News 2008

£10 theatre tickets Special offer to Bibliographical Society members: The Ghost Stories of M.R. James
"Oh Whistle..." is a theatrical piece based on the ghost stories of M R James, at The Baron's Court Theatre, London between Tuesday 9 December and Sunday 4 January. Bibliographical Society members may purchase tickets for a discounted price of £10.  Theatre and box office: Barons Court's Theatre, The Curtain's Up Pub, 28a Comeragh Road, West Kensington, London W14 9HP,  Box office: 020 8932 4747.
Call for papers: closing date 16 February 2009

"The Limits of the Book", a conference at The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia , 20-22 July 2009 will focus on:

Paratext and Para-book
Books Post-production - Libraries, Reading , Bookselling
Phantom Books, Lost Books and Piracies
Limits and Limitlessness in the Digital Book

Physical forms ranging from the scroll to a box of randomly ordered sheets, to a dossier of facsimile documents, to an electronic tablet challenge and extend the category of object we call "book." No technological innovation has more sharply raised the issue of the potential and the limits of the book than the development of digital textuality. Few books today are untouched by digital processes. It remains to be seen whether this digitization will be the destroyer of the book or the infinite extender of its limits.

The Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand invites offers of 20-30 minute papers considering interesting examples of the limits of the book and the issues that stem from them. Please email 300-word proposals and a 50-word bio to Dr Chris Tiffin, School of EMSAH , The University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Australia by Monday16 February 2009 .

Conference 'The Book in Transition: The Printed Book in the Post-Incunabula Age' at the University of St Andrews, 3-5 September 2008. Bursaries are available for postgraduate students. For more information and registration form, please click here.

The Manuscript and Printed Book in Germany, 2 May 2008, Boardroom of the National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, a conference organized by The Scottish Centre for the Book, Napier University and the National Library of Scotland, with the support of the Consul General of Germany.

Seminar Seminar on Textual Bibliography for Modern Foreign Languages, 2 June 2008, The British Library. Details and registration form may be found here.
Call for nominations for Council members and a Vice-President

In accordance with the terms of office, the terms of three members of the Council will come to an end at the 2008 annual meeting and three new members will be elected then.  In addition, a new vice-president is to be elected.  Please submit nominations for members of Council and a vice-president to the Hon. Secretary ( in advance of the annual meeting to be held on Tuesday, 21 October

Grants Results of the Society's fifteenth competition for research grants have been announced. Details may be found here.

Announcing the 13th Annual D. F. McKenzie Lecture:
Professor Isabel Hofmeyr (University of Witwatersrand, South Africa)

'Gandhi's Printing Press: Print Cultures of the Indian Ocean'
Venue: Lecture Theatre 2, St Cross Building, English Faculty, Oxford University
5.00 p.m., Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Professor Hofmeyr will also lead a seminar the following day:
Venue: History of the Book Room, St Cross Building, Oxford University
12noon, Thursday, 17 January 2008


Designer Bookbinders - Lectures 2008- 2009
The programme of lectures is available to download from the following links:

Word document
PDF document

Further details from Julia Dummett and Rachel Ward-Sale: 01273 486718 Website:

LIHG AGM and lecture

Library and Information History Group, AGM 2008, Wednesday 12th November, 2.30pm.  Location: Royal Astronomical Society Lecture Theatre, Royal Astronomical Society, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BQ.

Followed at 3 pm by 'Astronomers and Oddities: The Royal Astronomical Society and its Library' by Peter Hingley, Royal Astronomical Society Librarian.

The talk will be followed by a tour of the Library and some of its treasures. The event should end between 4.30 and 5.00pm. All welcome.

To book a place please contact Anna Jones, Secretary, CILIP Library and Information History Group, c/o Lee Library, Wolfson College, Barton Road, Cambridge  CB3 9BB.

To find out how to get to the Royal Astronomical Society click here. For more information about the Royal Astronomical Society Library click here. For further information about the LIHG, forthcoming events, and the projects with which it is involved, please visit the Group website here.

archive evening '"Supper being Ended .": Feasting and Music' at Stationers' Hall, Monday 14 January 2008, 5.30 - 9.30 p.m. Please click here for a registration form.
forthcoming publications Richard Gameson, The Earliest Books of Canterbury Cathedral
London: The Bibliographical Society and The British Library, in association with the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury, 2008.

