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A Book History Research Network Study Day on print and manuscript culture in British and European towns and cities


The first book written by Samuel Johnson, an abridgment and translation of Father Lobo's voyage to Abyssinia, was issued from London in 1735. However, it had been written in Birmingham and printed there two years earlier by Thomas Warren a bookseller, printer, publisher and founder of the town’s first known newspaper, the Birmingham Journal.

This brief anecdote serves to highlight the dominance of the metropolitan press over its regional counterparts. But whilst the book trade - and its historians - may focus on the capital, every provincial town also has its own literary and typographic history embedded in its ephemera, pamphlets, newspapers and books; and every regional town has designed, produced, published and printed books of both interest and value.This symposium considers the productions relating to, and of, the regional press.

Papers of twenty-minutes duration are invited for this interdisciplinary Study Day from postgraduates, independent researchers and established scholars working on medieval to modern Britain or Europe. Topics might include but are not limited to:

  • Regional texts: their origination, design, production, distribution, consumption and reception;
  • Reflections of regional cultural identities in the design and production of provincial ephemera, pamphlets, newspapers and books;
  • How the look and content of the regionally produced book has contributed to, or been shaped by its local setting;
  • Popular print and ‘street literature’ (ballads, chapbooks, broadsides etc.);
  • How regional publications disseminated local ideas and culture;
  • Understanding regional towns through their ephemera, pamphlets, newspapers and books.


Please send a suggested title, synopsis (200 words) and biography (100 words) via a Word attachment to both Professor Caroline Archer and Dr Catherine Armstrong. and


Friday 17 October 2014

The form of the book: printing, publishing and production in the regions


Later Event: April 21
Collaborative Book Production