Book History

Book HistoryBOOK HISTORY is a scholarly journal devoted to every aspect of the history of the book, broadly defined as the creation, dissemination, reception, and use of script, print, and mediacy. The journal publishes research on authorship, editing, printing, publishing, media, the book arts, the book trade, periodicals, newspapers, ephemera, copyright, censorship, literary agents, libraries, literary criticism, canon formation, literacy, literary education, reading habits, and reader response. The journal is open to all disciplines and methodologies, and it will consider articles dealing with any literary culture and any historical period.

In December 1999, the Council of Editors of Learned Journals selected Book History as “Best New Journal” of the year. The awards committee praised its “impressive range” and “sustained engagement with the subject,” and predicted “real staying power on the academic landscape.” In the years since, the journal has fulfilled this early promise and become a well-established and influential leader in its field.

SHARP Announcement of new editors for Book History

SHARP is very pleased to announce the appointment of two new editors for the scholarly journal Book History, to join founding editor Professor Jonathan Rose. The new editors will replace fellow founding editor, Professor Ezra Greenspan.

The appointments are:

Greg Barnhisel, Associate Professor of English at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. He teaches book history, 20th century American literature and culture, and writing. He is the author of James Laughlin, New Directions, and the Remaking of Ezra Pound (Massachusetts, 2005) and Cold War Modernists (Columbia, 2014) as well as essays in Papers of the Bibliographical Society of AmericaModernism/Modernity, ELH, and Book History. He is also series editor on the “Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book” series at the University of Massachusetts Press and has served as SHARP’s liaison to the MLA for the last three years. Outside of his scholarly activities, he has published first-year writing textbooks and edited for textbook publishers, written for journalistic outlets such asFine Books and Collections, Mental Floss, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, and worked for the trade publisher Basic Books.

Beth le Roux, Senior Lecturer and the coordinator of Publishing Studies in the Department of Information Science at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. She received her doctorate in 2013, on the topic ‘Between complicity and resistance: A social history of the university presses in South Africa’. Her research focus is the history of books and publishing in South Africa and in Africa more broadly. Before becoming a full-time academic, she worked in the scholarly publishing industry in South Africa for more than a decade, most recently as Director of Unisa Press.

We are delighted to welcome Greg and Beth to the editorial team, and envisage their expertise will substantially enable an exciting future for the journal.

Book History is moving to an online editorial system for submissions, which will expedite the review and editorial process. That system will be chosen and taken live in the coming weeks. When that is complete, the editors will make available (via SHARP-L,, SHARP News, and the Book History home site at Johns Hopkins University Press) full information about using this system. In the meantime, potential contributors should continue to send submissions directly to the editors: Jonathan Rose ( for articles dealing with Europe, Greg Barnhisel ( for articles dealing with the Americas, and Beth LeRoux ( for articles dealing with Africa, Asia (including the Middle East), the Pacific and global issues. Any contributor unsure about whom to send an article to should email all three editors.

Guidelines for Submission

Contributions will be accepted on a year-round basis, with a submission deadline of August 31 for inclusion in the following year’s volume. Authors should send to the appropriate editor one copy of their work – either in hard copy or in electronic form as a Microsoft Word file, or both – which should be typed double spaced (including notes and citations) and documented in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style. The manuscript may be submitted as an email attachment, after advance notice to the editor. The title page should include the author’s name, telephone number, postal address, and E-mail address. Contributors are welcome to submit illustrations and graphs with their texts. Due to the journal’s book-length format, essays of unusual length are welcome. Submissions acceptable to the editors will be double reviewed by outside experts in the field.

The editors of BOOK HISTORY award an annual prize for the outstanding graduate student essay submitted to our journal. The competition is open to anyone pursuing a course of graduate studies at the time of submission. The deadline for submission for each editorial year is 31 August. The author of the winning essay will receive a prize of $400, and the essay will be published in the journal.

Browse and Subscribe

Book History is co-edited by Ezra Greenspan (Southern Methodist University) and Jonathan Rose (Drew University). It is published by the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP) as a hardcover annual and distributed by Johns Hopkins University Press. Tables of contents can be browsed here:

Online access to the full text of the journal is available to subscribers to Project Muse and to all members of SHARP.  If you need individual access to Book History, you first need to create your own separate log-in. (You will need to know your SHARP membership number). Visit the Book History page on the Project Muse site and select an issue and article; then supply your log-in details in the right-hand column. The "Login" link at the top of the Project Muse page is only for those using their institution's subscription access.

Membership in SHARP includes a subscription to SHARP News and all other SHARP publications. For more information about the benefits of membership, see our Membership page. Institutions may order subscriptions to our annual publication, Book History through Johns Hopkins University Press or phone 1-800-548-1784, or 410-516-6987.