Adam Matthew to Publish Five Hundred Years of Unique Materials on The History of Printing, Publishing and Bookselling

29 September 2015

Adam Matthew is pleased to announce an agreement with the Stationers’ Company to digitize and publish their entire records – hailed by academics as one of the most important sources on the history of printing, publishing, and bookselling.

Containing extremely rare documents relating to the book trade dating from 1554 to the 20th century, the Stationers’ Company archive is an invaluable source of research material for historians and literary scholars. Digitization of the archive enables potentially worldwide access to these extraordinary materials, including:

• Stationers' Company Registers or Entry Books of Copies, 1554-1842; it maps the origins of copyright and includes historic entries such as shakespeare’s First Folio

• Membership records, 1555 to the late 20th century, providing biographical information on the printing and publishing community and documents the history of bookbinding

• Court books, 1602 to the 20th century - an essential source for understanding the workings of the company and for dating texts or tracing editions

• The English Stock Records, 1603 to 1961, documenting the activities of the Stationers’ successful publishing arm that employed out-of-work printers

• Miscellaneous ephemera, including material discovered after the London bombings in the Second World War.

The Stationers’ Company Master, Helen Esmonde, explains what Adam Matthew’s involvement means to the Company:

"Digitising the Stationers' Company archive provides a means of preserving our book registers and other material which are central to the academic study of the history of the book trade. It will now be possible to make this significant collection accessible to an international audience without damaging the originals. Publishing this material will also contribute towards the resources necessary to ensure this archive is kept at Stationers' Hall and housed according to the best possible conditions for their care and conservation."

This new digital resource will accompany over 60 humanities and social sciences collections in Adam Matthew’s growing digital portfolio in 2018.