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Rare Book School
Preliminary Reading List

The Stationers' Company and the London Book Trade to 1830

Ian Gadd & Michael Turner

Preliminary Advices

Required Reading:

Blagden’s history is still the only single-volume account of the history of the Stationers’ Company. It is dated, lacks detailed footnotes and is rather less informative than his various articles on the Company, but is nonetheless the best place to start. We’d also recommend reading at least one of the other three items listed here.

  1. Cyprian Blagden, The Stationers’ Company: A History 1403-1959 (London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1960).
  2. The Stationers’ Company: a history of the later years 1800-2000, ed. by Robin Myers (Chichester: Phillimore & Co. Ltd, 2001).
  3. The Stationers’ Company and the Book Trade 1550-1990, ed. by Robin Myers and Michael Harris, (Winchester: St Paul’s Bibliographies, 1997).
  4. Peter Blayney, The Stationers’ Company before the Charter, 1403-1557 (London: Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers, 2003).

Further Reading:


Stationers’ Hall in London holds the Company’s extensive archive which dates back to the mid-sixteenth century. Nearly all the records prior to the twentieth-century have been microfilmed and were published in 1987. Robin Myers, the honorary Archivist of the Company, published a catalogue of the archives, keyed to the microfilm reels. A number of the early records of the Stationers’ Company have also been transcribed or indexed.

  1. The Records of the Stationers’ Company 1554-1920 (Cambridge: Chadwyck-Healey, 1987), 115 reels of microfilm.
  2. Robin Myers, The Stationers’ Company Archive 1554-1984 (Winchester: St Paul’s Bibliographies, 1990).
  3. A Transcript of the Registers of the Company of Stationers 1554-1640 AD, ed. by Edward Arber, 5 vols (London & Birmingham, 1875-94).
  4. A Transcript of the Registers of the Company of Stationers from 1640-1708 A.D., ed. by G.E. Briscoe Eyre, 3 vols (London, 1913-14).
  5. Records of the Court of the Stationers’ Company 1576 to 1602 from Register B, ed. by W.W. Greg, and E. Boswell (London: Bibliographical Society, 1930).
  6. Records of the Court of the Stationers’ Company 1602 to 1640, ed. by William A. Jackson (London: Bibliographical Society, 1957).
  7. A Chronology and Calendar of Documents relating to the London book trade 1641-1700, ed. D.F. McKenzie and Maureen Bell, 3 vols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005).
  8. Stationers’ Company Apprentices 1605-40, ed. by D.F. McKenzie, (Charlottesville, Virginia: Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia, 1961).
  9. Stationers’ Company Apprentices 1641-1700, ed. by ---, (Oxford: Oxford Bibliographical Society, 1974).
  10. Stationers’ Company Apprentices 1701-1800, ed. by ---, (Oxford: Oxford Bibliographical Society, 1978).
  11. A Companion to Arber, ed. by W. W. Greg (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967).
  12. Robin Myers, ‘The Financial Records of the Stationers’ Company, 1605-1811’, in Economics of the British Booktrade 1605-1939, ed. by Robin Myers and Michael Harris, (Cambridge: Chadwyck-Healey, 1985), pp. 1-31.


  1. Maureen Bell, ‘Women in the English Book Trades 1557-1700’, Leipziger Jahrbuch zur Buchgeschichte, 6 (1996), 13-45.
  2. Cyprian Blagden, ‘The English Stock of the Stationers’ Company’, The Library, 5th ser., 10 (1955), 163-185.
  3. ---, ‘Charter Trouble’, Book Collector, 6, no. 4 (1957), 369-377.
  4. ---, ‘The English Stock of the Stationers’ Company in the Time of the Stuarts’, The Library, 5th ser., 12 (1957), 167-186.
  5. ---, ‘The Stationers’ Company in the Civil War Period’, The Library, 5th ser., 13 (1958), 1-17.
  6. ---, ‘The Stationers’ Company in the eighteenth century’, Guildhall Miscellany, (1959), 36-53.
  7. Peter W.M. Blayney, The Bookshops in Paul's Cross Churchyard (London: Bibliographical Society, 1990).
  8. ---, ‘The Publication of Playbooks’, in A New History of Early English Drama, ed. by John D. Cox and David Scott Kastan, (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997), pp. 383-422.
  9. C.Y. Ferdinand, ‘Towards a Demography of the Stationers’ Company 1601-1700’, Journal of the Printing Historical Society, 21 (1992), 51-69.
  10. Marjorie Plant, The English Book Trade: An Economic History of the Making and Sale of Books, second edn (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1965).
  11. [Henry] Graham Pollard, ‘The Company of Stationers before 1557’, The Library, 4th ser., 18, no. 1 (1937), 1-38.
  12. ---, ‘The Early Constitution of the Stationers’ Company’, The Library, 4th ser., 18, no. 3 (1937), 235-260.