416 pages (including index and bibliography); 63 colour illustrations Hardback (buckram); colour jacket

Full published price: £60
Pre-publication price (until 31 December 2007): £40
(Bibliographical Society members will receive a free copy; additional copies £30)

conference Collecting Revolution: The History and Importance of the Thomason Tracts

Date: 30 June - 1 July 2008
Venue: British Library / University College London

The pamphlet collection amassed by the London bookseller George Thomason is of unparalleled importance, and has helped to ensure that the civil wars and interregnum remain central to the study of British history. Nevertheless, this is generally reflected in scholarly exploitation of the tracts, rather than in critical analysis of them. This conference seeks to explore a variety of approaches to the Thomason collection, including the man and his milieu, his role as a publisher and bookseller, his aims and methods as a collector, the fate of his collection, and its significance to subsequent generations of scholars.

Speakers: Sabrina Baron, Maureen Bell, Michael Braddick, David Como, Ann Hughes, Keith Lindley, Giles Mandelbrote, Jason McElligott, Michael Mendle, Jason Peacey, Joad Raymond, Julian Roberts, David Stoker, Elliot Vernon, and Steven Zwicker


call for papers


Conference Theme: Shaping Readers: Selection and Editing

Confirmed Keynote Speaker: Professor Alistair McCleery, Co-Director of SAPPHIRE, Professor of Literature and Culture at Napier University, and co-editor of The Book History Reader

Following on from the success of last year’s conference, the Making Books, Shaping Readers project at the Department of English, University College Cork, invite submissions for twenty-minute papers on the theme Shaping Readers: Selection and Editing. We encourage individual proposals as well as suggestions for panels.

The conference will explore the editor’s role in shaping the material we read, which in turn shapes our reception of the text. Editions of texts are at the core of all research in the humanities, and our readings of, and responses to, texts are often subtly shaped by editorial decisions and selections. Editorial processes are not objective or neutral, and frequently happen without comment. Papers might focus on, but are not limited to, some of the following:

• What is an editor?
• Textual ‘corruption’
• Authorial intention
• Editing as interpretation
• The social text
• The role of the publisher
• Textual variants
• The reader as editor
• The role of technology
• Theories of selection and compilation
• The effect of selection and editing on materiality
• Anthologies, scholarly editions and canon formation

In keeping with the interdisciplinary nature of the project, we invite papers from scholars in all disciplines. Selected papers may be included in a an edited volume. Accepted abstracts will be published on our website prior to the conference. Abstracts (300-500 words) should be sent to the organisers: Dr Graham Allen, Dr Siobhán Collins, Dr Carrie Griffin, and Mary O’ Connell at no later than 14th January 2008.


Monday, 2 June 2008 in the Conference Centre, the British Library

We are seeking four or five papers of approx. 30 minutes each, one at 11.15 a.m. and the others after lunch, with ample time for discussion after each paper. Papers dealing with any aspect of printing and book production in Continental Eastern and Western Europe are warmly invited, as are papers dealing with other aspects of historical bibliography, editing, and the history of the book and reading. Papers giving an account of work in progress or offers to introduce discussion of bibliographical interest are a long-standing feature of the seminar.

Please let us know by the end of April if you are willing to give a paper.

We should be grateful if you would send us the names and addresses of potential new participants in the seminar, especially postgraduate students.

Barry Taylor (tel 020 7412 7576)
Susan Reed (tel 020 7412 7311 / 7572)

book release

Books on the Move: Tracking Copies through Collections and the Book Trade Edited by Robin Myers, Michael Harris and Giles Mandelbrote

Oak Knoll and The British library are happy to announce the newest book in the Publishing Pathway series. In this volume, leading specialists in book history explore the journeys that books have taken through the European book network, using examples from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. It includes chapters on the destruction and rediscovery of manuscripts, the dispersal of various libraries and collections, the survival of books of hours and more. Available October 2007; pre-order your copy today from Oak Knoll Books.

Pantzer Fellowship

Katharine F Pantzer Jr Research Fellowship in the History of the Book. Please follow these links for more information and an application form.

electronic publications

The Society is now engaging in electronic publication of certain key resources. John Dee's Library Catalogue: additions and corrections by Julian Roberts and Andrew G. Watson is now available through the website. The London Book Trades: A Bibliographical Resource by Michael L. Turner, with over 30,000 entries from the 7 January, 2009 e-repository (hosted by the Institute of English Studies).

The Library

Electronic content of the The Library is available online to members.

Go to the archive of old news items:


archive of old news items


Top | The Bibliographical Society

Pages updated: 7 January, 2009