540-662-2683 info@cattailrun.com

What We Do


We are always are proud to say we are both bookbinders and book restorers. In its earliest days, bookbinding mostly involved putting new covers onto pages, whether those pages were blank, manuscript, or–later–printed.  With the passage of time, these early books needed some repairs, and book restoration found its start.

In our bindery, we emphasize sound historical techniques for our new binding work, and this serves as a solid foundation for our restoration work. Our goal in creating new bindings and protective book boxes is to use sound methods developed over centuries in order to craft items of structural and aesthetic quality.

Through our restoration work, we make every effort to make your books look and function as they did prior to falling into disrepair. To that end, we try and use as much of the original binding as possible. Any new materials employed are pH-neutral/acid-free and are used to support the longevity of your treasured tomes.

Please look through our Cabinet of Photographs & Curiosities below where you will find photographs of our work and information about how we conduct our craft. You will find “before & after” photos of our restoration work in the section marked Restoration and there are images showing some of our new bindings in the section New Covers for Old Books. Under Protective Book Boxes there are a number of views of clamshell boxes, which are an essential component for preserving books of value and archival materials so that these materials are adequately protected for the future. Check out Producing Your Own Publication to photos and other information pertaining to writing and producing a book of your own.

Book Restorations … including family bibles

WE PROVIDE FULL RESTORATION SERVICES for Family Bibles, antiquarian books, and other volumes in need of restorative treatment. We use a variety of techniques to repair damaged leaves, resew loose pages, and conserve deteriorated bindings. Much emphasis is placed on the use of acid-free materials and reversible techniques.

New Covers for Old Books

FOR VOLUMES OF A CUSTOM-DESIGNED COVER we offer design services for creating bindings that can incorporate leather, cloth, and decorative paper. Each binding is designed to the specifications of the client. Such bindings make excellent gifts and keepsakes to be handed down through the generations.

Protective Book Boxes

CAT TAIL RUN PRODUCES BOXES for protecting books–of these the most common are slipcases and rare book boxes (in the clamshell style). These protective enclosures are available with or without a chemise (a folder to wrap the book as it rests within its slipcase or book box). All our boxes are made using pH neutral materials.

Small Edition Binding

CAT TAIL RUN takes pride in its work in small edition binding. We help design the cover and then undertake the binding of publications produced in small quantities (generally under 500 copies). We have bound small editions for genealogists, historians, poets, and linguists. We regularly work with small presses to produce satisfying results. A recent binding project, A Week in the Lake District (a journal written in haiku) by John Elsberg, was nominated for the 1999 Poetry Award given annually by the Virginia State Library.