Welcome to SHARPweb, online home of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing.

SHARP is a global scholarly society focused on the histories of material texts. We often call what we do “book history,” but we don’t study only books nor do we focus only on the past. Member interests include the digital transformation of current publishing, the roles of women in early printing, and the history of African American literary societies. The broad range of scholarly interests of SHARP members can be seen by reading the latest from SHARP News and examining the grants and prizes we award.

We heartily welcome all who are interested in the histories of text-making, dissemination, and use, and we hope you will want to join us in making SHARP an invigorating community for book studies.


Registration is now open for the SHARP 2024 conference at Reading! A provisional program and more information is at Reading’s conference page. Early bird deadline is May 24!

Donate to SHARP and support our work and grants!

Looking for our old site? We’ve set up redirect links so that visits to the old site automatically bring people to our new home, and the search box on the footers of this site should help you find what you’re looking for, but you can still find the old site as it has been archived on the Wayback Machine.

We have made every effort to make sure that all the information you need to learn about and participate in SHARP is now on this site. Our pages on book history resources have been temporarily deprecated while we consider options to better provide current information about the field.

Writing board, Egypt, Middle Kingdom ca. 1981–1802 BCE (Metropolitan Museum of Art)