The Stationers’ Company is one of the most important cultural institutions in British history. From its foundation from 1403, it has been the primary membership organisation for the English book trade. By the seventeenth century, practically every important printer, publisher, and bookseller in England was a member, and while the growth of the provincial book trade from the early eighteenth century onwards diminished its oversight of the national trade it nonetheless continued to include many key members of the trade amongst its ranks.

Stationers’ Hall contains archives for the Company dating back to the mid-sixteenth century: not only the famous Stationers’ Register into which members recorded their publishing rights but also membership records, financial accounts, minutes of meetings, property holdings, articles of governance, and so on. It is only one of several dozen London livery companies but, thanks to the scholarly interest in the books they printed, published, and sold, we know more about its members, their activities, and their associated artefacts than any other trade or craft in Britain. 

Taking place in the Company’s new Tokefield archive and research centre, this workshop will introduce you to the diversity and range of the Company’s records. It will explain the structure of the Company, what records it kept, and how to interpret the documents. Guidance will be given on using relevant reference works, catalogues, and other resources (including the latest digital tools), and you will be encouraged to come with your own research questions. Special attention will be given to the Stationers’ Register and the membership records. You will also be given three weeks of access to Adam Matthew’s Literary Print Culture which includes digitised scans of the vast majority of the Company’s records.

The workshop will be led by Ruth Frendo, the Company’s Archivist and two leading scholars of the Company and the book trade, Dr Giles Bergel and Professor Ian Gadd.

The workshop is aimed at graduate students, researchers, archivists, scholars and anyone else interested in learning more about the history of the Company, its members and their activities. There will be bursaries covering attendance and travel expenses for graduate students, generously provided by the Bibliographical Society. 

Refreshments will be provided.

The workshop will be followed by the Company’s annual ‘Archive Evening’, running from 6pm to 8pm and including a wine reception and buffet. Participants in the workshop can attend the evening at a discounted rate. More information about the Archive Evening is available at


To apply, please send a brief biography along with a 200-word statement of how the workshop will be of benefit to you to Ruth Frendo at

If you are a graduate student, please provide your institution, degree and subject you are enrolled on, and if you would like to be considered for a bursary.

Applications should be received by Friday 13 April.


£40 for workshop and evening; £20 just for workshop

From L-R in the photo – Dr Giles Bergel, Professor Ian Gadd and Ruth Frendo

The Worshipful Company
of Stationers
and Newspaper Makers

Stationers' Hall
Ave Maria Lane
London EC4M 7DD

Telephone: 020 7248 2934
Fax: 020 7489 1975