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The centro del bel libro ascona

The Association

The Association centro del bel libro in Ascona  is the parent institution of an internationally known
and recognized technical school with the specialized areas of Bookbinding and Design and
Book and Paper Conservation.
The Association exists for the continued development and ever higher qualification of its instructors
in both areas.
Competitions and exhibitions help inform the public about their activities and expand public awareness
of the book. The Association makes it possible for experts in related fields and for interested laypeople
to acquire knowledge and skills pertaining to the book through special courses of instruction.
The Association is a not for profit organization. Its departments assure the smooth functioning of the school and an especially well organized office assists course participants with their stay in Ascona.
The Directorate, among other duties, is charged with attracting new supporting members for the Association to en sure the continued work and development of the School.
Should you be in agreement with the stated goals of the Association – we would be pleased to welcome you as a new member!

Department of Bookbinding and Design

The study areas of Bookbinding and Design offer discerning bookbinders the opportunity of technical and creative challenges. Course participants have the opportunity to further their qualifications through learning internationally recognized methods and techniques, are able to hone their skills and increase their knowledge,  evaluate themselves and be inspired by colleagues. They will exchange ideas and find paths in creativity and through self reflection; paths which open up by being away from job demands and daily stress, away from routine, and the pressures of time and expectations of productivity.
The annually changing course offerings are continually enhanced by timely developments to expand students’ depth of understanding. They include classic hand bookbinding techniques, such as the French full leather binding, the Bradel technique, as well as hand gilding. Another area of program concentration is the contemporary design of bookbindings, in which design, technique and material complement each other and fulfill the functional and qualitative aspects of a book.

Department Book and Paper Conservation

The study of book and paper conservation at the centro del bel libro ascona assures further education specifically for book and paper restorers and delivers timely, inclusive and internationally recognised competencies in theory and practical applications.
Scientific bases of restoration, restoration ethics, as well as documentation and decision making are encouraged and fostered in order to increase the knowledge of  course participants in these areas. The opportunity to engage in dialogue in related disciplines, support and evaluation of innovation, and most of all development of practical skills to assure correct restoration and conservation measures – all  are addressed in this context. The exchange of ideas among experts, and the addition of highly specialised guest lecturers provide the best conditions for exploring all relevant subjects in depth.
Highly qualified teachers, a pleasant study and work environment, course participants from countries world wide, and the much renowned southern joie de vivre facilitate learning, ignite the desire to learn and communicate, and reward the student with improved self confidence. Building on these facts, it becomes an easy task to develop conventions for the protection of our cultural heritage, the book – a task which the centro del bel libro ascona has set itself and which it fulfils.

The Foundation SCBL

The Foundation centro del bel libro uses all means to develop the school in Ascona according to the latest techniques and materials, and to assure that it can function at its utmost and is up to date in both areas of instruction.
To achieve this goal, its instructors are encouraged to continue their education  in new methods and skills, to transmit them to course participants. This also insures instructors to be well informed in current developments in their areas of expertise.
Course participants may receive financial support after application and examination of their abilities.
Furthermore, the participation in competitions and exhibitions is encouraged. (request for financial assistance)


Le centro del bel libro à Ascona vient d’obtenir le label eduQua. Ce certificat de qualité est attribué aux institutions de formation continue suisses qui remplissent les critères de qualité définis par le Secrétariat d’État à l’économie (SECO) et l’Office fédéral de la formation professionnelle et de la technologie (OFFPT).