history of the book

Penguin Books at Stirling

March 6th, 2011 by Claire_Squires | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Penguin Books at Stirling
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Students last week had the opportunity to get their hands on the University of Stirling Library’s Penguin Books collection as part of their Publishing, Literature and Society module (in the MLitt in Publishing Studies).

The Library has an impressive collection of Penguin Books, which were donated by Dr Angus Mitchell, formerly Chair of the University Court and an avid Penguin collector. From the very first set of 10 books from 1935, to some of the earliest Puffins, Penguin Classics, Penguin Specials and Pevsner’s Architectural Guides, and books on yoga, car maintenance and vegetarian cookery, the collection demonstrates just how diverse a publisher Penguin has been.

Further details on the Library’s Special Collections can be found here. The Library is currently holding an exhibition of ‘Treasures’, which can either be visited in person or via the Library’s flickr set. Frances Sessford, Teaching Fellow in the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication, chose Penguin as her ‘Treasure’.

Publication of the Oxford Companion to the Book

January 30th, 2010 by Claire_Squires | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Publication of the Oxford Companion to the Book
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OCBThis week, Oxford University Press published the Oxford Companion to the Book, a two-volume reference work covering all aspects of book culture, including publishing, printing, reading and authorship, from ancient times to the present day.

Edited by Michael F. Suarez S.J. and H.R. Woudhuysen, the volumes begin with overview essays on subjects including the technologies and economics of print, children’s books and the electronic book, as well as chapters on books and publishing in different countries and regions around the world. The work then has over 5000 encyclopaedia entries, with definitions and descriptions ranging from the accordion book to the Zimbabwe International Book Fair, by way of mini-histories of Faber & Faber, the Harry Potter phenomenon, and even the telephone directory.

A publishing feat in itself, the Oxford Companion to the Book contains over a million words, and is the work of two general editors, around 30 associate and assistant editors, nearly 400 scholars, and a staff team at OUP. Claire Squires, Director of the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication, was the Associate Editor with responsibility for the Twentieth Century Book in Britain, and wrote the overview essay ‘The History of the Book in Britain from 1914’.

The reference work has already received rave reviews from the Sunday Times (‘fabulous … monumental … beautiful’) and the Sunday Telegraph (‘an extraordinary tribute to a revolutionary invention … magnificent’).

Oldest book in Scotland

December 10th, 2009 by Scott_Russell | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Oldest book in Scotland
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The BBC reports that the oldest book in Scotland, dating from the 11th Century, will go on display at Edinburgh University Library from Friday 11 Dec. A hand written Celtic Psalter, the book could be  1000 years old and is believed to be the work of monks from the island of Iona. The book is part of a new exhibition marking the refurbishment of the University’s library exhibition room. Other works on show include an early edition of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet – published in his lifetime – and other examples of early books published in Scotland.

If you have some time over Christmas, this would be well worth a visit to see examples of how the earliest books were created.

Scott Russell