May 28, 2022

Artistic Bookbinder Thrives at GPO

From Roll Call:

Deep within the warehouse-like building that is home to the Government Printing Office lies an artist.

His medium is paper, his task both poetic and prosaic.

Bookbinder Peter James practices the ancient task of marbling paper, which beautifies book edges while helping to preserve the pages.


As lawmakers and others press forward with calls to make the GPO paperless, GPO Public Printer William Boarman said that centuries-old skills such as those practiced by James are even more appreciated.

“There’s a real art and craft in bookbinding,” Boarman explained. “The GPO is unique in what we do.”

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.