Digital Editing Now


7-9 January, 2016

Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), University of Cambridge

For programme and booking, see:

In recent years, there has been a significant shift in scholarly culture and funding strategies towards digital formats for edition projects. This is driven by the potential for new forms of production, presentation and access that the digital promises. And it involves a reassessment of the conventions that have determined editorial practice in the age of print. This conference gathers together leading figures in the field to exchange ideas about the state of digital editing, its future potential, challenges and limits. How should we place ourselves relative to fundamental issues of authority/openness, durability/fluidity? Can we establish a set of ideal types for digital editorial method, or would its optimal strengths rather lie in more hybrid forms, including a productive mode of cohabitation with the print formats that it appears to want to supersede?

The academic book of the future: evolution or revolution?


11 November 2015, 9.30-5
Darwin Room, Pitt Building, Trumpington St, Cambridge

This event will bring together people from all stages in the production cycle of the academic book, from authors and publishers to booksellers, librarians and readers, to consider the past, present and future of scholarly communication. How did the academic book come to take the form in which we know it today? What should we cherish and what should we loathe in the academic book? And, as we start living our intellectual lives online, what does the future hold for scholarship in this form?

mapsSpeakers will include: Richard Fisher (former Managing Director of Academic Publishing at Cambridge University Press), Rupert Gatti (Faculty of Economics/Open Book Publishers), Anne Jarvis (University Librarian, Cambridge University Library), Danny Kingsley (University of Cambridge, Office of Scholarly Communication), Peter Mandler (Faculty of History, President of the Royal Historical Society), Samantha Rayner (Senior Lecturer in Publishing, UCL), Alison Wood (Mellon/Newton Trust Postdoctoral Fellow, CRASSH).

Sponsored by the AHRC-funded ‘Academic Book of the Future‘ project, Cambridge University Press and the Cambridge Centre for Material Texts, this one-day colloquium will form part of a week of events and exhibitions taking place across the country.

There is no charge for registration, but places are limited. To sign up, please use Eventbrite at

CMT garden party


The CMT will be hosting an end-of-year garden party on Tuesday 7th July, 4-6 pm, in the Fellows’ Garden, St John’s College, or in the Parsons Room if wet. Strawberries will swim in the cream. Please come!

The Novel in the Age of Amazon


MARK McGURL (Stanford University) will be talking about EVERYTHING AND LESS:THE NOVEL IN THE AGE OF AMAZON

THURSDAY 4th JUNE at 5.30pm


Mark McGurl is the author of, among other works, a much discussed and lauded recent book, The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing (2009)

‘Magisterial’ (Fredric Jameson)

‘It is a cliché to say that a book so changes your view of a particular historical period or problem that you never see it the same old way again. But this is the kind of book that warrants such praise.’ (Jim English)

CMT Material-Textual Breakfast


Wednesday 13 May, 9-10.30 am
Social Space, English Faculty

Please join us in the Social Space on the ground floor of the English Faculty for the first ever CMT material-textual-breakfast. This is an opportunity to meet people, to discuss current projects and to firm up plans for the future. Grab a coffee from the ARB (or wherever) and come over. Freshly baked cakes will be provided!

Early Modern Visual Marginalia colloquium


visualmarginalia1 May 2015, 09:30 – 13:00

Graham Storey Room, Trinity Hall

Colloquium fee: £5 – includes refreshments
Sign-up deadline: Wednesday 29 April 2015

Covenor: Dr Alexander Marr


Professor William Sherman (V&A)
Dr Julian Luxford (St Andrews)
Dr Alexander Marr (Cambridge)
Dr Kate Isard (Visiting Scholar, Cambridge)
Dr Richard Oosterhoff (Cambridge)
Dr Francesco Benelli (Columbia)


A colloquium on early modern visual marginalia organised by Department of History of Art, Trinity Hall, University Library, University of Cambridge.

Sponsored by Department of History of Art; University Library; Centre for Material Texts.

For further information please click here.

CUL incunabula masterclass


On Friday 20th March 2015, Cambridge University Library will be holding a further masterclass as part of the Incunabula Project.

The masterclass, entitled “Rubrication and fifteenth-century English printing” will be led by Satoko Tokunaga of Keio University & Takako Kato of De Montfort University.

The seminar will be held in the Sir Geoffrey Keynes Room at the Library. It will start at 2.30pm and will last approximately 90 minutes, allowing time for questions and discussion. Attendance will be limited in order to allow all attendees a chance to see the books under discussion up close, and to participate in the discussion.

