Dr John Hinks

john_hinks.jpgHonorary Fellow

Contact Details

  • Tel: +44 (0)116 252 5925
  • Fax: +44 (0)116 252 5062
  • Email: jh241@le.ac.uk
  • Office: 3-5 Salisbury Road


John Hinks is Chair of the Printing Historical Society, a member of the Print Networks conference committee, and is the Reviews Editor of 'Publishing History'.

He is also Visiting Research Fellow in Printing History at Birmingham City University, where he is associated with the Typographic Hub and the Centre for Printing History and Culture, a joint venture between Birmingham City University and the University of Birmingham.

Research Interests

  • Urban cultural history, especially print culture and urban cultural networks, in the early modern period and long 18th century
  • History of the book trade, especially trade networks, and the wealth, status and social mobility of book-trade people in the long 18th century
  • The urban context (cultural, social, economic, civic) of printing and printers; choice of location for book-trade businesses
  • Urban themes in print, both text and image, especially the prints of the German Expressionists
  • The book trade in English spa towns in the long 18th century
  • Popular print culture: the production, distribution and readership of 'street literature' (chapbooks, ballads, broadsides, etc.)
  • The print culture of radical politics in the long 18th century

Current Research Projects

The Urban Context of Printing and Print Culture

I am interested in how printers, booksellers and other book-trade people selected their (primarily urban) business locations and how they interacted with their urban communities. I have a parallel interest in the depiction of urban themes in print, both text and image, especially in the prints of the German Expressionists. My essay 'The Urban Context of Eighteenth-Century English Provincial Printing' is included in Text and Image in the City (see Publications below).

Chapbooks, 'street literature', and the increase in cheap and accessible print

I chair the Chapbooks Working Group of the Bibliographical Society and I gave a paper at NUI Galway in June 2014, on the origins, in 1825, of the publication of affordable series of books, including various 'Parlour Libraries', 'Railway Libraries' and similar.

I also remain interested in the 'underground' distribution of Catholic devotional texts and artefacts in the seventeenth century. I chaired a panel on 'The Religious Dimensions of Itinerant Distribution in Europe' at the SHARP (Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing) in Antwerp, in September 2014.

The Book Trade in English Spa Towns in the Long Eighteenth Century

This project focuses on the unique nature of book-trade activity (especially printing, bookselling and circulating libraries) in spa towns: the extent to which the trade balanced the demands of residents and visitors, the partly seasonal nature of the trade, and its contribution to the development of tourism and leisure. I am currently focusing on Leamington Spa, for an article in Warwickshire History.

Recent and Forthcoming Publications

  • 'Baskerville's Birmingham: printing and the English Urban Renaissance', in John Baskerville: art, industry and technology of the Enlightenment, edited by Caroline Archer and Malcolm Dick (forthcoming, Liverpool UP, 2017)
  • John Hinks & Catherine Armstrong (eds.), Text and Image in the City: Print and Manuscript Culture in British and European Towns and Cities (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2017)
  • John Hinks & Catherine Feely (eds.), Historical Networks in the Book Trade (Routledge, 2017)
  • 'Regency Readers: literature and life in Leamington Spa in the early nineteenth century,Warwickshire History (forthcoming, 2018)
  • 'Spreading the Word: bookselling and printing before 1800', History West Midlands,1 (2013), pp. 12-14.
  • John Hinks & Victoria Gardner (eds.), The Book Trade in Early Modern England: Practices, Perceptions, Connections (British Library and Oak Knoll Press, 2014)
  • 'The Book Trade in Early Modern Britain: Centres, Peripheries and Networks' in Print Culture and Peripheries in Early Modern Europe, edited by Benito Rial Costas (Brill, 2013), pp. 101-126.
  • John Hinks & Matthew Day (eds.), From Compositors to Collectors: Essays in Book-Trade History ('Print Networks' series - British Library and Oak Knoll Press, 2012)
  • 'Richard Phillips: Pioneer of Radical Print', The Leicestershire Historian, 47 (2011), pp 22-26
  • 24 entries for The Oxford Companion to the Book, edited by M F Suarez and H R Woudhuysen (OUP, 2010)
  • 'Networks of Print in "Radical Leicester"', The Leicestershire Historian, 46 (2010), pp 21-26
  • John Hinks, Catherine Armstrong & Matthew Day (eds.), Periodicals and Publishers: the Newspaper and Journal Trade 1740-1914. (British Library and Oak Knoll Press, 2009)
  • Maureen Bell and John Hinks, 'The English Provincial Book Trade: Evidence from the British Book Trade Index', The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain, vol. V (1695-1830) ed. M Suarez and M Turner (CUP, 2009), pp 335-51
  • John Hinks and Catherine Armstrong (eds.), Book Trade Connections from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Centuries ('Print Networks' series - British Library and Oak Knoll Press, 2008)

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CUH Journal

Urban History

Urban History, published by Cambridge Journals, is edited from the Centre for Urban History

CUH Journal

The New History Lab

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Celebrate the diverse range of history being studied in the School along with tea and homemade cake!