Mr Graham Shaw

Contact details

Mr Graham Shaw
B. A.
Position/Fellowship type:
Senior Research Fellow
Institute of English Studies
Home institution:
formerly British Library
Email address:

Research Summary and Profile

Research interests:
Digital resources, Digitisation, History of the book, Typography
Summary of research interests and expertise:

History of the book in South Asia; Asian studies librarianship; digitisation and digital resources

Publication Details

Related publications/articles:

Date Details
01-Oct-2017 Preparing for the second coming: the production and distribution of the first Hebrew books printed in India’


 in Reflections on Armenia and the Christian Orient: studies in honour of Vrej Nersessian ed. Christiane Esche-Ramshorn  (Yerevan: Ankyunacar Publishing, 2017), pp. 208-228.

01-Aug-2017 Turning the page: new directions in South Asian book history

Journal articles


27-May-2016 First English book in India

Journal articles

 The Hindu Literary Review 27 May 2016

01-Jan-2016 On the wrong end of the Raj: some aspects of censorship … Part 2


 in A. Gupta & S. Chakravorty ed. Founts of knowledge: book history in India Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan, 2016, pp. 222-316

01-Sep-2015 'A slow, not swift, battle of the books: Christian literature in nineteenth-century India'

Journal articles

 Livre et Religion - Religion and the Book: Memoires du livre - Studies in Book Culture Vol. 6 No. 2 (Spring 2015)

01-Jan-2014 ‘An initiative that backfired: ... what the first Indian Bible printed 300 years ago ... achieved'

Journal articles

 The Hindu Literary Review 4-5 Jan. 2014

01-Jan-2014 From conversion to subversion: 250 years of the printed book in India (with John Randall)


Rye: John Randall (Books of Asia), 2014.  v, 251 p.

01-Jul-2013 ‘English books around the world: the East India Company and the globalization of the English book and book-trade’

Journal articles

 Gutenberg-Jahrbuch 88 (2013), pp. 180-203.

01-Jun-2013 'Calcutta: birthplace of the Indian lithographed book'


Reprinted in F. Orsini ed. The history of the book in South Asia.  Farnham: Ashgate, 2013, pp. 159-181.

01-Nov-2012 'Non-Latin scripts and printing technologies: triumphs and tribulations'


 in F. Ross & V. Singh ed. Non-Latin scripts from metal to digital.  London: St. Bride Library, 2012.  pp. 11-33.

01-Sep-2012 ‘From Goa to the Gutenberg Award: the story of Indian typography’

Journal articles

 Typo 49, pp. 8-15.

01-Jan-2009 'The British Book in India'


in M. F. Suarez & M. L. Turner ed. The Book in Britain Volume V 1695-1830. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.  pp. 560-75.

01-Jan-2008 'On the wrong end of the Raj: some aspects of censorship in British India and its circumvention'


 in A. Gupta & S. Chakravorty ed.  Moveable types: book history in India.  Ranikhet: Permanent Black, 2008.  pp. 94-171.

01-Jan-2007 'A pedigree mongrel: some reflections on the historical development of the South Asian collections ....


 in W. Kirsop ed.  The Commonwealth of books: essays and studies in honour of Ian Willison.  Melbourne: Monash University, 2007.  pp. 181-96.

01-Jan-2007 'South Asia'


 in S. Eliot & J. Rose ed.  A Companion to the history of the book.  Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2007.  pp. 126-37.

01-Jan-2007 'India'


 in Bill Bell ed.  The Edinburgh history of the book in Scotland Vol. 3.  Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007.  pp. 455-64.

01-Jan-2005 'Amalgam and anomaly: the case of the India Office Records'


in T. Awaya ed. Creating an archive today.  Tokyo: Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, 2005. pp. 5-16.

01-Jan-2004 'Communications between cultures: difficulties in the design and distribution of Christian literature in nineteenth-century India'


 in R. N. Swanson ed. The church and the book.  Woodbridge: published for the Ecclesiastical History Society by the Boydell Press, 2004.  pp. 339-56.

