19-21 June 2014, University of St Andrews
Questions of survival and loss bedevil the study of early printed books. Many early publications are not particularly rare, but others are very scarce, and many have disappeared altogether. We can infer this from the improbably large number of books that survive in only one copy, and it is confirmed by the many references in contemporary documents to books that cannot now be identified in surviving book collections.
This conference will address the issue of how far this corpus of lost books can be reconstructed from contemporary documentation, and how this emerging perception of the actual production of the early book trade – rather than those books that are known from modern library collections – should impact on our understanding of the industry and contemporary reading practice.