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Centre for Bibliographical History

ECBH blog

Library of books

Visit our Essex Centre for Bibliographical History blog for the latest news about our research, current projects and upcoming events.

Our Centre for Bibliographical History promotes transnational research initiatives in cultural and bibliographical history.

Our research and teaching activities fulfil a critical local and regional need in the enhancement of heritage management, rare books library coordination as well as training in book history, librarianship and information studies.

Current research interest concentrates on the Albert Sloman library, the Samuel Harsnett collection, and Thomas Plume's library in Maldon.

The Centre was founded by Professor James Raven. For further information about our activities, please contact Co-Director Dr David Rundle or visit our blog:

Our aims

  • To establish a centre with international distinction in bibliographical history, the history of books, bibliographical and information studies.
  • To gain research grant funding and pursue pioneering research in bibliographical history, locally, nationally and internationally.
  • To develop international networks of collaborative work in early modern and modern bibliography.
  • To support study of the humanities, and in particular the existing study and teaching of the Enlightenment at the University of Essex, with bibliographical research in ‘Enlightenment Networks’.
  • To fulfil a critical and local need in the enhancement of heritage management, rare books library coordination and training in librarianship and information studies.
  • To develop postgraduate provision related to bibliographical history.
  • To work towards the long-term establishment of a School of Library, Information and Bibliographical Studies, professionally affiliated to CILIP (Chartered Institution of Library and Information Studies).
  • To support the special collections of the Albert Sloman Library, and the Samuel Harsnett collection in particular, releasing the long-hidden research potential of the collection.
  • To support the cataloguing work on the Harsnett Library undertaken by Dr Clare French in the Albert Sloman Library, opening up the collection to scholarship and enhancing the reputation of the University.
  • To provide a history of the book centre that is not tied to national boundaries and national units of investigation and gain external funding from a wide range of international sources.
  • To provide a forum for the discussion and dissemination of current work in the field.
  • To build on the longstanding expertise and international reputation of the Department of History in cultural history by extending its reach to bibliographical and book history and by developing further interdisciplinary connections and working relationships within the Faculty of Humanities, the Albert Sloman Library, and other departments of the University.
  • To draw on the wider University and Essex, Suffolk and East Anglian community of scholars working in the field.

Research projects

Research projects involving members of the Centre for Bibliographical History include:

Centre members

See our individual academic staff profiles for information about our members' research interests:



Doctoral students

  • Georgina Bailey

    Georgina is researching the nonconformist Taylor family of Essex and Colchester c 1750-1820:

    • Isaac Taylor (1759-1829), the paterfamilias, was a distinguished book engraver and part of a community in London before moving to Colchester
    • Jane Taylor (1783–1824) is best known as the author of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

    The Taylor family letters and writings are extensive and provide an extraordinary insight into nonconformist literary culture.

  • Jessica Fure

    Jessica is researching the representation of John of Gaunt from the fifteenth century to modern times, a study that will encompass book and cultural history, with comparative use of diverse literary sources. The study will explore the changing uses of, and reactions to, depictions of Gaunt and his associates, with particular interest in reception and the bibliographical invention of the past.

News and events

Visit the Essex Centre for Bibliographical History blog for the latest news, current projects and upcoming events.


Our academic staff

Dr Nadine Rossol

Our academic staff are internationally recognised for their expertise across a range of areas in history. Find out more about their research interests by reading their staff profiles.

Postgraduate study

Postgraduate student from the Department of History

We are a leading centre for history postgraduate study at both Masters and PhD level. Become part of our active research community and benefit from the expert teaching and supervision of our academic staff.

Research Repository

A historical book being examined

Our Research Repository contains an extensive range of publications by academics from our Department. Read our leading historical papers and see why we have gained our international reputation for research excellence.

Lost Manuscripts

Lost Manuscripts

Lost Manuscripts and Books Reborn is an innovative research project based in the Centre for Bibliographical History that aims to create a digital catalogue of rare manuscript fragments from book collections across the UK.