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

For information: email alexandra.franklin[at]


Summer School 201 ident thumnail

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.
The course consists of taught seminars plus practical printing & printing demonstrations at the Bodleian’s Bibliographical Press under the instruction of Richard Lawrence. The course will include examination of materials from the Bodleian Libraries Rare Books collections.
Guest speakers include Roger Gaskell, on the illustration of science books; Ad Stijnman, on intaglio methods; Martin Andrews, on 19th-century illustration processes

Course meets in the Weston Library, Oxford, 10 am to 5 pm Mon, Tues, Wed; 10 am to 7 pm Thurs.; 10 am to 1 pm Friday.


Make a hand-printed book in 5 days

July 10, 11, 14, 15, 16

Design and print workshop - with 5 days of  instruction in the Bodleian's printing workshop, you  will design, type-set, illustrate, print and bind your own book  using hand-operated presses, relief printmaking and traditional book-binding processes.  See link for details and registration.


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The project is using material evidence from thousands of surviving books, as well as unique documentary evidence - the unpublished ledger of a Venetian bookseller in the 1480s - to address four fundamental questions about the introduction of printing in the West: 1.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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