Other events and announcements

Cultures of the book: science, technology and the spread of knowledge

The Centre for Printing History and Culture in collaboration with the Department of Language, Literature and Modern Culture at the University of Chieti-Pescara, Italy, is organising a conference entitled Cultures of the book: science, technology and the spread of knowledge, to be held on 6–7 November 2019 at AURUM in Pescara, Italy.

The conference will consider how science and technology have been deployed in book production and how the book itself has been a vehicle for the promotion of science and technology. The conference will cover all periods, regions and cultures and interpreting the ‘book’ widely to include clay tablets, codices, printed texts and electronic media. Both the physicality and culture of the book will be explored. The conference is not only looking at the word, but images as well, including woodcuts, engravings, photographs and digital images.

Proposals for twenty-minute papers and one-hour panel presentations (three panel members) on aspects of the following or related topics are welcome:

  • Science, technology and the making of the book, before and after the printing revolution, for example, writing instruments, substrates, ink, punches, presses, type, bindings;
  • The relationship of technology to the appearance of letter forms and images;
  • Science, technology and book conservation;
  • The dissemination of science and technology via the book in manuscript, printed and electronic forms;
  • The consumption and reception of scientific and technological books;
  • The use of technology in storing, moving and transmitting books: for example, the evolution of libraries and shelving, means of transport for distributing books, digital transmission and e-books;
  • The authorship and publishing of science and technology texts.

There are no conference fees. The deadline for submission of proposals is 30 April 2019. For details of how to submit a proposal see the Call for Papers page on the CPHC website.

Technologies of print in South & Southeast Asia: the social history of modes of production

A conference on South and Southeast Asian printing history has been announced, to be held at the Royal Asiatic Society, London, on Tuesday 26 March 2019.

Histories of print in South and Southeast Asia often touch on production technologies in broad, cursory ways that conform to predetermined ideas about their deployment, their function, and their impact. However, there are ample historical indications of local engagements that contradict the characterisation of the print revolution as a uniform global phenomenon – or indeed as a revolution at all. Have narratives of influence and impact obscured the many personal and material engagements that constitute the social history of print and technology in Asian contexts?

Moving away from sweeping histories of printing and publishing, this conference focuses on the more intimate scale of materials, processes, practices, as well as on labourers, tinkerers, entrepreneurs and other individuals in the history of print in South and Southeast Asia. The conference aims to explore material, practical, and technological involvement of individuals and social groups with objects, machinery, raw material, the movement, transportation, and dissemination of printing objects and printed matter, and indeed language, script, orthography – among many other facets of engagement.

The conference is free and open to all (no attendance fee). For more details visit https://www.contextualternate.com/conference01

Dregs, dross and debris: the art of transient print

The Centre for Printing History and Culture in conjunction with Print Networks and Liverpool John Moores University is organising a conference entitled Dregs, dross and debris: the art of transient print, to be held on 9–10 July 2019 at Liverpool John Moores University.

The conference will provide an opportunity to take a fresh look at printed material too often regarded as trash and the emphasis will be on the production, distribution and consumption of such items. The conference will discuss a range of material forms from Tudor times to the present day, including woodcuts, posters, scraps, leaflets, chapbooks and magazines.

Student tickets are priced at £50 while full-price tickets are priced at £80. For further information and to download the full programme visit the event page on the CPHC website.

Baskerville in France - Conference reminder

L’École supérieure d’art et de design d’Amiens (ESAD) and the Centre for Printing History & Culture (CPHC) have organised a conference entitled ‘Baskerville in France’, to be held in Amiens on 18 & 19 October 2018. The conference aims to review and reassess the relationship between Baskerville—the man and the typeface—and France and the French.

During his lifetime, Baskerville—a prophet without honour in his own land—allied himself with France both through print and politics. His books were purchased, read and collected by an admiring French public; his magnificent Orlando Furioso, printed in 1773, carried the work of the Paris-based Molini brothers and their French artists. The French State was appreciative of Baskerville’s work and wished to purchase his typographic material, and he enjoyed the hospitality of the King. Aptly known as ‘Birmingham’s little Voltaire’, Baskerville was an admirer and correspondent of the French author with whom he shared political, religious and freethinking values.

The announced speaker programme includes: Patrick Goossens, Barry McKay, Aurélie Martin, Albert Corbeto, Marc H. Smith, James Mosley, Quentin Schmerber, Jérôme Knebusch, Thomas Huot-Marchand, Charles Mazé, Rosalie Wagner, Malcolm Dick, Caroline Archer.

Further details of the conference are available on the CPHC website.

Footnotes magazine

The Swiss digital typefoundry La Police is publishing an occasional magazine Footnotes, containing articles about type design history as well as the current preoccupations of type designers. Two issues have been published to date: the first issue (Issue A) was published in July 2016, and the second issue (Issue B) was published in October 2017. The magazine contains several articles that are likely to be of interest to type design historians, including two articles on the Haas typefoundry by Brigitte Schuster.

Stationers Company opens new Archive facility

The official opening of the Stationers’ Company’s new archive room and reading room took place on 10 November 2017, improving access to its archive, both for members of the Company and the general public. Thanks to the generosity of Liverymen Duncan Spence and Amy McKee, and additional funds from the Company, the new facility is called the Tokefield Centre in commemoration of the then Clerk, George Tokefield, who in 1666 transported the Company’s records in a wheelbarrow out beyond the reach of the Great Fire of London thus saving them.

Liveryman Sarah Mahurter, Manager, University Archives and Special Collections Centre at University of the Arts London, undertook the project management to relocate the historic Archive from an inaccessible upstairs room to the oldest book warehouse building in London, which forms one end of the Company’s garden.

Ruth Frendo, the Stationers’ Company archivist, said “The Stationers’ Archive is already known as a key resource to historians of the book trade. However, it also holds a wealth of records whose potential is yet to be explored. As custodians of the records we have inherited through the care and dedication of our forebears, we have a serious responsibility to maintain these documents for future exploration. Through the development of this purpose-built storage facility, and a reading room which will provide unprecedented access to its Archive, the Stationers’ Company is demonstrating that it is whole-heartedly embracing this responsibility.”

William Alden, Clerk to the Company said “Widening access to Stationers’ Hall for educational purposes is a critical objective of the Stationers’ Company. The opening of the Tokefield Centre marks the completion of the first phase of a broader Hall development programme, which we hope to complete by 2023, the 350th anniversary of the building of the Hall.”

For further information please contact: William Alden on clerk@stationers.org or on 020 7246 0980
The Stationers’ Company,
Stationers’ Hall
Ave Maria Lane


The History of Oxford University Press

Oxford University Press have announced the publication, in three volumes, of The History of Oxford University Press, spanning the period from its beginnings in the fifteenth century until 1970. Written by almost fifty contributors, experts in their fields of history, publishing and printing, the three volumes draw exclusively on material in the archives of Oxford University Press and the University of Oxford.

The three volumes are:

  • Volume I: Beginnings to 1780 – Edited by Ian Gadd
    (ISBN: 978-0-19-955731-8)
  • Volume II: 1780–1896 – Edited by Simon Eliot
    (ISBN: 978-0-19-954315-1)
  • Volume III: 1896–1970 – Edited by Wm. Roger Louis
    (ISBN: 978-0-19-956840-6)

The three volumes may be purchased either singly for £100 each or as a set for £250 (ISBN: 978-0-19-870279-5). Members of the Printing Historical Society may take advantage of a 20 percent discount on the advertised prices. For details please contact the Hon. Secretary.

For further information see the publication website.