Papers of Liverpool Bibliographical Society

Scope and Content

The collection is representative of the activity of the Liverpool Bibliographical Society from its preliminary organisation in the 1960s right through to 1995 when the last members meeting was held. Minutes of the meetings provide a detailed account of the workings of the society, where the discussion of guest speakers for members meetings and the organisation of visits are particularly illuminating. Through the letters section of the collection, the connections between the society and the wider community of the University, Liverpool and the North West in printing press, book and publishing professions, can be clearly established. Most noteworthy of these would be the society's involvement in the Book Trade in the North West Project, the School History Day Schools programme held by the Centre for Continuing Education at the University of Liverpool, the establishment of letterpress printing sessions and the organisation of antiquarian book exhibitions on behalf of its members.

Administrative / Biographical History

The society had its beginnings in the early 1960s, where meetings were held in the Harold Cohen Library. Persons on the committee were often members of staff from the University, but membership was open to members of the University and beyond. According to a copy of the revised constitution of 1980, the main object of the society was to establish a forum for the study and enjoyment of all subjects relating to manuscripts and printed books. As part of the society, regular meetings would be held featuring a variety of guest speakers. LBS would also arrange visits to libraries and other places associated with antiquarian books, book keeping and printing whilst additionally supporting and promoting book publication.The society also held bibliographical workshops in the Sydney Jones Library, which gave members the opportunity to experiment with hand printing and the letter press, and organised antiquarian book exhibitions for its members. Meetings for the Liverpool Bibliographical Society subsided in 1995.


Documents are mainly arranged in accordance with how they were originally organised by the society's treasurer or secretary.

Access Information

The collection is open to bona fide researchers.

Acquisition Information

The records for LBS were deposited by the society in 1995.

Other Finding Aids

A copy of this finding aid is available for consultation in the reading room.

Separated Material

Liverpool Bibliographical Society's collection of printing equipment, including presses, is now on long term loan at NMGM (now National Museums Liverpool). The loan was arranged in 1998 by Lionel Burman, former Keeper of the Department of Decorative Arts, and there is a full catalogue at the museum.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction and Licensing Rules available on request.

Custodial History

Some files may have been retained by former members of the committee.

Geographical Names