- Division: Academic Services
- Unit: Bodleian Libraries Research & Learning Services
- Sub-Unit: not specified
From 1577 until 1924, the Register of the Stationers' Company of London was the primary means through which copyright control in Britain was maintained. Other than the books themselves, it represents arguably the most important primary source for the study of the history of the book in Britain. The Stationers' Register survives intact in two series now held at Stationers' Hall and the National Archives.
Edward Arber edited the earliest volumes of the Register (from 1577 to 1640) in the In the nineteenth century, followed by G Eyre and G Rivington, who extended the transcript up until 1708. These pioneering volumes are indispensable to students of early print culture, but are unwieldy and inflexible compared to modern digital reference works.
Digital tools can transform the means of accessing the Register. The Stationers Register Online (SRO), led by Dr Giles Bergel (University of Oxford) and Professor Ian Gadd (Bath Spa University), in collaboration with James Cummings (Oxford University IT Services) and Pip Willcox (Bodleian Digital Library Systems and Services), provides an initial pathway into this history.
SRO, funded by one of the first Lyell Research Grants from the University of Oxford, created TEI-p5 XML-encoded digital editions of Arber's printed transcripts of the Register, which providing ease and breadth of access to this unique resource. A follow-up project, extending the corpus to the eighteenth century and providing access to enriched data, is in development.
Transcription data: https://github.com/gbergel/SRO_Arber_data
Article: James Cummings and Pip Willcox, 'Stationers' Register Online: A Case Study of a Byte-Reduced TEI Schema for Digitization (tei_corset)',, Journal of the Text Encoding Initiative [Online], Issue 6 | December 2013, Online since 26 September 2013 [http://jtei.revues.org/926]. DOI: 10.4000/jtei.926