Call For Papers: Reading and Book Circulation, 1650-1850

University of Stirling, 17-18 April 2023

Part of a Festival of Research on Libraries, Lives and Legacies organised with the ‘Libraries, Reading Communities and Cultural Formation in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic’ project.

The organisers invite 20-minute papers that approach the topics of reading and book circulation in the (very) long eighteenth century from any methodological perspective. Since Robert Darnton first challenged researchers in the field of book history to consider how to retrieve the history of reading, many new approaches have been pioneered, and much new evidence has come to light. At this conference, we hope to survey the state of the field, facilitating conversations between librarians, archivists, and researchers from a variety of different disciplines, and considering the myriad ways in which understanding book circulation and reading habits can shed new light on our period.

Papers might address (but are not limited to) any of the following topics:

  • Communities of reading
  • Individual readers
  • Relationships between actors in the communications circuit
  • Institutional practices and the history of reading
  • Library history and collection histories
  • Education and pedagogy
  • Theoretical approaches to reading
  • Methodological challenges and solutions
  • Archival materials and other new evidence

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words for 20-minute papers, or 800 words for pre-formed panels of 3 or 4 speakers, as a Word document attachment to Professor Katie Halsey at, with the subject line ‘Reading and Book Circulation Conference’ by 6 January 2023. Please include a 100-word biography for each speaker.

Books & Borrowing Creative Writing Competition:
1 November 2022 – 31 January 2023

The Books and Borrowing project is delighted to announce the launch of our 2022 Books and Borrowing Creative Writing Competition.

Entries may be in any genre (prose, verse, drama) but must not exceed 2000 words of prose, or 40 lines of poetry. They must be on the theme of books and borrowing, and must make some use (however small) of one or more of the materials available here.

A cash prize of £250 is offered for the best entry in each category (Adult Writers and Young Writers (16 and under). The work of the winner and runner-up in each category will be published

Full details and the competition rules are available at Books and Borrowing Creative Writing Competition Announcement.

Past Events