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Stephen Colclough Centre for the History and Culture of the Book

The Stephen Colclough Centre for the History and Culture of the Book is an interdisciplinary centre for the advanced study of the past, present and future of the book as material artefact, and of the cultures that surround it. Working in collaboration with colleagues at Bangor and beyond, the Centre's purpose is twofold: to enhance and broaden our understanding of the book's place within cultural, social and economic practices, and to develop our understanding of the material book as cultural commodity, conveyor of knowledge, and object of desire.

Shankland Lectures || Occasional Pieces || Colclough Lectures || Contact Us

Stephen Colclough Annual Lectures

2019: The Romance of Bookselling: the Value of Bookshops, Past and Present

Samantha J. Rayner, Reader in Publishing and Director of Centre for Publishing, University College, London

Samantha Rayner is the Director of the Centre for Publishing at University College, London. She teaches and writes on publishing and book related topics, with special interests in publishing archives and publishing paratexts, bibliography, the culture of bookselling, editors and editing, bibliotherapy, and academic publishing. She was the Principal Investigator on the influential AHRC/British Library Academic Book of the Future Project (see ). She is Deputy Editor for the Journal of the International Arthurian Society, and the General Editor for a new series of publishing mini-monographs with Cambridge University Press.

The Centres’ directors wish to thank Dr Samantha Rayner for giving such an interesting and entertaining talk to a full audience at the Hen Goleg, College Road. The paper featured the history and development of two publishing houses run by women: Foyles bookstore of Charing Cross Road run by the charismatic, autocratic Christina Foyle, and Dillon’s University Book Shop run by the self-made, level-headed and resourceful Una Dillon in Tottenham Court Road. 

'Tatters and patches in early modern England: finding old texts in new books'

Adam Smyth, Professor of English Literature and the History of the Book, Balliol College, Oxford

Adam Smyth is Professor of English Literature and the History of the Book at Balliol College, Oxford. He works on the intersection of the literary and the material, the archival and the canonical, particularly (but not exclusively) in the early modern period. His most recent book is Material Texts in Early Modern England (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming, 2018), which explores the inventive materiality of early modern texts, and the remarkable things readers did to books in the name of reading (cutting, pasting, annotating, burning).

Watch the Inaugural Stephen Colclough Lecture

Contact Us

  • Sue Niebrzydowski
    • 01248 382111
  • Eben Muse
    • 01248 388628
  • Shan Robinson


Dr. Eben J. Muse

Reader in Bookselling, School of Arts, Culture and Language, SFHEA
I study the disruptive innovations in the publishing industry and book trade that have come about with the growing potential of digital technologies. I am interested in the ways these technologies are redefining one of our most fundamental tools for knowledge collection, development and sharing: the book. As the son of a book dealer, I have watched the dramatic alterations in the book retail world unfold with the growth of digital and network technologies and cultures. I work with book dealers and publishers, particularly in Wales and New England, to understand of how these technologies can be used, not just to stream-line existing practices but also to develop new ways of adding value to the fundamental book. I apply my work on complexity, spatiality, virtual worlds and temporal space to understand the ways that the space of the book and bookselling evolves.

Professor Sue Niebrzydowski

Professor in Medieval English Literature, School of Arts, Culture and Language, FHEA, FLSW, FRHS
My research profile has always been interdisciplinary in nature, focusing most particularly upon medieval women as consumers of books. I am currently engaged in examining the literature that medieval women produced and read about the Virgin Mary, and the kinds of books in which testimony to their Marian devotion has survived. I am looking at women's associations with the Book of Hours. 

Shan Robinson

Senior Special Collections Co-ordinator
I have worked at the University Library for over 30 years. My role  in the library is Special Collections Co-ordinator. I studied for my degree in Social Studies through the Department of Life Long Learning, and then went on to complete my Masters in Women’s Studies at the same department in 2013. I work closely with the collections in the Welsh Library, and have a particular interest in the history of Welsh women.  My M.A. dissertation topic was on the history of Women’s education in Wales. I am one of the representatives for north Wales on the committee of The Women’s Archive of Wales, a group committed to promoting the study, and rescuing and preserving the sources, of women's history in Wales. The archive also undertakes research projects which advance public knowledge of the lives of women in Wales.

The management board will meet once per semester and the minutes of the meeting circulated to the advisory board for comment. There will be an AGM to report on annual progress. 

  • Prof. Andrew Edwards, Pro Vice-Chancellor [Welsh Language, Civic Engagement and Strategic Partnerships]
  • Prof Emerita Helen Wilcox, School of Arts, Culture, and Language
  • Elen Simpson, Library and Archives Service
  • Prof Ruth McElroy, Head of the School of Arts, Culture, and Language
  • Dr. Maredudd ap Huw, National Library of Wales
  • Prof Sandro Jung, Department of Literary Studies, Ghent University
  • Prof Samantha J. Rayner, Director of the Centre for Publishing, Department of Information Studies, University College London
  • Prof Adam Smyth, Faculty of English, University of Oxford
  • Dr Hazel Pierce, Independent Genealogist and Researcher
  • Mr Stephen Rees, Lecturer in Musicology, Bangor University
  • Prof Carol Tully, Professor of German, Bangor University
  • Dr. Shaun Evans, Institute for the Study of Welsh Estates, Bangor University
  • Prof Samantha Rayner, University College, London

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