Award for Distinguished Achievement

The SHARP Award for Distinguished Achievement recognizes two different types of work that have significantly enriched the field of book history: (1) collaborative publications or research tools, or (2) individual contributions to the field that exceed the publication of a single work.

Originally intended to honor collaborative projects and publications, in 2022 the award was expanded to include recognizing outstanding individuals who, over the course of their career, have made an indelible impact on the field of book history.



A project may be nominated either while ongoing (periodicals, interactive and incremental digital sites, societies) or completed (multi-volume publications, stand-alone digital publications, collaborative exhibitions). Projects such as a library, library space, or a museum devoted to book history may also be nominated. Any nominated projects will have contributed to the future of the field over a significant period of time, normally for at least five years.

Individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of book history or to SHARP over the course of many years may also be nominated for the Award for Distinguished Achievement.

Application process

Initial inquiries should be sent to SHARP’s President ( A subgroup of the Board of Directors will review nominations from members and may consult experts beyond the Board.

Any SHARP member may nominate a recipient for the award. Please send your nomination in an email to the President. Please indicate why you think your nomination deserves an award by addressing the following questions:

  • How has the nominee contributed to research in book history?
  • How has the nominee contributed to education in book history?
  • How has the nominee helped, supported, and inspired SHARP members?

Previous awardees


The 2022 Award honors Leslie Howsam, Professor Emerita at the University of Windsor, for her long work in SHARP and in the field of book history. Howsam’s strong leadership in various roles in SHARP over 24 years has helped the organization develop, grow, and look towards the future. She served on the Executive Council as Vice-President (2005–2009), President (2009–2013), and immediate Past President; after her service on the EC, she chaired the Nominating Committee for many years, enabling SHARP to identify and encourage a series of effective leaders.

Beyond SHARP, Howsam’s scholarship on book history, and specifically historiography, has created a body of work that expands the field’s knowledge of itself and opens its doors to newcomers. Key works include her books Old Books & New Histories: An Orientation to Studies in Book & Print Culture (Toronto UP, 2006) and Past into Print: The Publishing of History in Britain 1850–1950 (Toronto UP, 2009); her collection Cambridge Companion to the History of the Book (Cambridge UP 2015); and her brief editorial for SHARP News, “In My View: Women and Book History” (Autumn 1998), which continues to be a touchstone for the developing field of feminist bibliography.


The Archive of Publishers’ Records, Special Collections, University of Reading. The project holds the archives of twenty major British publishing firms including Longman, Macmillan, Routledge & Kegan Paul, the Hogarth Press, Jonathan Cape, and Chatto & Windus.

The Waterloo Directory of English Newspapers and Periodicals, 1800–1900. Published in searchable electronic form, the Directory supports research in digitized Victorian periodicals.


Bibles imprimées du XVe au XVIIIe siècle conservése à Paris, eds. Martine Delaveau and Denise Hillard. A catalog of the early modern printed Bibles that survive in the main Parisian libraries.