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Men and Women in the Book Trade: Changing gender roles over 500 years

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The Worshipful Co Of Stationers & Newspaper Makers

Avenue Maria Lane



United Kingdom

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This year’s annual conference on book trade history will explore ways in which gender has shaped the organization as well as the output of the trade from the early modern period to the recent past. Issues relating to the management and practice of printing and bookselling will be set alongside shifts in the patterns of demand, ownership and readership, as men and women maintained or redefined their mutual roles in business and employment, as well as in society at large.

Sunday 26th November: 10am-7pm

Monday 27th 930am-4pm


The conference fee includes coffee, tea and lunch on both days, and the reception on Sunday evening.

Registered students may apply for a limited number of reduced-rate places, sponsored by the Bibliographical Society.

Conference fee: £95

Student conference fee: £60*

Single-day fee: £60*

Student single-day fee: £50*

* Limited availability in each category

Early booking is recommended and places will be offered in order of receipt.


Sunday 26th November

10.00 – 10.30 am Registration and coffee

10.30 – 11.45 am Sara Pennell: Hannah and her sisters? The development of the market for household manuals, c. 1660-1750

11.45 – 12.15 pm Coffee

12.15 – 1.30 pm Helen Smith: Gender and identity in the early modern book trades

1.30 – 3.00 pm Buffet Lunch. During the lunch break, Robin Myers, Archivist Emeritus, will give a brief talk about the history of the Hall and Andrea Cameron, Stationers’ Company Honorary Librarian, will lead a tour of the building.

3.00 – 4.15 pm Mirjam Foot: ‘The property of a lady’: women as owners of fine bindings

4.15– 4.45 pm Tea

4.45 – 6.00 pm Laurence Worms: Women in the Rare Book Trade 1880-1920

6.00 – 7.00 pm Reception at Stationers’ Hall, sponsored by Bernard Quaritch Ltd

Monday 27th November

09.30 –10.00 am Coffee

10.00 – 11.10 am Caroline Bowden: The nuns of the English convents in exile and their books: connections between the communities and the book trade 1600-1800

11.10 – 11.40 am Coffee

11.40 – 12.50 pm Anne Lawrence: Progressive Steps: The early women of the Bodleian Library, Oxford

12.50 – 1.50 pm Lunch

1.50 – 3.00 pm Marianne Van Remoortel: Agents of Change: Women Editors and Socio-Cultural Transformation in Europe, 1710-1920

3.00 – 3.45 pm Michael Harris: The Nutt family at work; gender and geography in the London book trade, 1690 to 1750

3.45 – 4.00 pm End of formal proceedings. Michael Harris will lead a walking tour of book-trade sites, lasting about 45 minutes and ending in a local pub.

The Speakers

Caroline Bowden is a Senior Research Fellow at Queen Mary University of London. Formerly responsible for the ‘Who Were the Nuns?’ project, she is currently developing research based on manuscripts and publications originating in the English convents in exile. Her edition of the Chronicles of the English Convent Bruges (1629–1793) will appear in September 2017.

Mirjam Foot is a leading historian of bookbinding. She is Professor Emeritus of Library and Archive Studies at University College London and was formerly Director of Collections and Preservation at the British Library. She has published eight major studies of bookbinding, and innumerable articles in learned journals and volumes of essays. She has lectured widely in the UK and abroad, including several papers at the history of the book trade conferences.

Michael Harris is co-founder of the book-trade history conference and has co-edited and contributed to the associated publications. His research has centred on the topographies of print in London and on the printers and booksellers working at the lower economic levels of the print business. He has a particular interest in early serials.

Anne Lawrence studied history at Oxford Brookes University and gained her MSc in Information and Library Studies from the University of Aberystwyth. She has worked in libraries since the age of 16, most notably in the Special Collections Department at the University of Oxford for 8 years, before moving to the University of Bedfordshire in 2016 as an Academic Liaison Librarian. Her research interests include the social history of women, history of libraries, early modern crime and punishment, and the history of policing.

Sara Pennell is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern British History at the University of Greenwich. Her research interests in social and cultural history include the household, consumption and didactic literature. Her most recent publication is The Making of the English Kitchen 1600-1850 (2016).

Helen Smith is Reader in Renaissance Literature at the University of York. She is author of Grossly Material Things: Women and Book Production in Early Modern England (2012), and co-editor of Renaissance Paratexts (2011), The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in Early Modern England (2015), and Conversions: Gender and Religious Change in Early Modern Europe (2017).

Marianne Van Remoortel is Assistant Professor at the Department of Literary Studies, Ghent University. Her research interest include Victorian periodicals, with particular focus on periodical poetry and women’s contributions to the periodical press. She is the author of Lives of the Sonnet, 1787-1895: Genre, Gender and Criticism (Ashgate, 2011) and Women, Work and the Victorian Periodical: Living by the Press (Palgrave, 2015).

Laurence Worms is an antiquarian bookseller (Ash Rare Books) and a former President of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association. His published work includes contributions to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, The Oxford Companion to the Book, and The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain. His British Map Engravers, co-written with Ashley Baynton-Williams, was published in 2011.

It is also possible to book directly through the ABA. Please see: The booking form link is at the very bottom of the page.

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The Worshipful Co Of Stationers & Newspaper Makers

Avenue Maria Lane



United Kingdom

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