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 was built and furnished by the Massey Foundation in 1963 to house graduate students pursuing advanced studies or professional degrees at the University of Toronto. It provides a congenial intellectual environment for the exchange of opinions and ideas. Members of the College form a multidisciplinary and diverse community …

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 …

Recent Articles:

Shakespeare’s First Folio goes on display at Fisher Library

February 22, 2016 News Comments Off on Shakespeare’s First Folio goes on display at Fisher Library

“The University of Toronto is marking 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare with a special exhibit at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library. ‘So long lives this’: Celebrating Shakespeare, 1616-2016 features Shakespeare’s First Folio from 1623 — the only copy in Canada … ‘Until then folios were mostly used for printing important religious, political, and historical works. With the First Folio in 1623, the format of the book itself confers a new kind of importance on plays — and plays written and performed for nearly the full stratum of English society, from working-class people to the royal court,’ said Alan Galey, director of the Master of Information Program at U of T. Galey worked with fellow U of T professors Peter W.M. Blayney and Marjorie Rubright and Western University assistant professor Scott Schofield to curate the exhibition.” You can read more here.

iSchool, English, and History & Philosophy of Science students win 2016 printing apprenticeships

January 9, 2016 News Comments Off on iSchool, English, and History & Philosophy of Science students win 2016 printing apprenticeships

“The BHPC Apprentice is given the privilege of learning the processes involved in operating the printing presses in the Robertson Davies Library’s Bibliography Room at Massey College, and will assist in showing visitors around the room and explaining the function of the presses and their related materials. Apprentices will also learn the basic skills of typesetting, registration, presswork, distribution, and principles of letterpress design. Further, they will assist in the maintenance of the shop including sorting spacing, distributing type and the other organizational tasks required to keep the presses in working order … [New BHPC Printing Apprentices Samantha Bellinger and Joel Vaughan] will be working with the Massey College Printer, Nelson Adams, and will join the current BHPC Printing Fellows, Amy Cote and Julia King, and the two new 2016 Massey Printing Apprentices, Kacper Niburski and Chris Kelleher.” You can read more here.

Expert bookbinder receives bibliography and book history award

October 22, 2015 News Comments Off on Expert bookbinder receives bibliography and book history award

“The Faculty of Information is proud to recognize Jeff Peachey as the Patricia Fleming Visiting Fellow in Bibliography and Book History, for his immense contributions to bibliography, book history, and his binding mastery. ‘I’m thrilled and honoured to receive the Patricia Fleming Fellowship. I am digging into the spectacular resources at the University of Toronto, and participating in the vibrant Book History community’, Peachey says … The working title for his research is ‘Putting it Together: American and English Bookbinding 1820-1850’. ‘I’m looking at the radical changes to the book that happened in this time, and how these changes affected binders and the how they worked. Two of the book structures that predominated in the 20th century, the hardcover and the paperback, have their origins in this time. I’m particularly interested in quotidian bookbindings, rather than ones produced for luxury markets’, Peachey says.” You can find out more here.

BHPC annual report in Massey News

October 10, 2015 News Comments Off on BHPC annual report in Massey News

There’s a pleasing line in Yale University Press’s dustjacket blurb for Those Who Write for Immortality, a new book by retired BHPC Director Heather Jackson: “In 2000 she helped to found a graduate program in Book History and Print Culture [at U of T] that is now recognized as a world leader in the field.” The program continues to grow, and in 2014 we admitted a talented new cohort from Art, Comparative Literature, English, French, Information, Medieval Studies, Religion, and Spanish. All these students are drawn to BHPC from their different disciplinary backgrounds by a shared interest in text technologies (manuscript, print, digital) and associated practices (authorship, publishing, reading, collecting). They study book history from a variety of perspectives: material, cultural, and theoretical. It is one of the strengths of graduate education at U of T that multi-disciplinary programs such as ours can transcend conventional academic boundaries and bring researchers together in productive, often thrillingly serendipitous, ways. You can read more here (p. 15).

Major manuscript digitization initiative led by Professor Alexandra Gillespie and colleagues

October 7, 2015 News Comments Off on Major manuscript digitization initiative led by Professor Alexandra Gillespie and colleagues

“The University of Toronto has been awarded a grant of $773,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop digital tools to support manuscript study. The funding will be used by the University to support a partnership between its library and its Centre for Medieval Studies to further develop the widely adopted and award-winning open source digital scholarship platform Omeka, facilitating its increased use in the digital manuscript studies field. The Mellon Foundation’s grant will enable the building of infrastructure and capacity at the University of Toronto Libraries to support digital scholarship, foster further technical and intellectual collaboration between the U of T and other research institutions, and contribute to the community development and adoption of standards-compliant, interoperable, modular digital scholarship tools that are closely informed by scholarly needs. … Dr. Gillespie said, ‘The generous funding that the Mellon Foundation has provided will enable us to assemble, here at the University of Toronto, a team of skilled technologists, scholars, and data specialists to address the needs of humanities researchers. Our focus will be on the development of special digital tools that will enable us to make images of precious medieval manuscripts accessible, open, sustainable and usable to researchers now and in the future.’”  You can find out more here.

