Bishop Grosseteste University’s Dr Andrew Jackson, Head of Research, and Dr Rose Roberto, Teaching Resources Librarian and History Lecturer, have contributed to The Edinburgh History of the British and Irish Press, a unique resource recently awarded The Robert and Vineta Colby Scholarly Book Prize by The Research Society for Victorian Periodicals (RSVP).

The Edinburgh History of the British and Irish Press is a collection of essays examining nineteenth-century British and Irish newspaper and periodical history during a key period of change and development. It covers an important point of expansion in periodical and press history across the four nations of Great Britain (England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales), concentrating on cross-border and transnational comparisons and contrasts in nineteenth-century print communication. Designed to provide readers with a clear understanding of the current state of research in the field, in addition to an extensive introduction, it includes forty newly commissioned chapters and case studies exploring a full range of press activity and press genres.

Practical features in this tome, which probably swayed the panel, include a helpful timeline of significant events in the history of printing technology intersecting with social, political, and cultural history. There are also a large selection of high-resolution images showing 19th-century visual and tactile material that readers will find engaging.

The Colby Prize is for original book-length scholarship about Victorian periodicals and newspapers and in awarding it to The Edinburgh History of the British and Irish Press, the RSVP praised the new book for being “a remarkable, wide-ranging resource that gives welcome attention to diversity and transnational connections.”

Continuing their praise the society added: “It will be valuable for a wide range of readers. RSVP is pleased to honour the work of all the writers as well as the editor, who together have made a contribution to nineteenth-century periodical studies that will remain a standard for many years to come.”

Dr Roberto and Dr Jackson authored chapters 3 and 26 respectively. Speaking after the announcement Dr Jackson discussed what readers could expect from the book:

"Our newspaper media today owes much to its history of rapid expansion and cultural diversification during the nineteenth century. This volume provides a definitive survey, and a wide-ranging and deep exploration. It was privilege to contribute, offering perspectives on the great outpouring of local and regional newspapers, and what these tell us about the development and character of the communities and districts in which we live today."

Dr Roberto shared her excitement at her inclusion and on the potential impact the book could have:

“I was delighted to find out that my paper at an international conference in Edinburgh, called “Communities of Communication” was the basis of an award-winning book. There were numerous outstanding presentations that were delivered over two days, and I am pleased and humbled that my research on Victorian-era illustration was chosen by editor David Finkelstein for inclusion in this comprehensive volume.”

The Edinburgh History of the British and Irish Press is available as an e-book at the BGU Library. Members of the BGU community can access it by clicking here.

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