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37th Annual Conference on Book Trade History - Words on Paper: Transmission in Manuscript and Print, from the Fifteenth Century

decoration29 Nov. 2015|30 Nov. 2015

This year’s annual conference on book trade history will explore the uses of manuscript and print in the communication of ideas and information across four centuries. Leading scholars in the field will present original papers, drawing evidence from different countries and different historical periods.


Paul Davis is Reader in the Department of English, University College, London. His Rochester: Selected Poems (OUP, 2013) is one of his many publications on the culture and literature of the Restoration.

Michael Harris is a leading authority on the press in the 17th and 18th centuries, on which he has published widely. He is the founder, with Robin Myers, of the series of annual conferences on book trade history, which began in 1979.

Arnold Hunt, formerly of the British Library, has published on many aspects of the history of book collecting, bookselling and antiquarian studies from the 17th to the 19th century. His The Art of Hearing: English preachers and their audiences, 1590-1640 (CUP, 2010) won the Royal Historical Society’s Whitfield Prize.

Robin Myers is archivist emeritus of the Stationers’ Company and author of the standard guide to its records, The Stationers’ Company Archive (1990). She has published extensively on the history of the Stationers’ Company and on 18th-century scholars and antiquarians, including three studies of Andrew Ducarel.

Alison Shell is a Professor of Early Modern Studies in the Department of English Language and Literature, University College London. She has written Catholicism, Controversy and the English Literary Imagination, 1558-1660 (1999) Oral Culture and Catholicism in Early Modern England (2007) and Shakespeare and Religion (2010).

Rowan Watson was, until recently, Senior Curator in the V&A’s Word and Image Department, responsible for the National Art Library’s Special Collections. These include facsimiles and manuscripts, among the latter the correspondences of Samuel Richardson, 1748-1762, and of David Garrick (d.1776), as well as the manuscripts of Charles Dickens’ novels.

Bettina Wagner is curator of incunabula in the Department for Manuscripts and Early Printed Books at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich, where she has organized notable exhibitions and conferences, and is in charge of the online catalogue of incunabula. She lectures and publishes widely on the history of the book.


Sunday, 29 November

10.00 – 10.30 am Registration and coffee

10.30 – 11.45 am Bettina Wagner: ‘The library of Hartmann Schedel (1440-1514): at the crossroads of manuscript and print’

11.45 – 12.15 pm Coffee

12.15 – 1.30 pm Paul Davis: ‘The publication in manuscript and print of Rochester’s satires’

1.30 – 3.00 pm Buffet lunch. During the lunch break, William Alden, Clerk to the Stationers’ Company, and Robin Myers will lead a tour of Stationers’ Hall

3.00 – 4.15 pm Alison Shell: ‘Catholic books and manuscripts in 17th-Century Shrewsbury’

4.15– 4.45 pm Tea

4.45 – 6.00 pm Michael Harris: ‘The coffee house communication nexus around 1700’

6.00 – 7.00 pm Reception at Stationers’ Hall sponsored by Bernard Quaritch Ltd.

Monday, November 30

10.00 – 10.30 am Coffee

10.30 – 11.45 am Robin Myers: ‘The circulation of Andrew Ducarel’s antiquarian histories’

11.45 – 12.15 pm Coffee

12.15 – 1.30 pm Arnold Hunt: ‘Manuscript and print in John Bagford’s collections’

1.30 – 2.30 pm Lunch

2.30 – 3.45 pm Rowan Watson: ‘Facsimiles of manuscripts in the 19th century’

3.45 pm Tea and end of formal proceedings

5.00 – 7.00 pm Visit to the College of Arms, 130 Queen Victoria Street, London EC4V 4BT and tour of the Record Room, led by Dr Clive Cheesman, Richmond Herald.

Further Information

The conference is organized by Michael Harris, Giles Mandelbrote and Robin Myers, in association with The Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association Educational Trust. It will include a reception at stationers’ Hall on Sunday evening and a visit to the College of Arms. The proceeding of previous conferences and a selection of antiquarian books will be available for purchase during the conference.

Conference fee: £ 95 (student: £ 60, Single-day fee: £ 60, Single-day fee, student : £ 50 – limited availabilities)

For a book form, or for more information, please contact the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (ABA).


29 Nov. 2015|30 Nov. 2015
Ave Maria Lane
£ 95 (student: £ 60, Single-day fee: £ 60, Single-day fee, stude
Organized by Robin Myers, Michael Harris & Giles Mandelbrote, in association with The ABA Educational Trust
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