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Book history

Studying book history with The Open University

The Book History and Bibliography Research Group has made major contributions to the subject internationally. Members have produced numerous publications in authorship studies, printing, publishing, reading, bibliography and textual editing. The group’s research interests range widely, from 17th-century literature and publishing, to postcolonial histories of the book. The group’s AHRC-funded project The Reading Experience Database, 1450–1945 (RED) has produced a digitised database recording the reading experiences of British subjects from 1450–1945, with over 30,000 entries. Members of the group organise regular, well-attended seminar series, conferences, and symposia promoting research in book history.

We welcome applications in areas that correspond with current staff research interests. We look for detailed and well thought-out proposals, which set out specific research questions and outline the originality of your topic or approach. If you would like to discuss your ideas informally before submitting an application, please contact us (details below).

Qualifications available:

PhD or MPhil


For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding.

Entry requirements:

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent) and an MA (or equivalent)

Potential research projects

We welcome applications to study topics that complement our current research.

Current/recent research projects

  • Popular genre fiction in Indian writing in English: recent trends in the Indian literary marketplace (Poojah Sinha)
  • James Lackington: reading and the art of self-advancement (Sophie Bankes)
  • Conrad’s reading (Helen Chambers)

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Dr Fiona Doloughan
+44 (0)1908 652092

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.