The London Book Trades Database originated in a simple database compiled by liveryman Michael Turner on members of the Stationers’ Company active during the first decades of the nineteenth century.
The work was in many ways a continuation of the previously published work of the late Prof D F McKenzie on the details of those who had been apprenticed through the Stationers' Company from 1605 to 1800. Over the past two decades the work of a great number of other scholars has been incorporated. The project has been actively supported by the Stationers’ Company since its inception.
The database contains biographical information on printers, booksellers, bookbinders, stationers, and those in associated trades who worked in and around London from the introduction of printing into England until c.1830. There are currently entries for over 30,000 individuals, about two thirds of which have been derived from the archives of the Stationers’ Company. It should be noted that the supporting transcripts for many entries, particularly for those from the early period, are from published work (e.g. Duff), much of which may now be outdated or have been superseded.
For members of the Stationers’ Company it aims to be comprehensive - including all freemen, whether they subsequently worked in the book trade or not - in London or not; and all the apprentices bound at the Hall, even if there is no subsequent record of their freedom. Individuals who are known to have been made free of the Stationers’ Company are indicated with an image of the Company’s arms at the head of their entry (although this does not appear to have been done consistently).
Thanks to the support of the Bibliographical Society and the Oxford Bibliographical Society, a web-based version of the database, hosted by the Bodleian Library, is now available. http://lbt.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/mediawiki/index.php/Main_Page. The database is still being developed, and will continue to be so continuously, but a name search function is now accessible.
The photo above by Richard Gilpin shows Membership volumes on the shelves at Stationers' Hall