The San Francisco Center for the Book was co-founded by Mary Austin and Kathleen Burch, who recognized a growing need in San Francisco and the Bay Area for a facility specifically designed and equipped for the book arts. The first center of its kind on the West Coast, SFCB was incorporated in March of 1996 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Our grand opening on July 30, 1996, attracted an overflow crowd of more than 400 people. From our first season, with 64 students in a dozen classes, we've grown to more than 300 classes, events and exhibitions per year. In early 2001, we moved to a 4,000- square-foot space, including a large exhibition gallery overlooking our print studio, a platemaking lab, a separate bindery, and administrative offices.
Currently, SFCB offers over 300 workshops and 30 free events a year. In addition to our workshops and events, we have a thriving artist in residence program, produce numerous Imprint Publications books every year, and collaborate with many local nonprofits, museums, and libraries. We also host special visits and hands-on demonstrations for students of all ages, teachers, librarians, corporate team building, collectors, visiting printers, artists, writers and designers.