SAPPHIRE has created a valuable sound archive and database of material on social, economic and cultural aspects of the twentieth century Scottish print and publishing industry from people who are or have been involved within that industry during their working lives.
SAPPHIRE aims to investigate and record a broad range of activities within both the printing and publishing industries. Current activities are listed below with links to more detailed material.
Edinburgh City of Print (funded by the AHRC and Museums Galleries Scotland)
Edinburgh City of Print is a collaborative project between SAPPHIRE and the City of Edinburgh Museums that will provide online access to the Museum's print and publishing collections.
Printers on the Move
SAPPHIRE team members based at Queen Margaret University are working in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Southampton and Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand on linked projects researching the transnational circulation of printing personnel, trade skills and trade information throughout the English speaking world in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Individual project details can be found here.
Scottish Readers Remember (AHRC-funded)
The study of reading and reception as social phenomena is now central to our understanding of literature, history and culture. It has become an established field within Book History. Scottish Readers Remember represents the first sustained and focused attempt to record the reading experiences of Scots in the twentieth century and, from them, to analyse not only changing tastes, practices, and habits but also the contribution of reading to an individual and collective sense of identity. Transcribed interviews, spread across communities in Scotland, will form the core of evidence and will be complemented by use of archival and other sources.
'Wayzgoose' is a term formerly used in the UK to describe the annual social outings organised by unions and management in the publishing and printing trades. These form a long tradition dating back to the earliest days of printing and the forms of work and social organisation that characterised it. They were a major fixture in the working calendar of Scottish publishing and printing firms. There exists little record, however, of the nature and role of such social gatherings in working lives. The project utilises oral and ephemeral material to investigate and document the Wayzgoose.
An Accidental Profession: Booksellers and Bookselling in Scotland
Bookselling in Scotland went through radical changes during the course of the twentieth century. This project documented those changes through the life histories of key and representative figures in the Scottish book trade. The recorded interviews and collected material provide the first insight into the nature of the trade and some of the characters who worked in it.
More than just silence: Libraries and Librarians in Scotland
Interviews are currently being undertaken with retired librarians to gain insight into the changes within libraries and librarianship during the twentieth century. Interviews are being conducted with librarians from a wealth of different library backgrounds including public, academic, school, health and special interest libraries.