01-Jan-2002 '"In Place": making the British Library's collections 'local' as well as 'national''

Journal articles

 LIBER Quarterly Vol. 12, pp. 199-207.

01-Jan-2002 The Arabic manuscripts of the British Library: a treasure house of Arab and Islamic heritage


 Dubai: Turboglen Educational Supplies, 2002.  32 p.

01-Jan-1998 'Calcutta: birthplace of the Indian lithographed book'

Journal articles

 Journal of the Printing Historical Society No. 27, pp. 89-111.

01-Jan-1997 'The history of printing and publishing in South Asia: a survey of research since 1970'

Journal articles

 Leipziger Jahrbuch fur Buchgeschichte Band 7, pp. 305-23.

01-Jan-1996 'The history of the book in South Asia'

Journal articles

 Octavo No. 10, pp. 2-3.

01-Jan-1994 'Experience, concentration and a good memory: Stephen Austin and oriental printing'

Journal articles

 OIOC Newsletter No. 50-51, pp. 10-12.

01-Jan-1994 'The introduction of lithography and its impact on book design in India'

Journal articles

 Vihangama Vol. 2, pp. 13-14.

01-Jan-1993 'The Copenhagen copy of Henriques' Flos Sanctorum'

Journal articles

 Fund og Forskning Vol. 32, pp. 39-50.

01-Jan-1993 'Lithography v. letter-press in India' (2 parts)

Journal articles

 South Asia Library Notes & Queries Vols. 29 (1993), pp. 1-11 & 30 (1994/95), pp. 1-10.

01-Jan-1991 'Printing and publishing in Dhaka, 1849-1900'


 in S. U. Ahmed ed. Dhaka past present future.  Dhaka: Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, 1991.  pp. 89-121.

01-Jan-1991 'The first Bengali book printed in Bangladesh'

Journal articles

 OIOC Newsletter No. 45, p. 13.  (Bengali version published Bicitra Vol. 19 (1991), pp. 42-3.)

01-Jan-1990 Reorientation: towards an integrated British Library oriental service and collections (& M. I. Waley)


 London: The British Library, 1990.  vii, 30 p.  (British Library R & D Report 6002.)

01-Jan-1990 'Printing by the British in Sri Lanka at the end of the 18th century'

Journal articles

 Factotum No. 32, pp. 21-23.

01-Jan-1989 'The beginnings of printing in Bombay'


 in P. Rohatgi & P. Godrej ed. India: a pageant of prints.  Bombay: Marg Publications, 1989.  pp. 111-24.

01-Jan-1989 'Matba'a 4. In Muslim India. 5. In Afghanistan'


 in The Encyclopaedia of Islam (new ed.) Vol. VI fascs. 111-112.  Leiden: Brill, 1989.  pp. 804-7.

01-Jan-1987 South Asia and Burma retrospective bibliography (SABREB) Stage 1: 1556-1800


 London: The British Library, 1987.  x, 554 p.

01-Jan-1987 'An unexpected legacy, and its contribution to early Indian typography' (with Fiona Ross)

Journal articles

 Matrix Vol. 7, pp. 69-79.  (Reprinted in Type & typography: highlights from Matrix ...  (New York: Mark Batty, 2003), pp. 168-81.)

01-Jan-1986 'Retrospective bibliographic control for South Asia'

Journal articles

 IFLA International Cataloguing Vol. 15, pp. 40-3.

01-Jan-1985 Publications proscribed by the Government of India: a catalogue ... (with Mary Lloyd)


 London: The British Library, 1985.  xv, 203 p.

01-Jan-1984 'Les debuts de l'imprimerie gouvernementale et commerciale en Inde'

Journal articles

 Revue francaise d'histoire du livre Vol. 53, pp. 371-80.  (Reprinted in J. P. Drege ed. Le livre et l'imprimerie en Extreme-Orient et en Asie du Sud (Bordeaux, 1986), pp. 321-30.)

