more diversified by registering the workshop in the catalog of the DALI printing house as well as developing the part of creative binding, notably the guest books and the boxes (for the Nobel Prize winners, the cabinet of the presidency, the communication service, the exhibitions, etc.). Part of my work has developed around cultural and scientific mediation. This new mission consists of organizing, in collaboration with the management team, exhibitions, Heritage Days, Architect's Days, as well as promoting the book and architectural heritage of our building from the 1960s.

Currently, 50% of my missions are dedicated to the libraries of mathematics and IREM, 20% to the cultural and scientific mediation of the department and finally 30% to the University of Strasbourg (all services combined).

Reliure d'âmes (Soul Binding)  Video produced for the fifth edition of the International Women's Rights Week at the University of Strasbourg

Belind the scenes