Kennys Book Bindery in Liosbaun, Galway, was established in 1974 and managed by Gerry Kenny.
Kennys carries on the tradition of fine binding by hand, in tandem with using modern methods for binding paperbacks, theses and ring binders, catering to collectors, libraries, private collections and people who appreciate the finest workmanship. Each book is individually hand crafted from its hand-sewn spine, laced cords and raised bands to its headband, handmade with brightly coloured silks, toning with leather and marbled paper.
We use the finest quality leathers (calf and goatskin for the most part), handmade marbled papers and acid free end-papers. The spine of each book is also finished by hand. A mixture of glycerine and egg white - used in book binding since the 16th century - is applied to the embossed leather, and a double layer of 22ct gold leaf is pressed on top of this, once the mixture has dried. This highly skilled placing of gold leaf by hand is used for each individual letter on the book's spine.
The fame of the Kenny Bindery has attracted commissions for re-binding and restoring collections in Europe, the United States and Asia. A noted example of this is the restoration of the memoirs of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American born Saint who founded the Order of the Sisters of Charity. Kenny's hand-crafted volumes have also been presented to former President Mary Robinson, Pope John Paul II, Muhammad Ali, and former US Presidents, Ronald Regan and Jimmy Carter to name but a few.
Gerry's daughter Caroline, a graduate of the Dublin Institute of Technology, was presented with an award for her thesis on Book Binding. Caroline carries on the tradition Gerry started when he founded the bindery 50 years ago.