01-Jan-1983 'Examples of Indian scripts in Purchas his pilgrimes'

Journal articles

 The LIbrary 6th Series Vol. 5, pp. 165-9.

01-Jan-1983 'A letter from James Augustus Hicky'

Journal articles

 The Library 6th Series Vol. 5, pp. 395-8.

01-Jan-1982 The bibliography of South Asian periodicals .... (with Salim ud-Din Quraishi)


 Sussex: The Harvester Press, 1982.  xii, 135 p.

01-Jan-1982 'A 'lost' work of Henrique Henriques: the Tamil confessionary of 1580'

Journal articles

 Bodleian Library Record Vol. 11, pp. 26-34.

01-Jan-1981 Printing in Calcutta to 1800: a description and checklist of printing ...


 London: The British Library, 1981.  xi, 249 p.

01-Jan-1981 'Scaliger's copy of an early Tamil catechism'

Journal articles

 The Library 6th Series Vol. 3, pp. 239-43.

01-Jan-1980 'Printing in Devanagari'

Journal articles

 The Monotype Recorder New Series Vol. 2, pp. 28-32.

01-Jan-1979 'Art and archaeology'


 in J . D. Pearson ed. South Asian bibliography: a handbook and guide.  Sussex: The Harvester Press, 1979.  pp. 143-58.

01-Jan-1979 'The first printing-press in the Punjab'

Journal articles

 The Library Chronicle Vol. 43, pp. 159-79.

01-Jan-1979 'The printer of the first book published in Bombay'

Journal articles

 The Library 6th Series Vol. 1, pp. 83-5.

01-Jan-1978 Early printing in India (exhibition leaflet)


 London: The British Library, 1978.  4 p.  (reprinted in Newsletter of the Printing Historical Society No. 45 Supplement (1979) and in Mudran Vidya Vol. 17 (1979), pp. 43-5.)

01-Jan-1978 'The Tanjore "Aesop" in the context of early Marathi printing'

Journal articles

 The Library 5th Series Vol. 33, pp. 207-14.

01-Jan-1977 'The Cuttack Mission Press and early Oriya printing'

Journal articles

 British Library Journal Vol. 3, pp. 29-43.  (Oriya version published Paurusha Vol. 15 (1982), pp. 29-34.)

01-Jan-1977 'Printing at Mangalore and Tellicherry by the Basel Mission'

Journal articles

 Libri Vol. 27, pp. 154-64.  (Kannada version published Manavika Karnataka Vol. 8 (1978), pp. 61-9.)

01-Jan-1977 'Manuscripts of the Chatraprakas'

Journal articles

 Orientalia Lovaniensia Periodica Vol. 8, pp. 289-304.

Publications available on SAS-space:

Date Details
Jun-2003 Durning-Lawrence Online: Benefits Of A Retrospective Catalogue Conversion Project


The University of London Library has recently undertaken a project to catalogue one of its special collections online, that of Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence (1837-1914), a protagonist of the Baconian theory in the controversy over the authorship of the works attributed to Shakespeare. The collection is especially rich in editions of Bacon's works and other Baconiana and in seventeenth-century English drama, with other strengths being emblem books and early editions of the works of Daniel Defoe. This article places the retrospective cataloguing project in the context of the international drive for retrospective conversion of antiquarian material and of the Library's mission to support research within the federal University of London and the region and internationally. It describes the method used for cataloguing, then focuses on the benefits of the project both academically for researchers and administratively. In addition to the commonly acknowledged benefits of multiple access points in online catalogue records and speed and precision of searching from anywhere in the world, others include the opportunity as part of the project to conduct a preservation survey with little extra cost of time or handling, establishing the rarity of particular items and classes of items in the collection, and insight into the collector provided especially by provenance notes in the catalogue records, enabling scholars to learn a considerable amount about Durning-Lawrence and his collecting patterns from direct electronic access. The value of projects conducted along similar lines may easily be inferred.Pre-print of article published in Libri, 53(2) (June 2003), 142-8.

Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence: a Baconian and his Books


What, How and Why: Accessing Incunabula at Senate House Library, University of London


This article is based on a project undertaken in 2008 to catalogue the incunabula (fifteenthcentury printed books) at Senate House Library, University of London (previously known as the University of London Library). The project was unusual because it dealt with books which resembled manuscripts, and which have a long history of printed description which sometimes jars with modern online conventions for resource discovery. The article summarizes the desires which Anglo-American scholars have expressed for the content of descriptions of incunabula in the contexts of printed and union catalogues, and assesses the extent to which these are relevant to the online catalogues of specific libraries. It describes the challenges, including the tensions between scholarly printed incunabula literature and library conventions, and the approach taken at Senate House Library to resolve them. It further evaluates the timing for the project and assesses the project’s results, which ranged from institutional to international in scope.

May-2017 Folios in Context: Collecting Shakespeare at the University of London


Shakespearean holdings at Senate House Library, University of London, shot into international prominence when in 2013 the then library director, Christopher Pressler, attempted to sell a set of the first four Shakespeare folios given to the University as part of a named special collection, to be kept together in perpetuity. By this time Shakespeare had long been described as a particular strength of the University Library, largely on the basis of its eleven seventeenth-century Shakespeare folios. Yet the Library had begun with negligible literary holdings. When it opened as the University of London Library in 1877, it did so merely with the nine-volume Cambridge edition of 1863-6, a volume of Shakespeare’s poetry, and two translations of Hamlet. The current article discusses the background of those Folios, in particular the First Folio formerly owned by Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence (noted in literature from 1821 onwards) and the set of Shakespeare folios from the library of Sir Louis Sterling. It looks at their earlier provenance and use in detail not provided by the censuses of First Folios, and explores their context within the collections of the Baconian Durning-Lawrence and the high-spot collector Sterling. The article further suggests the background which could have made an institution with no literary pretensions want the works of England’s prominent playwright as means of enhancing national significance. It discusses the Library’s treatment and appreciation of the Durning-Lawrence and Sterling collections and traces their influence on further acquisitions, especially under the guiding hand of University Librarian John Henry Pyle Pafford. And it shows the relationship between educational value and prestige in wanting to own antiquarian works pertaining to Shakespeare—the latter an element which no surrogate, printed or digital, can replace.

Relevant Events

Related events:

Date Details
01-Jan-2011 'English books around the world: India and the globalization of the English book trade'

The 7th Annual Kenneth Karmiole Lecture on the History of the Book Trade, the William Andrews Clark Library, University of California Los Angeles, 19th November 2011.

01-Jan-2010 'Printing precarious: the beginnings of missionary printing and publishing in India ...'

'Legacies of the Book: Early Missionary Printing in Asia and the Americas', University of San Francisco, San Francisco, 24th September 2010.

01-Jan-2009 'Sacred: Discover what we share'

'Exhibiting Religions, Faith Communities and Religious Identity', The American Association of Museums Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, 4th May 2009.

01-Jan-2008 'The 'other' gazes back: the portraits in L'Inde francaise ...

'On the road: writing travel and travellers' conference, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, 6th November 2008.

01-Jan-2007 'From Buddhist scrolls to graphic novels: facets of South Asian book history'

Non-Latin Typeface Design conference, St. Bride Library, 18th September 2007.

01-Jan-2006 Keynote address

'New word order: emerging histories of the book' SHARP regional conference, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, 30th January 2006.

01-Jan-2005 'The Endangered Archives Program at the British Library'

'The Global Record: Understanding Its Use and Ensuring Its Survival', Center for International and Area Studies Global Resources Network conference, Yale University, New Haven, 21st June 2005.

01-Jan-2004 'In or out? - South Asia and a global history of the book'

The 9th Annual McKenzie Lecture, University of Oxford, 28th April 2004.

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