Welcome to BHPC

Histoire du livre, History of the Book, Textual Studies, Print Culture, Sociology of the Text: all these names have been used to describe an international academic movement that rose to prominence in the late twentieth century and continues to expand today. Book History creates and applies knowledge of the material, …

Toronto Centre for the Book

The Toronto Centre for the Book was established at the University of Toronto in 1994 by Michael and Jane Millgate (Department of English), Patricia Fleming (Faculty of Information), and others in order to bring together faculty, librarians, students, and members of the general public who are interested in the past, …

Massey College

Massey College is an interdisciplinary community of students who are pursuing graduate studies or professional degrees at the University of Toronto, distinguished senior scholars, and eminent members of the non-academic world. The College was built and furnished by the Massey Foundation and opened in 1963. Facilities include the Robertson Davies Library, …

Student Projects

A requirement for the doctoral program in Book History and Print Culture, the Practicum is an individual project involving the use of primary sources, approved for academic credit by the Program Committee, undertaken under the supervision of a member of the graduate faculty, and intended to serve as a bridge …

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Welcome to BHPC

June 25, 2014 Welcome No Comments

Histoire du livre, History of the Book, Textual Studies, Print Culture, Sociology of the Text: all these names have been used to describe an international academic movement that rose to prominence in the late twentieth century and continues to expand today. Book History creates and applies knowledge of the material, cultural, and theoretical aspects of the book, including manuscript, print, and digital media, along with associated practices of authorship, reading and collecting, within different disciplines in the humanities and information sciences. The field found an early home at the University of Toronto with the launch in 1994 of the Toronto Centre for the Book (TCB), which is now the public lecture series of the Collaborative Program in Book History and Print Culture (BHPC). The Collaborative Program admitted its first cohort of graduate students in September 2000, and now has a flourishing network of alumni in academia, library and information sciences, publishing and related fields in Canada and around the world.

Sponsored by the Department of English and the Faculty of Information in conjunction with Massey College, and now involving more than a dozen further participating units, BHPC is an interdisciplinary graduate program in which the rich physical and human resources of the University of Toronto are brought to bear on multiple aspects of the creation, transmission, and reception of the written word. Students apply first for admission to the master’s or doctoral program in their prospective home unit and then to the BHPC program. All students are therefore registered in a master’s or doctoral program in one of our participating graduate units (listed below) as well as in BHPC. During their time in the Collaborative Program, BHPC students gain a distinctive approach to the materials of their home subject, a methodology fostered by course work, the TCB lecture series, regular colloquia, hands-on experience with special collections and the five iron hand-presses in the working print shop at Massey, and intellectual exchange among members of a diverse community. Students who satisfy the requirements of both programs receive their degree with a notation on the transcript “Collaborative Program in Book History and Print Culture.”

Travaux et thèses peuvent être soumis en français, avec l’approbation des instructeurs et/ou du département d’attache. Les étudiants travaillant en domaine français sont spécialement encouragés à le faire.

Participating Units:

Department of Art Department of Classics Centre for Comparative Literature
Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning (OISE) Department of East Asian Studies Department of English
Department of French Department of German Department of History
Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology Faculty of Information Department of Italian Studies
Centre for Medieval Studies Faculty of Music Department for the Study of Religion
Department of Spanish & Portuguese


BHPC director Tom Keymer to give Oxford’s Clarendon Lectures on literature and censorship

September 26, 2014 News No Comments

“The Clarendon Lecture series is run across the University of Oxford. The next series will be given by Professor Thomas Keymer, Chancellor Jackman Professor of English at the University of Toronto, in November 2014, and all are welcome. The theme of the 2014 series is ‘Poetics of the Pillory: English Literature and Seditious Libel, 1660-1820’.”  You can read more here.

Back to School: U of T library system ranked in top three with Harvard and Yale

September 12, 2014 News No Comments

“Students entering the University of Toronto this fall have access to the top-ranked library system in Canada, according to the Association of Research Libraries (ARL).

