Book a date for Taalmonument’s advanced book repair and binding course

Hard on the heels of a highly successful introductory course on book restoration, the Afrikaans Language Museum and Monument (ATM) in Paarl once again offers a course focusing on advanced techniques such as leather binding and gold-foiling from 27 to 29 September 2021. Book repair specialist George Wentzel’s course is suitable for beginners and participants who have already acquired the basics of book and paper conservation. Wentzel, a qualified master bookbinder with over 45 years’ experience, previously worked in the National Library of South Africa’s book conservation section; his passion is teaching this scarce skill, and he has conducted over 50 disaster management and bookbinding workshops all over the country.

During the three-day, bilingual course participants will amongst others create three books each, construct Solander boxes, sew flat sheets and learn a lot more about repairing books. Included are basic concepts, working procedures as well as demonstrations of and practical exercises in end papering, binding, leather binding, casing rounding and backing.

The course fee, including a certificate of attendance and basic tool kit, is R2 000 per person and the workshop takes place from 09:00 to 16:00 daily at the Taalmonument. Tea and coffee are included, but participants must bring their own lunch. In terms of the Covid-19 regulations, participants will have to wear masks.

“I would recommend it to everyone who is interested in book repairs,” said one participant, Colleen Chatt, regarding the introductory course in June 2021. “The course gave me inspiration to move forward with something new and exciting,” added another participant, Angelo Carelse. The 15 participants all pointed out that Wentzel is a dynamic and pleasant presenter.

For details and bookings, contact Jeffrey Pietersen on 021 872 3441 or send an e-mail to See more regarding the previous course on the Taalmonument’s website and Facebook page.

The ATM annually presents a series of courses and workshops focusing on the development of basic professional skills. This year’s programme also includes subjects such as photography. Anyone interested in related subjects are welcome to make suggestions for additional workshops. See for more information and follow them on Facebook for the other exciting events happening at the Taalmonument. The website also offers virtual tours of the monument and museum, information in six languages about the symbolism of the Taalmonument as well as many interesting articles on Afrikaans, multilingualism and the institution’s past, present and future. There are numerous resources for school and research projects as well. Year permits are available at R120 for individuals or R220 per family (currently offered at a 20% discount), which includes access to all Full Moon Picnics.