The Making Books research centre brings together scholars, creative practitioners, and cultural professionals to explore the concept of the book as both a created artefact and object of study.

About us

Our mission

We are interested in readers and reading practices, in print and digital culture, in technology and remediation, in book design and the book arts, in issues of access and preservation, and in the broader intellectual, cultural, social, economic, legal, and political frameworks that shape the world of the book and book futures.

Bringing together a diversity of perspectives including book history and bibliography; typography, design and the book arts; theories of creative practice; the digital humanities; digital writing and new forms of literature and storytelling; and contemporary publishing practices, the centre explores the book’s past, present, and future.

Each research centre at Bath Spa University has a named Public Engagement (PE) Champion. Our co-director, Laura Little, has taken on this role for the Making Books research centre. PE will be a major factor as we move toward the next REF, recording and developing the types of public engagement we are undertaking.


Professor Ian Gadd. English, College of Liberal Arts. Academic Director of GALA.

Ian specialises in the literature and history of the sixteenth, seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. He considers himself to be both a bibliographer and book historian.

Dr Stephen H. Gregg. English, College of Liberal Arts.

Stephen is a literary scholar, specialising in eighteenth-century literature and digital humanities.

Dr Laura Little. Publishing, College of Liberal Arts.

Laura is an editor, illustrator and designer. Her research specialisms are in children’s picturebooks and artists' books.

Professor Tom Sowden, Bath School of Art and Design.

Tom is a book artist. His artistic practice often involves a knowing but light-hearted reference to the book works of Ed Ruscha produced during the 1960s and 1970s.

News and forthcoming events

We were delighted with the enthusiastic response to our Ideas Hack (17 September). This informal pitch-and-chat event was extremely fruitful in developing a wide variety of projects from across various faculties at Bath Spa, including Bath School of Art and Design, the Institute for Education, the College of Liberal Arts, as well external creative practitioners. Look out for our forthcoming event on public engagement.

First Tuesdays. With the establishment of the Micheal Turner Albion Press at Corhsam Court, Tim Jollands (formerly of the Whittington Press) will be offering – on the first Tuesday of every month – a series of practical workshop sessions on the press in room B36 in Corsham Court, including tuition in setting, proofing, and printing. The first will be on 7 November. Please email Ian Gadd:

Digital Humanties Roadshow: a workshop and performance about using computers for textual analysis, led by Professor Gabriel Egan (Univerisity of Leicester). Bath Spa event will be held on 13 April 2018.

Letterpress, past, present, and future. An AHRC-funded research network. We will be hosting the third in a serid of conference workshops, which will be entitled Letterpress in the Digital Age. Date and venue TBC.

Watch here for more details!

"The centre is interested in the diverse forms that books can take, the people who make them, the act of making itself, and the places in which books are created, made, disseminated, and accessed."

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