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Thesis Binding

Loyd Grossman OBE collecting his Cambridge Ph.D. thesis from our workshop.

We offer the following types of binding for all universities:

  • Wire binding
  • Comb binding
  • Spiral binding
  • Channel binding
  • Full cloth soft binding
  • Thermal crimped binding
  • Soft binding with acetate front cover and cloth spine
  • Hard case binding with embossing on either the spine only or the spine and front cover.

Cambridge University Student Registry Ph.D. binding specifications.



A4, 100gsm white paper. Please note that letter or U.S. letter format will not be accepted.

Examiners’ copies:  the preference is for single-sided print.

University Library/Department copies:  the preference is for double-sided (duplex) print.

Soft binding

If a soft bound copy is submitted in the following format eg. comb or spiral it will certainly be necessary to provide a new copy for hard binding as these create holes that would weaken conventional binding and will lead to an unacceptable loss of margin.

The following versions are recommended as in some circumstances they could be used as donor copies for hard binding:

Full cloth soft binding in Arbelave Library buckram. Colour choice up to the individual. Lettered on spine in gold (hot foil embossing, not digital foil printing) with candidate’s initials and surname, degree and year running from top to bottom. This must all be in capital letters (apart from Ph.D.)

-acetate soft binding (a clear plastic front cover with a black cloth spine and back). No lettering as the title page is visible.

-channel (metal) binding (a clear plastic front cover with a flat metal spine and black card back). No lettering as the title page is visible.

-thermal crimped binding (a clear front cover and frosted back). No lettering as the title page is visible.

Hard case binding

Preferably to be sewn on an OMCOA oversewing machine (as recommended by the University Library) or oversewn sections that are then hand sewn.

Hard case binding to be bound in cloth material Arbelave Library buckram (as recommended by the University Library).  Colour choice is up to the individual.  In general, the thickness of a single volume (excluding the case) should not exceed 7cm. Lettering on the spine (hot foil embossing, not digital foil printing) should consist of title, initials and surname in gold running from top to bottom. This must all be in capital letters(unless part of the title requires lower case).

If the thesis or dissertation consists of more than one volume, the spine must also bear the number of each volume.


J. S. Wilson & Son, Thesis Binding and Bookbinding

The knowledge of Craft/Thesis Binding has been passed down through generations since 1830 onto current staff, enabling us to offer you the best all-round service possible. The earliest recorded bound and catalogued dissertation held at Cambridge University Library dates back to 1901, and was bound by J. S. Wilson & Son. We can cater for any type of Thesis or Dissertation Binding at our workshop in Cambridge. We can also offer quick turnaround Thesis Binding for last minute deadlines!