Crafts which develope both mental power and skill of hand are steadily gaining in favor in this country. The system Of apprenticeship, by which it was possible to learn a trade while serving under a master- craftsman, is past, and in its place a few institutions which realize its importance are establishing classes of workers.
The Norwich Art School two years ago selected book-binding as the craft which best unites the head and the hand, andgives fullest scope to the art faculty of the student. Every facility has been provided for successfully carrying it on, and now at the end of two years’ trial it can be pronounced successful.
Next year the work will be continued with increased classes and equipment.
The Bindery is in the Slater Memorial Building, shown in the accompanying illustration, which contains, together with the Museum and Art School, the Peck Library.
The periodicals and books from this library are bound by students who spend three-fourths of their time upon regular work going on in the Bindery. Thus by carrying out in a measure the apprenticeship system they receive the most practical training and pay a much lower rate of tuition than would otherwise be possible.
In addition to the books bound for the library the Norwich Free Academy of which the Art School is a department has a printing office from which books are issued from time to time.
During the first year of the Bindery the Academy Press printed the “Journal of Madam Knight” in a limited edition of 210 copies. This year from the same Press has come the “Stone Records of Groton” in an edition of 300 volumes.
These books have for the most part been bound in substantial boards with leather and cloth. A few of the volumes were bound in leather hand-tooled. These books together with those from the library, make atotal of some joo volumes. In addition the students have brought in a great variety of their own books to bind. With this variety of work constantly going forward in the Bindery there is here every opportunity for becoming an expert binder.
There are three courses of study offered in the Bindery, the students being divided as follows. Day students working five days in the week from 9 tot, giving three- fourths of their time to the school and the remainder to their own work. The tuition for this course is five dollars per month. Special students who bind their own hand-tooled work, paying fifteen dollars per month ; and evening students working Tuesday and Friday evenings from 7 to 9 at three dollars for the term.
All of the work is done under the instruction of Mr. Robert W. Adams, a skillful and experienced binder, who is in the room constantly guiding all the work going forward. In the library are to be found reference books upon the subject, together with specimen bindings, and in the design class of the Art School students will be assisted in selecting and carrying out designs for tooled covers.
There is also an opportunity for a limited number of students to study printing in the Academy printing office.
It is planned to arrange the courses of study so that the students may become practical craftsmen in the Art of putting together a book.
Additional information in regard to the school will be furnished upon application to the Director of the Art School,
Norwich, Conn.July 1St, 1903.