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Rare Book School at the University of Virginia

H-80. The Stationers’ Company and the London Book Trade to 1830

Ian Gadd & Michael Turner

The Stationers’ Company, founded in 1403 and incorporated in 1557, dominated London’s trade in printed books during the c16 and c17; following the loss of its London-only monopoly over printing in 1695, its regulatory powers diminished, but it retained a vital role in the life of the London trade. Among its members can be counted nearly all of London’s leading printers and publishers, and its roster also includes thousands of lesser-known men and women in the trade: type-founders, compositors, printers, publishers, booksellers, and bookbinders. This course will survey the shifting role and character of the Stationers’ Company up to about 1830. Rather than adopting a purely chronological perspective, the instructors will take a thematic approach in order to trace the Company’s changes and continuities over the centuries. Topics include: the Company's structure, corporate identity, regulatory powers, and membership; the Stationers’ Register and other records; the ‘English Stock’; the Company’s relationship with authors; its relationship with other London companies as well as city and national authorities; and its corporate identity.

Course Resources

Course History


This course is added to the bulletin.
Ian Gadd & Michael Turner teach this course for the first time.