The National Library of Scotland's Elizabeth Soutar Bookbinding Competition aims to encourage the practice and development of craft binding skills, which display individual expression and originality. This international competition attracts entrants from all over continental Europe as well as from the UK - an indication of its ever-growing prestige. The winning entries join the Library's collection of fine bindings.
Competition entrants submit a 'craft binding' using materials of their own choice, on a publication on a subject and in a language of their own choice. In addition to assessing the quality of the craft skills applied, the judges look, in particular, for originality and expression in the cover design.