To book a place, please email <>.

CMT flash seminar: Randall McLeod


Friday 27 June 2014, SR 24, Faculty of English, 12.30-2

Randall McLeod (University of Toronto)

‘The Birth of Italics’

Randall McLeod’s lecture details the printing of the first book in italics, Aldo Manuzio’s 1501 Vergil, with type created for him by Francesco da Bologna. McLeod will offer not a reading of Vergil, but a reading of Book.  Printing began before the fount was complete, and the coming on stream of a dozen ligatures during production reveals the printing schedule: it was not in the narrative order imposed on the book by binding.  Aldo’s schedule is rendered even more precise by readings of the blank tops and bottoms of some pages (as the title page or colophon), for often they are not really blank, but are printed with type, like the other parts of these pages, but printed blind — that is, without ink. What do these invisible texts say?  Why are they present? And where do they come from?



Kindred Britain: A Skype Seminar with Nicholas Jenkins (Stanford)


Monday, 2 June 2014, 17:00 – 18:30

Location: CRASSH Meeting Room, Alison Richard Building

This Skype meeting with Nicholas Jenkins, creator of ‘Kindred Britain‘, will offer participants an opportunity to reflect on the project and to consider the potential of digital work to transform our understanding of histories and cultures. Organised by the Digital Humanities Network and the Centre for Material Texts.

Kindred Britain is a network of nearly 30,000 individuals — many of them iconic figures in British culture — connected through family relationships of blood, marriage, or affiliation. It is a vision of the nation’s history as a giant family affair. For example, see how Jane Austen was related to Virginia Woolf or Shakespeare to Oscar Wilde.

Nicholas Jenkins is associate professor of English at Stanford University, specializing in the study of modern and contemporary poetry.

Participation in the seminar is free but spaces are limited. If you would like to come, please register in advance by clicking on the online registration link here. Participants are asked to spend some time exploring the ‘Kindred Britain’ site in preparation for seminar discussion. You should consult Jenkins’s online essay “Originating Kindred Britain”.

Cambridge Incunabula Masterclasses


This term Cambridge University Library will be holding two masterclasses as part of the Incunabula Project.

The first masterclass, entitled “Incunabula from Bavaria – how to identify provenances and reconstruct 15th-century collections”, will be led by Bettina Wagner, of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich.

The German state of Bavaria was not only a region where presses were set up soon after the invention of printing in Mainz, but also the site of some major collections of printed books. Many monasteries and some private owners built up substantial libraries in the 15th century, benefitting from a dense trade network and well-established connections to Italy. However, as a result of auctions and the dissolution of monasteries in the early 19th century, many books from Bavaria were dispersed and have ended up in collections in the UK and other countries. In order to reconstruct these historical collections, painstaking work is necessary. Marks of provenance and bindings have to be documented and identified, and archival records must be analyzed. The masterclass will introduce participants to the techniques and tools used for such research and thus help to place incunabula from the ULC’s collections into the wider context of late mediaeval collection building and book usage.

The seminar will be held in the Milstein Seminar Rooms at the Library on Tuesday, 4 February at 2.30 pm.

The second masterclass, entitled “Libri sine asseribus – incunables in early bindings without wooden boards”, will be led by Nicholas Pickwoad, director of the Ligatus Research Centre at the University of the Arts, London.

The standard image of the fifteenth-century book is of a large volume with wooden boards covered in white or brown skin, tooled in blind, with metal furniture, clasps and possibly a chain shackle. This is also the book that appears in contemporary painting and sculpture and became so fixed in the popular imagination that it survived as the symbol of the bible in trade signs right through to the eighteenth century, if not beyond. There were, however, other types of binding that were used by the booktrade to give cheap, lightweight protection to books as they moved through the book trade. Whilst not necessarily intended to be temporary, few have survived today and reconstructing their history is difficult. Enough however have come down to us to allow a picture of the rich diversity of binding types used for this purpose to be created and to give an indication of how they were presented to their first owners.

This seminar will be held in the Keynes Room at the Library on Tuesday 18 February at 2.30pm .

Both seminars will last approximately 90 minutes, allowing time for questions and discussion. Attendance will be limited in order to allow
all attendees a chance to see the books concerned up close, and to participate in the discussion.

To book a place on either seminar, please email<>.