There is a subtle shift occurring in the examination of the history of the book and publishing. Historians are moving away from a history of individuals towards a new perspective grounded in social and corporate history. From A History of Cambridge University Press to The Stationers’ Company: A History to the new History of Oxford University Press, the development of material texts is set in a new context of institutions.
Recently, Dr Adam Smyth, Oxford University Lecturer in the History of the Book, spoke with Ian Gadd, Professor of English Literature at Bath Spa University and the editor of Volume I: From its beginnings to 1780 of the History of Oxford University Press, about the early modern history of the book. They discuss the evolution of university presses, the relationship between Oxford and the London book trade, navigating the division of learned and scholarly publishing and commercial work, and some new insights into the history of the Press, such as setting William Laud’s vision of the Press in the context of university reform and the role of the University’s legal court in settling trade disputes.
Podcast courtesy of the University of Oxford Podcasts.
Ian Gadd is Professor of English Literature at Bath Spa University. He is editor of The History of Oxford University Press, Volume 1: From its beginnings to 1780.
With access to extensive archives, The History of Oxford University Press is the first complete scholarly history of the Press, detailing its organization, publications, trade, and international development. Read previous blog posts about the history of Oxford University Press.