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David McKitterick scoops The George A. and Jean S. DeLong Book History Book Prize 2014

The Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP) has announced the award of the 2014 DeLong Book History Book Prize to Professor David McKitterick, Librarian and Vice-Master of Trinity College, Cambridge for the book Old Books, New Technologies. The Representation, Conservation and Transformation of Books since 1700 (Cambridge University Press, 2013).

In announcing the Prize at SHARP’s annual conference in Antwerp on behalf of the judging panel, Marie-Françoise Cachin commented:

‘Old Books, New Technologies offers a description of various technologies that have been used to repair, replace, correct, perfect, and replicate parts of books or entire ones, both manuscript or printed, primarily between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries (but also with some reference to the late medieval and early modern periods). McKitterick’s book is remarkable not only for its remarkably lucid prose style but also for its brevity. Dealing specifically with none of the three areas of SHARP’s declared fields of specialization — authorship, reading, and publishing —  its ostensible focus nonetheless allows McKitterick to offer a kind of prehistory for all of them. As a result, his book presents what is in effect a ‘just so’ story, showing how scholars have come over time to understand the importance as well as the difficulties of studying the material bases of the construction, production, and reception of the objects that preserve our various literary and historical records. This exceptional study indicates the need for careful consideration of the evidentiary bases for book studies in all periods, not only our own. Its modest title and apparently narrow focus should not conceal its immense significance for all students and scholars of book history.’


SHARP was founded to create a global network for book historians working in a broad range of scholarly disciplines. Research addresses the composition, mediation, reception, survival, and transformation of written communication in material forms including marks on stone, script on parchment, printed books and periodicals, and new media. Perspectives range from the individual reader to the transnational communications network. With more than 1000 members in over twenty countries, SHARP works in concert with affiliated academic organizations around the world to support the study of book history and print culture.

About the DeLong Prize

SHARP annually awards a $1,000 prize to the author of the best book on any aspect of the creation, dissemination, or uses of script or print published in the previous year. Owing to the generosity of the DeLong family in endowing the prize, from 2004 it has been known as the George A. and Jean S. DeLong Book History Book Prize.

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