New England Chapter Bookbinding Competition


The New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers is proud to announce a call for entries for a bookbinding competition. Johnny Carrera’s Pictorial Webster’s has been selected as the set book for this juried exhibition. The book was originally letterpress printed by the artist and the current trade edition is printed by Chronicle Books.

As the artist writes on his Quercus Press website:

The Pictorial Webster’s is, in simplest terms, an artistic visual reference of what was important to 19th Century America. The 400 plus page volume is printed with the original wood engravings and copper electrotypes of the Merriam-Webster dictionaries of the 19th Century; namely, the 1859 American Dictionary of the English Language (the 1st illustrated dictionary in America), the 1864 edition of that same Dictionary, and the 1890 International Dictionary. The Engravings are arranged alphabetically, a system of organization long shunned by lexicographers because alphabetical order grants no intrinsic meaning to any given grouping of words, but it is perfect for a book that creates its own immersive experience in imagery of a time gone by.

Membership in the Guild of Book Workers is required for entrance. Please visit for national membership details. Jurors will select bindings from digital image entries submitted in January 2011. Selected bindings will be included in a traveling exhibition and a printed catalog. The jury and the exhibition schedule will be announced later this year, along with more detailed information about entering this competition. We hope to secure exhibition venues befitting the history of this project and its inspiration. An exhibition in the Boston area will coincide with the Guild of Book Workers Standards of Excellence Seminar in October 2011.

Pictorial Webster’s: A Visual Dictionary of Curiosities is 6 1/8 x 8 inches (trim size is 5 11/16 x 7 ¼ inches). 16 sections. Printed on Cougar Opaque paper. 200 unbound copies of this book are available; binders are limited to a single copy. Books are available now on a first-come, first-served basis, so act quickly.

To purchase a text block, please send complete contact details, including your email address, and a check made payable to Quercus Press for $38 ($35 text block plus $3 shipping and handling) to:

Johnny Carrera
Quercus Press
144 Moody Street, Bldg. 18
Waltham, MA  02453

Please contact Johnny with questions regarding overseas shipping and payment options, at, (cell) 617-458-6395. For all other questions, email

Of twenty additional fine press text blocks made available to those who helped in the production of this project, five remain. These five are available for $600 each. Contact Johnny for more information and availability.

The New England Chapter Exhibitions Committee will distribute information about entry procedures and other details at a later date and will communicate directly with all those who purchase the set book. The entrance fee will include shipping between venues and will be commensurate with the costs of a traveling exhibition. New England Chapter membership is encouraged as members will receive a $15 discount off the entry fee.      If you are interested in New England Chapter membership – just $10 – please contact the chair of the Membership Committee at If you have further questions about the exhibition, please email

We hope you find our selection of Pictorial Webster’s as exciting as we do! It is a wonderful opportunity to showcase a New England printer and book artist, and the book offers fertile content to inspire our unique binding styles. 


Amanda Nelsen
NE GBW Exhibitions Chair

One response to “New England Chapter Bookbinding Competition

  1. Pingback: VT Book Arts Guild “MailB.A.G.” July 2010 « Book Arts Guild of Vermont

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