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The following list of publications aims to provide an introduction to library and information history. Issues of the Library & Information History Journal include bibliographies of recently published books and articles for more detailed study.



Books, buildings and social engineering : early public libraries in Britain from past to present                                                           
by Alistair Black, Simon Pepper and Kaye Bagshaw
Ashgate, 2009
This book resulted from an AHRB-funded project 'Early public libraries in Britain' at Liverpool University and Leeds Metropolitan University (now Leeds Beckett University). The project started life when the LIHG commissioned a report 'Researching the fabric and fittings of the historic library in the British Isles' by E.A. Quarmby Lawrence (see link below). Research for the book generated a database and Gazetteer of Historic Public Library Buildings, 1850-1940. (Follow the link below to a pdf of the appendix to the Gazetteer.)

British librarianship and information work 1991 - 2000
Edited by J. H. Bowman
Ashgate, 2006
This book covers developments in almost every aspect of British library and information work during the ten-year period 1991-2000. Some forty contributors, all of whom are experts in their subject, provide a robust overview of their specialities along with extensive further references which act as a starting point for further research. The book provides a comprehensive record of what took place in library and information management during a decade of considerable change and challenges.

British librarianship and information work 2001-2005
Edited by J. H. Bowman
This second book covers developments in aspects of British library and information work during the five year period 2001-2005.

British library history: bibliography
Edited by Denis F. Keeling and compiled by members of the Library History Group of the Library Association.

  • Vol. 1: 1962-1968 (London: Library Association, 1972)
  • Vol. 2:  1969-1972 (London: Library Association, 1975)
  • Vol. 3:  1973-1976 (London: Library Association, 1979)
  • Vol. 4: 1977-1980 (London: Library Association, 1983)
  • Vol. 5: 1981-1984 (London: Library Association, 1987)
  • Vol. 6: 1985-1988 (London: the Library Association, 1991

The Cambridge history of libraries in Britain and Ireland
edited by Peter Hoare
Cambridge University Press, 2006
This collaborative three-volume work, edited under the aegis of the CILIP Library and Information History Group and the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, describes the development of libraries in Great Britain and Ireland over some 1500 years, and the role of libraries in the social, intellectual and cultural history of the isles.

  • Vol. 1: to 1640, ed. Elisabeth Leedham-Green & Teresa Webber
  • Vol. 2: 1640-1850, ed. Giles Mandelbrote and Keith Manley
  • Vol. 3: 1850-2000, ed. by Alistair Black & Peter Hoare


The chained library: a survey of four centuries in the evolution of the English library
by Burnett Hillman Streeter
London: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

A directory of the parochial libraries of the Church of England and the Church of Wales
by Michael Perkin
London: Oxford University Press / The Bibliographical Society of London, revised ed. 2004.

Educating the people through reading materials in the 18th and 19th centuries: principles, media, topography
by Reinhart Siegert in collaboration with Peter Hoare and Peter Vodosek
Edition Lumière, 2012
Includes papers from the 2010 LIHG and Wolfenbütteler Arbeitskreis für Bibliotheks-, Buch- und Mediengeschichte conference.


The University of Glasgow Library: friendly shelves
edited by Peter V. Davies, Lesley Richmond, Graeme Smith et al. 
Glasgow: The Friends of Glasgow University Library in association with the University Library, 2016

A history of modern librarianship: constructing the heritage of western cultures
edited by Pamela Spence Richards, Wayne A. Wiegand, and Marija Dalbello
Libraries Unlimited, 2015

Information history in the modern world
edited by Toni Weller
Palgrave Macmillan, 2010


Poor man's John Arlott: semi-professional memoirs
by Peter Gold New
Library History Group, 2002
Peter New's Poor man's John Arlott covers the time from his qualification as a librarian to his retirement in 1987. It is a sequel to the first publication of his memoirs, Fried Spuds at Ten. Published by the Library History Group at a price of £15 (discount for members). If you wish to purchase a copy, please contact the Library and Information History Group.


Journals and Articles

Information & Culture: a journal of history

Established in 1966, this journal publishes high-quality, peer reviewed articles in the areas of library, archival, museum, conservation, and information science history. The social and cultural context of information and information technology, viewed from an historical perspective, is at the heart of the journal's interests. Typical papers might focus on the histories of information institutions, academic domains, professions, work, and societies. The intention is to juxtapose papers on a wide variety of topics related to the history of information so as to stimulate connections that have not been made, for example between the research of library historians, historians of computing, labor historians, gender historians, economic historians, business historians, political and diplomatic historians, cultural studies scholars, critical theorists, and science and technology scholars. The journal was previously published under various titles, The Journal of Library History, Libraries & Culture and Libraries & the Cultural Record.

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