Craig Jensen

Craig Jensen

Fine Edition Binder

Craig Jensen received the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Guild of Book Workers in 2011. Craig began his career in 1977 when he was appointed Library Conservator for the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. From 1977-1978 Craig served an internship at The Library of Congress Restoration Office under the keen direction of Peter Waters and Don Etherington. He then became a bench conservator and bookbinder at the LOC. In 1981 Craig was recruited by Don Etherington to Austin, Texas, to serve as the Head of Book Conservation at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center Conservation Department at the University of Texas at Austin. 

Jensen left the HRC conservation lab in 1984 and established the Jensen Bindery, first for book conservation and boxmaking, then with a focus on limited edition binding. At the onset of establishing his own workshop, Craig incorporated a refined, northern European style of case binding for his editions with elegantly thin boards, small squares and more defined and well-formed joints. After growing steadily for years he took on a partnership and established BookLab, Inc. to offer yet more services.

BookLab, Inc. expanded from less than half a dozen employees to over thirty, with departments in library book repair, preservation photocopy, clamshell box making, and edition bookbinding. After ten years of operation BookLab, Inc. was dissolved in 1998. It left behind a remarkable body of work as true testimony to the vision and standards originally set by Craig in his first small garage bindery. Craig worked for Acme Bookbinding as Vice President of Imaging for a number of years before, in 2002, he and his family moved to the outskirts of San Marcos, Texas.

In 2003 Jensen returned to the concept of a small book bindery, reestablishing a workshop, BookLab II, with his original partner Gary McLerran. Fine master craftsmanship and exceptional attention to detail remain the hallmark of his work. Today Craig continues to produce custom designed housings and fine limited edition bindings, executing them for some of the best-known libraries and private presses in the world.

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