Professor Angela Esterhammer elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada

September 22, 2015 News Comments Off on Professor Angela Esterhammer elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
“Angela Esterhammer is recognized internationally for interdisciplinary scholarship in the fields of literature, philosophy of language, print culture, and performance studies. Her research reveals the previously unacknowledged history and influence of improvised poetry in nineteenth-century Europe. Her publications on speech, action, and performativity in Romantic literature have opened up new approaches to British and European Romanticism around the world.” You can read more here and here. We also congratulate another newly elected FRSC, the distinguished University of Windsor book historian Professor Leslie Howsam, a close collaborator with BHPC over many years, whose “meticulous and ground-breaking scholarship, focused on nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Britain, uses archival and digital sources to recover the practices of authorship, publishing and reading of books and periodicals.”

BHPC alumna Claire Battershill wins inaugural Kobo Emerging Writer Prize for literary fiction

July 16, 2015 News Comments Off on BHPC alumna Claire Battershill wins inaugural Kobo Emerging Writer Prize for literary fiction

“Here’s what judge Miriam Toews had to say about Circus: ‘Claire Battershill has a great style. She writes in a plain-spoken way, with precision and such economy, while at the very same time expertly weaving layers and more layers of depth and detail and comedy and pathos. The characters are tormented and big-hearted and odd and so finely drawn, and the sentences sing out with intelligence and confidence. We’re so lucky to have this fresh, robust and utterly compelling voice in our midst.'” You can find out more here.

BHPC alumna Ruth-Ellen St. Onge joins Rare Book School (University of Virginia) staff as Assistant Curator of Collections

July 1, 2015 News Comments Off on BHPC alumna Ruth-Ellen St. Onge joins Rare Book School (University of Virginia) staff as Assistant Curator of Collections

“We are very pleased to announce that Ruth-Ellen St. Onge has joined the Rare Book School staff as Assistant Curator of Collections and Special Assistant to the Associate Director. Ruth-Ellen holds a Master of Information Studies and a Ph.D. in French Studies and Book History and Print Culture from the University of Toronto. She is an active council member of the Bibliographical Society of Canada and the Canadian Association for the Study of Book Culture, and is the author of several published articles and reviews. For ten years, while pursuing her undergraduate and graduate studies, Ruth-Ellen worked as a research assistant in the Joseph Sablé Centre for 19th Century French Studies, a rare book library and research collection now housed within the Special Collections of the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto.” You can read more here.

BHPC alumnus Tim Harrison wins Governor General’s Gold Medal for 2015

June 22, 2015 News Comments Off on BHPC alumnus Tim Harrison wins Governor General’s Gold Medal for 2015

“The Office of the Governor General awards gold medals annually to honour academic excellence at the graduate level. The gold medal is one of the most prestigious awards a Canadian graduate student can receive. Dr. Harrison defended his dissertation ‘Forms of Sentience in Early Modernity’ in June 2014 under the supervision of Professor Elizabeth Harvey in the Department of English. His ground-breaking interdisciplinary research brings together book history, literary analysis, and the intellectual history of early modern science to examine how early modern writers used language to explore and express what it means to be alive. Dr. Harrison accepted a coveted tenure-track Assistant Professor position in the Department of English at the University of Chicago, where he moved five days after defending his dissertation.” You can read more here.

BHPC student Catherine Schwartz awarded Chancellor Jackman Graduate Fellowship in the Humanities 2015-2016

June 12, 2015 News Comments Off on BHPC student Catherine Schwartz awarded Chancellor Jackman Graduate Fellowship in the Humanities 2015-2016

“We are pleased to announce the appointment of four doctoral candidates who will be completing their dissertations on topics relevant to the JHI Annual Theme of Things that Matter at the Jackman Humanities Institute in 2015-2016 … Catherine’s dissertation explores the hidden influence of almanacs, barometers, smoke and sounds in the works of Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Gustave Flaubert, and Jules Verne, to examine the ways that rare, obsolete, or intrinsically evanescent objects create and represent the atmosphere in ways that still inform how we imagine our environment.” You can read the full JHI announcement here.

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