Courses and Research

Courses in study of the book and book arts

Summer School 2017: The History of Printed Book Illustration

Convened by Dr Elizabeth Savage.
26 June – 30 June 2017

Themes: Early illustrated books; methods of printing; the description of illustrations in modern catalogues; early illustrated books in the West; methods of printing; the role of colour; scientific and medical imagery; maps; children’s books; broadsides; ornament; devotional images; workshop and trade structures; the influence of book illustrations on art and architecture; illustrations as propaganda; and art historical, book historical and literary approaches to book illustration.

Summer School 201 ident thumnailThe course is for those who work with early books as in any academic or professional capacity. In addition to seminars and examination of items from Bodleian collections, students will be instructed in the practical processes used to illustrate early printed books, in the Bodleian's hand-press printing workshop. Practical printing instruction will be supervised by Richard Lawrence.

See the Course Prospectus

Applications accepted from 20 January 2017.  Download application form (Word).

To learn more about the Bodleian's Early Printed Books collections, see the the LibGuide for Rare Books in the Bodleian.

For information about activities in the Bodleian's printing workshop, see the Bibliographical Press webpage and The Conveyor (blog)

Bodleian printing presses & courses for students and the public

Visit the Bibliographical Press webpage [link] for information about classes, workshop sessions, and courses for the public. Contact: 

 Red ink in the printing workshop

Research projects

15th century booktrade
The project is using material evidence from thousands of surviving books, as well as unique documentary evidence - the unpublished ledger of a Venetian bookseller in the 1480s - to address four fundamental questions about the introduction of printing in the West: 1. Distribution, Use, and Reading Practices 2. The contemporary market value of books 3. The transmission and dissemination of the texts they contain 4. The circulation and re-use of illustrations

The Talbot Catalogue Raisonné
Directed by Professor Larry Schaaf, the William Henry Fox Talbot Catalogue Raisonné is a detailed inventory of the complete photographic works of British photographic pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot. The Bodleian Libraries hold the personal archive of Talbot and have supported this project which will go live in 2017.

Image matching for the study of printed illustration
The University of Oxford Department of Engineering has collaborated with a Bodleian Libraries / English Faculty project to use computing to better catalogue and discover printed illustrations in the Bodleian's collections of 17th-century broadside ballads. See the poster created by Joon Son Chung, describing his project that uses the technology to create an inventory of images.

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