Penn Arts & Sciences Logo
February 26, 2018

Class of 1978 Pavilion in the Kislak Center
6th Floor of Van-Pelt Library

We will be welcoming Ian Gadd for a talk entitled: “‘Entered for his copy’: creating Stationers’ Register Online.” Ian writes:

The Stationers’ Register is one of the most consulted archival documents of the early modern period. It is also, frankly, one of the least understood. First established in 1557 by the London Stationers’ Company to record the publishing rights of its members and cited in Britain’s first copyright statute in 1710, it survives in an almost unbroken sequence from 1557 until 1924. It played a crucial role in the development of Anglo-American copyright.

This presentation will provide an account of the development of the Stationers’ Register during the early modern period, describing its purpose, its procedures, and its many idiosyncrasies. It will also explain how a new digital project, ‘Stationers’ Register Online’, aims to transform our understanding of how early modern ‘copyright’ worked by creating the first publicly available database of the copy-entries recorded in the Stationers’ Register. 

Ian Gadd is a Professor of English Literature at Bath Spa University, and the Academic Director of the Global Academy of Liberal Arts (GALA), an international network of universities founded by Bath Spa in 2014. He is a General Editor of the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jonathan Swift, and was a volume editor for The History of Oxford University Press (2013-17). He is a past president of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP). He wrote his Oxford D.Phil. on the Stationers’ Company, has taught courses on the Stationers’ Company at Rare Book School, and is currently editing Liber A, the only major early modern record in the Company’s archive that has not yet been published.