4 AUGUST 2022
This 4th August 2022 marks 250 years since the apprenticeship of William Blake to Stationer and engraver James Basire. Although Blake chose not to take up the Freedom of the Stationers’ Company himself, this apprenticeship was one of the most significant periods of his life.
23 MAY 2022
In partnership with the University of Newcastle, the Stationers' Company Archive is delighted to announce the programme for our first conference in our newly re-opened Hall.
*Please note that the programme has been revised, 19/07/2022. This is to accommodate an earlier finish for attendees affected by train strikes on Saturday 30th July .
3 MAY 2022
James Raven (Cambridge), ‘Monsters, Myths and Methods: Writing a Global Book Biography of Erik Pontoppidan’s Det første Forsøg paa Norges naturlige Historie (1752-3) [ The Natural History of Norway (1755)]’
25 JANUARY 2022
To mark Burns night, we look at the story of Burns’s first publication in London by Stationer Thomas Cadell (1742–1802).
6 JANUARY 2022
After the turmoil of the last couple of years, you may be wary of making travel plans for next summer. But you can still expand your horizons, with these exciting summer schools run by the University of London's Insitute of English Studies.
6 JANUARY 2022
We're excited to announce that the Stationers' Company Archive is partnering with the Universities of Durham and Newcastle to offer a fully funded research opportunity into early modern apprentices in the print trades. Our project, The Importance of Youth in the Early Modern Economy: Apprentices and their peer-networks, 1605-1800, has been approved for Collaborative Doctoral Award funding by the AHRC’s Northern Bridge Consortium.
4 AUGUST 2021
This day in the archive: 4th August
On the 4th of August, 1772, William Blake was bound as an apprentice to the engraver James Basire. Blake, of course, went on to become one of the most important visionary artists and poets in England. Basire's story is less well-known, but as a Stationer, a leading engraver of his day, and a significant early influence on Blake, it's worth telling here.
26 JULY 2021
This day in the archive: 26th July
On 26th July 1678, an unusual entry was recorded in the Stationers' Register. It's the wording of an affidavit form, to be completed by two witnesses who 'doe severally certifie and make oath that the corps of the person of ... late of the parish of ... was not put in, wrapt or wound up or buried in any shirt, shift or shroude made or mingled with flax, hemp, silke, haire, gold or silver, or other then what is made of sheepe's woll onely.' The affidavit goes on to specify that the coffin must also be lined in wool.
5 JULY 2021
This day in the archive: 5 July
Luke Hansard, printer to the House of Commons, was born on the 5th July 1752. An exceptionally successful printer who established a thriving family business, he joined the Stationers' Company as a Liveryman in 1799. He endowed two charitable bequests, one for 'needy printers over the age of 65', the other for a 'neatly bound Church of England prayer book' to be given to every youth bound at the hall. He also ensured that all three of his sons were apprenticed through the Company. Two generations later, his grandson, Thomas Curson Hansard II served as Master to the Stationers' Company in 1886. It was Thomas who presented the Company with Samuel Lane's portrait of Luke, which now hangs in the Court Room of Stationers' Hall.
2 JUNE 2021
This day in the archive: 2 June
On the 2nd of June 1656, Nathaniel Ponder was apprenticed to the bookseller and Stationer Robert Gibbs. Ponder went on to have an eventful career in publishing. He oversaw the publication of several nonconformist works of divinity and political pamphlets. His dissenting views sometimes brought him into conflict with the authorities, and he was notoriously imprisoned for publishing a seditious work by Andrew Marvell. Today, he is best remembered as the publisher of The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
20 MAY 2021
This day in the archive: 20 May
On 20 May 1609, a bookseller named Thomas Thorpe entered for his copy 'a booke called Shakespeares sonnetts'. The sonnet, imported to England from Italy during the Renaissance exchange of ideas, was popularised by Elizabethan poets such as Sir Philip Sidney and Edmund Spenser. Within the sonnet's formal constraints, Shakespeare introduced ideas and imagery which subverted the conventions of Elizabethan love poetry. ‘My mistress’ eyes,' declared Sonnet 130, 'are nothing like the sun’.
11 MAY 2021
This day in the archive: 11 May