Book History

BOOK HISTORY is a semiannual (previously annual) 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. (This is not an exhaustive list.) The journal is open to all disciplines and methodologies, and it will consider articles dealing with any literary culture and any historical period. Case studies should aim their analysis at larger issues in book history.


Greg Barnhisel, Professor of English at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

Yuri Cowan, Professor of English Literature, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

Beth le Roux, Senior Lecturer and the coordinator of Publishing Studies in the Department of Information Science at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.


Book History published its first volume in 1998, under the joint editorship of Ezra Greenspan and Jonathan Rose. 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.


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.

In 2022, the prize was was renamed “Greenspan-Rose Prize”to honor Book History founding editors Ezra Greenspan and Jonathan Rose.


As a scholarly society, SHARP recognizes the importance of archives for future generations. In this spirit, SHARP’s documents are archived in the Department of Special Collections and University Archives of the University Libraries at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. This also applies to correspondence relating to SHARP’s peer-reviewed journal Book History. Submissions and correspondence will be archived at UMass and made available to researchers after a 25-year period. Researchers given access will be required to contact any involved parties before citation/publication of material. Questions may be directed to SHARP’s recording secretary Vincent Trott (secretary [at] or the SHARP archivist Jessica Ryan (jessicadryan [at]

For general enquiries about SHARP’s publications, please contact the Director of Publications, Corinna Norrick-Rühl (publications [at]


Contributions will be accepted on a year-round basis, with a submission deadline of August 31 for inclusion in the following year’s volume. Articles should be submitted in electronic form as a Microsoft Word file, typed double spaced (including notes and citations), and documented in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style. All submissions will be subject to double-blind review: therefore, contact information (author’s name, telephone number, postal address, e-mail address) should be provided in the cover letter but should not appear anywhere in the article itself. Contributors are welcome to submit black-and-white illustrations and graphs with their texts. Due to the journal’s book-length format, essays of unusual length are welcome. Articles may not be submitted to any other journal while they are under consideration at Book History. Submissions acceptable to the editors will be double reviewed by outside experts in the field. The editors will endeavor to respond to submissions within two months.

Book History now has a fully electronic system for processing submissions.  The submissions portal is here:

Queries concerning submissions should be sent directly to the editors: Yuri Cowan (yuri.cowan [at] for articles dealing with Europe, Greg Barnhisel (barnhiselg [at] for articles dealing with the Americas, and Beth LeRoux (Beth.LeRoux [at] for articles dealing with Africa, Asia (including the Middle East), the Pacific and global issues.

Our language of publication is English, and we welcome submissions from non-native English-speakers:  the editors stand ready to assist them in preparing their accepted articles for publication. Book History, however, does not provide translation services, nor will it publish translations of articles previously published in other languages. However, the SHARP Translation Committee can help translate articles from other languages and will post the English versions on their website: please contact translations [at]


Book History conforms to the green model of Open Access. Authors can archive the final manuscript pre-print and /or post-print versions, not the published PDF on their own personal website, departmental website or institutional repository, or a non-profit server. Publisher copyright and source must be acknowledged.