Why study the History of the Book at the Institute of English Studies?

There is no such thing as a typical IES student. Our programmes attract people from a wide range of backgrounds, careers and interests, and for many different reasons. For some students it presents the perfect opportunity to combine a love of history and literature, and pursue careers in research and academia. For others it can be a fantastic gateway into a career in the rare books trade or publishing. And for some it represents a complete change of direction, and the chance to begin an entirely new academic challenge unrelated to their previous studies and careers. 

The Institute of English Studies has a substantial network of colleagues and contacts in the rare books industry, and we now give MA students the option of substituting one of their modules for a book trade internship. We understand the importance of connecting the theoretical world of book history with tangible sources and practical opportunities for our students, and several of a graduates have gone on to have fruitful careers in the book industry. To find out more about this internship, please click here: 

Over on the Institute of English Studies Blog, you can read two interviews with current students, Bonnie Walker and Margaret Joachim, on why they chose to study book history at IES. 

London is probably the perfect place to study the history of the book! ...We’ve had classes at the British Library and other book-related institutions where we got to go behind the scenes and get up close and personal with rare, antique books, some over a thousand years old.

 Bonnie Walker, 2016

Looking back, it has been a very varied and extremely enjoyable undertaking. I took the course for fun, and it was. It has introduced me to an entirely new area of knowledge which I’m now going to spend several years exploring further. I certainly didn’t expect that when I started. 

Margaret Joachim, 2016 

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