DeLong Book History Prize Winners

2019 – Brent Nongbri, God’s Library: The Archaeology of the Earliest Christian Manuscripts (Yale University Press, 2018)

Highly Commended: David McKitterick, The Invention of Rare Books: Private Interest and Public Memory, 1600–1840 (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

Highly Commended: Adam Smyth, Material Texts in Early Modern England (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

2018 – Eric Marshall White, Editio Princeps: A History of the Gutenberg Bible (Brepols, 2017).

Highly Commended: Tom MoleWhat the Victorians Made of Romanticism: Material Artifacts, Cultural Practices, and Reception History (Princeton University Press, 2016).

2017 – Eva Mroczek, The Literary Imagination in Jewish Antiquity (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Highly Commended: Jonathan G Alexander, The Painted Book in Renaissance Italy, 1450 – 1650 (Yale University Press, 2016).

Highly Commended: Noah Millstone, Manuscript Circulation and the Invention of Politics in Early Stuart England (Cambridge University Press, 2016).

2016 – Kristina Lundblad, Bound to be Modern: Publishers’ Cloth Bindings and the Material Culture of the Book, 1840-1914 (Oak Knoll Press, 2015; translated by Alan Crozier).

Highly Commended: Nick Hopwood, Haeckel’s Embryos: Images, Evolution, and Fraud (University of Chicago Press, 2015).

Highly Commended: Kate Loveman, Samuel Pepys and His Books: Reading, Newsgathering, and Sociability, 1660-1703 (Oxford University Press, 2015).

2015 – Daniel Wakelin, Scribal Correction and Literary Craft: English Manuscripts 1375-1510 (Cambridge University Press, 2014)

2015 – Paula Rabinowitz, American Pulp: How Paperbacks brought Modernism to Main Street (Princeton University Press, 2014)

2014 – David McKitterick, Old Books, New Technologies. The Representation, Conservation and Transformation of Books since 1700 (Cambridge University Press, 2013)

Highly Commended: Ellen Gruber Garvey, Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance (Oxford University Press, 2013)

2013 – Helen Smith, ‘Grossly Material Things’: Women and Book Production in Early Modern England (Oxford University Press, 2012).

Highly Commended: Sachiko Kusukawa, Picturing the Book of Nature: Image, Text, and Argument in Sixteenth-Century Human Anatomy and Medical Botany (University of Chicago Press, 2012).

Highly Commended: Mary Franklin-Brown, Reading the World: Encyclopedic Writing in the Scholastic Age (University of Chicago Press, 2012).

2012 – Barbara Hochman“Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and the Reading Revolution (University of Massachusetts Press, 2011)

2011 – John B HenchBooks as Weapons: Propaganda, Publishing, and the Battle for Global Markets in the Era of World War II (Cornell University Press, 2010)

2010 – Catherine J. GoldenPosting It: The Victorian Revolution in Letter Writing (University Press of Florida, 2009)

2009 – Matthew KirschenbaumMechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination (MIT Press, 2008)

2008 – James RavenThe Business of Books: Booksellers and the English Book Trade 1450-1850 (Yale University Press, 2007)

2007 – Rimi B. ChatterjeeEmpires of the Mind: A History of the Oxford University Press in India During the Raj (Oxford University Press, 2006)

2006 – Heather Andrea WilliamsSelf-taught: African American Education in Freedom and Slavery (University of North Carolina Press, 2005)

2005 – Simone MurrayMixed Media: Feminist Presses and Publishing Politics(University of Michigan Press, 2004)

2004 – Janine BarchasGraphic Design, Print Culture, and the Eighteenth-Century Novel (Cambridge University Press, 2003)

2003 – Elizabeth McHenryForgotten Readers: Recovering the Lost History of African American Literary Societies (Duke University Press, 2002)

2002 – Jonathan RoseThe Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (Yale University Press, 2001)

2001 – Kevin SharpeReading Revolutions: The Politics of Reading in Early Modern England (Yale University Press, 2000)

2000 – Scott CasparConstructing American Lives: Biography and Culture in Nineteenth-century America (University of North Carolina Press, 1999)

1999 – Adrian JohnsThe Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making(University of Chicago Press, 1998)

1998 – Marianna Shreve Simpson, Sultan Ibrahim Mirza’s Haft Awrang: A Princely Manuscript from Sixteenth-Century Iran (Yale University Press, 1997)

1997 – Ellen Gruber GarveyThe Adman in the Parlor: Magazines and the Gendering of Consumer Culture, 1880s-1910s (Oxford University Press, 1996)

The George A. and Jean S. DeLong Book History Book Prize 2019

The Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP) is delighted to announce the award of the 2019 DeLong Book History Book Prize to Brent Nongbri, Professor, MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society, Norway and Honorary Research Fellow, Department of Ancient History, Macquarie University, Australia for his title God’s Library: The Archaeology of the Earliest Christian Manuscripts (Yale University Press).

In announcing the Prize at SHARP’s annual conference in Amherst, USA, Claire Squires, SHARP’s Director of Publications and Awards commented:

This path-breaking contribution to the field of book history urges us to reconsider beliefs and concepts that have been fundamental in the formation of religious and cultural history while captivating the reader with its exciting, Indiana Jones-esque research story. Nongbri gives a fascinating, nuanced, and revisionist interpretation of a rich array of ancient manuscripts. In so doing he throws light on the origins of the Christian codex, and warns of the dangers of reading into the past an anachronistic view of the Biblical canon. Exerting his expertise in palaeography and codicology, including attention to stitching and binding techniques, Nongbri highlights the lack of certainty about the provenance, authorship, date, and place of origin of many influential papyrus and parchment manuscripts. The judges praise Nongbri’s amalgam of thorough knowledge about techniques and materiality, his exhaustive archival research, and the analytical sharpness that he brings to bear on this important history. This is a story that involves untrustworthy antiquities dealers, private collectors spreading false information to put their rivals off the scent of discoveries, cave raiders, and the accidental discovery of papyri. God’s Library is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of beliefs, which is, of course, also a history of books.

Brent Nongbri receives $1,000 as winner of the SHARP DeLong Book History Book Prize.

Commendations were also made to David McKitterick (University of Cambridge) for The Invention of Rare Books: Private Interest and Public Memory, 1600–1840 (Cambridge University Press) and Adam Smyth (University of Oxford) for Material Texts in Early Modern England (Cambridge University Press).