In the introduction to their recent book-length study, Geographies of the Book (Ashgate, 2010), editors Miles Ogborn and Charles W.J. Withers observe:
"... taking the geography of the book seriously in parallel with the history of the book means that such geographies must be about more than just mapping the distribution of printers, printing presses and printed words. As we have argued, the geography of the book enters into the very nature of the book itself." (p.10)
It is in the spirit of this notion of "geography" contained with the "nature of the book" that the organizers of the 2013 SHARP conference have borrowed, respectfully, the Ogborn and Withers title for the Philadelphia conference. Our intent is to provide SHARP members with the opportunity to explore the complex relationship between geography and the book as object and idea.
Philadelphia is ideally situated in the American mid-Atlantic, and, historically, served as a key hub of the transatlantic book trade in the late 18th and 19th centuries. It is our hope that the Conference theme will appeal to a wide range of scholars, custodians, and students of book history, and the various geographies within which these histories manifest.