Books in the United Kingdom

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Books in the United Kingdom refers to books in the United Kingdom. In other words, "written or printed work consisting of pages glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers", in the United Kingdom, a country, in the world. What follows is a meagre and entirely inadequate coverage of the subject for purposes unknown.


In 1477 William Caxton in Westminster printed The Dictes or Sayengis of the Philosophres, considered "the first dated book printed in England."[1]

The history of the book in the United Kingdom has been studied from a variety of cultural, economic, political, and social angles. The learned Bibliographical Society first met in 1892. In recent years influential scholars include Frederic Sutherland Ferguson, Philip Gaskell, Ronald Brunlees McKerrow, and Alfred W. Pollard.


As of 2018, seven firms in the United Kingdom rank among the world's biggest publishers of books in terms of revenue: Bloomsbury, Cambridge University Press, Informa, Oxford University Press, Pearson, Quarto, and RELX Group.[2][nb 1]


The Antiquarian Booksellers Association formed in 1906, and the Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association in 1972.[5]


The University of Oxford's Bodleian Library was founded in 1602.

The British Library was formally established in 1973, its collection previously part of the British Museum (est. 1753).

The Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 stipulates that the British Library receives a copy of every printed work published in the United Kingdom. Five other libraries are entitled to copies: Cambridge University Library, University of Oxford's Bodleian Library, the National Library of Scotland, the Library of Trinity College, Dublin, and the National Library of Wales. The London-based Copyright Agency became the Edinburgh-based Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries in 2009.[6]



US-based Google Inc. began scanning pages of Bodleian Library volumes in 2005, as part of its new Google Books Library Project.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Of these, several also topped the list in 2016 and 2017.[3][4]


  1. ^ "Printing in England from William Caxton to Christopher Barker: an Exhibition, November 1976 - April 1977". University of Glasgow.
  2. ^ "The World's 54 Largest Publishers, 2018", Publishers Weekly, US, vol. 265, no. 38, 14 September 2018
  3. ^ "World's 52 Largest Book Publishers, 2016", Publishers Weekly, US, 26 August 2016
  4. ^ "World's 54 Largest Publishers, 2017", Publishers Weekly, US, 25 August 2017
  5. ^ "Our History". Royston, Hertfordshire: Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries". Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Best Seller",, retrieved 30 November 2017


published in 19th century
published in 20th century
published in 21st century

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