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Resurrecting the Book Conference

International experts from 14 different countries will come together to discuss the state of the book – past, present and future – at the first Resurrecting the Book Conference which will be held at the newly-opened £188.8m Library of Birmingham on 15-17th November 2013.

The conference, which is a collaboration between Newman University, the Typographic Hub at Birmingham City University, Digital Ink Drop, the Library of Birmingham and The Library of Lost Books, will debate the value of the book as object and the role of libraries in the modern world.

With sales of ebooks outstripping the sale of hard copy books, the recent opening of the first ebook only library in the USA and children spending less and less time reading, delegates will also cover what to do with unwanted books and the skill, uniqueness and pleasure of the book arts, asking whether the book as physical object is a thing of the past.

Brian Gambles, Director of the Library of Birmingham commented: “I am delighted that the theme of our first major conference is “the Book”. We passionately believe in the power of reading and of the written word as the foundation of all learning. This conference will provide an exciting exploration of the book in all its past and future forms.”

An impressive array of speakers includes:

  • Professor Sir David Cannadine, Dodge Professor of History at Princeton University
  • Professor Johanna Drucker, Bernard and Martin Breslauer Professor of Bibliography at the University of California, Los Angeles
  • Dr David Pearson, Director of Cultural Heritage & Libaries, City of London Corporation
  • Professor Nicholas Pickwoad, University of the Arts, London

The Resurrecting the Book Conference brings together academics, book-artists, book historians, librarians, publishers and those involved in digital books to look at books as physical objects. Ranging from medieval manuscripts to the latest digital technology and examining the ways books create meanings through their form and as artistic objects, the conference, with its international scope and broad appeal, suggests that the material book is far from dead.

Professor Peter Childs, Pro-Vice Chancellor at Newman University and author of many books on Modernism commented: “It is an exciting time to be holding a conference of this kind given the pace of technological revolution, the continued debate over the best ways to promote literacy, and the fact that we are witnessing a greater number of books published than ever before. It is additionally inspiring for the Conference organizers to be welcoming this excellent platform of speakers on Resurrecting the Book to the newest and largest public library in Europe.”

The Conference is being hosted in conjunction with the Library of Lost Books project whose exhibition runs alongside the Conference at the Library of Birmingham from 6th-23rd November 2013 (

Visit the conference website for further details or contact organisers:

Dr Matthew Day – 0121 476 1181 x 2545

Dr Caroline Archer – 0121 331 5871