The ARL recently ranked the U of T library system one of the top three in North America, after Harvard and Yale. The only Canadian university in the top 10, U of T has placed among the ARL’s top five research libraries since 2002-2003.”  You can read more here.

BHPC instructor Greta Golick curates Robarts Library exhibition “Book Works 2014”

July 7, 2014 News No Comments

“Faculty of Information instructor Greta Golick wanted her students to think about what form books take, how the content is presented, and create something new, using text and/or an image to remake the book. The result is a stunning collection of book-inspired art created by 45 Faculty of Information (iSchool) students, in the display cases in the north atrium of Robarts Library (130 St. George Street, second floor, adjacent to the iSchool entrance).”  You can read more here and here.

Book History Program a “world leader” in its field

July 6, 2014 News No Comments

“The Book History and Print Culture (BHPC) program at the University of Toronto (UofT) has been called “a world leader in [its] field of academic study,” according to a program review by the School of Graduate Studies (SGS). The program has an international reputation for Book History studies, a valuable resource for students and the University, the review noted. Professor Alan Galey points to the thriving book history community in Toronto and the “intellectual diversity of the program and excellent student engagement” as a significant factor in shaping the strong growth of the program.”  You can read more here.

Honorary degree for U of T alumna Annabel Patterson, the leading scholar of early modern censorship and print culture

June 24, 2014 News No Comments

“Yale Sterling Professor Annabel Patterson has had a remarkable career as a scholar of what is now known as early modern literature. In fact, her work encompasses history, law, politics, and everything that tends to motivate the creation of literature. It began at the University of Toronto, where she was first a student at University College and later an assistant professor at Victoria College. As a student she graduated first in her class, and received the Governor General’s gold medal, as well as a Commonwealth Scholarship for graduate work in London, England.  Subsequently she taught at York University, the University of Maryland, and Duke University, moving to Yale to complete her trajectory, and receive Yale’s highest rank, a Sterling Professorship. Although she is now officially retired from the Yale Department of English, she continues to teach there.”  You can find out more here and watch her Convocation address here.

Professor Emerita Heather Jackson interviewed by Simon Armitage (BBC Radio 4, Marginalia)

June 16, 2014 News No Comments

“When someone takes a pen or pencil and adds a comment, an underlining or a question mark to the pages of a book – is it cause for celebration or condemnation? And if the person with pencil in hand happens to be famous, should that colour our view? These are the questions Simon Armitage – himself a lapsed margin scribbler – wrestles with as he sets off to tell the story of marginalia.”  You can hear the interview here.

BHPC alumna Claire Battershill interviewed in the Globe and Mail

May 30, 2014 News No Comments

B.C.-born Claire Battershill is both a highly accomplished academic and the author of fiction that has been nominated for multiple awards. Her debut collection, Circus, came out in April.”  You can read the interview here.

BHPC alumnus Von Totanes named Director of Rizal Library, Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines

May 7, 2014 News No Comments

“Dr. Vernon “Von” Totanes (PhD ’12) is celebrating two major accomplishments back to back. On November 16th in Toronto, he graduated from the iSchool with a PhD in the Collaborative Program in Book History and Print Culture, under the supervision of Professor Emeritus, Patricia Fleming. His thesis is entitled ‘History of the Filipino history book’. On the same day, back in the Philippines, Von started as Assistant Director of the Rizal Library at Ateneo de Manila University. In April 2013, he will take over when the current Director retires. Dr. Totanes’ new credentials helped him land this prestigious appointment.”  You can read more here.

BHPC student Tim Harrison on academic bridging and becoming an English professor

May 1, 2014 News No Comments

“Tim Harrison is having an incredible year. He recently accepted a job as a tenure-track assistant professor of English at the University of Chicago, a position he chose over three postdoctoral fellowships also offered. The Milton Society of America honoured Harrison with the Albert C. Labriola Award for the best article published by a graduate student. And to top things off, he just handed in his thesis exploring how writers from Montaigne to Milton expressed the feeling of being alive.”  You can read the interview here.