Prof David Finkelstein awarded a Fellowship of the English Association

One of SAPPHIRE's co-directors, David Finkelstein, has been awarded a Fellowship of the English Association for his contribution to the enrichment and promotion of English in his academic work. 


David Finkelstein, Research Professor of Media and Print Culture at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh is to be honoured with a Fellowship of the English Association.

Founded in 1906, The English Association is a Learned Society which aims to further knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of the English language. It has a long tradition of honouring distinguished figures who have made a special contribution to the promotion of the language arts.

Professor Finkelstein is being recognised for his significant contribution to enriching and promoting English through his academic work. He specialises in cultural, narrative and print media studies, and has specific interests in Victorian print culture and general book history. He is co-director of the Scottish Archive of Print and Publishing History Records (SAPPHIRE), The SAPPHIRE project records the social, economic and cultural history of the Scottish printing and publishing industries in the twentieth century and was recently honoured with a Glenfiddich Living Scotland Award for its contribution to the preservation of Scotland’s cultural heritage. 

As a new Fellow of the English Association, Professor Finkelstein will play an important role as an ambassador for the promotion of language, literature and creativity. 

Currently The English Association has over 250 Fellows including writers, educationalists, librarians, journalists, critics, and editors. Last year, Fellows took part in an event in Glasgow which paid tribute to poet Edwin Morgan on his 90th birthday.

Professor Finkelstein said: “I am pleased that my work in the field of literary culture and print heritage has been deemed worthy of such an honour. It is a significant distinction, demonstrating the level of high quality research supported and found in new universities such as Queen Margaret.”


  • Prior to joining Queen Margaret University ten years ago, Professor Finkelstein was an archivist at the National Library of Scotland, a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, and a lecturer and senior lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University.
  • Past presidents of The English Association have included John Galsworthy, Harley Granville–Barker, Sir Kenneth Clark and Dame Rebecca West. 

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Successful launch of Edinburgh City of Print

14 January 2010 saw the successful launch at Edinburgh Napier University of Edinburgh City of Print, a multimedia website offering a wealth of print and publishing related material held in the collections of the City of Edinburgh Museums. A SAPPHIRE project funded by the AHRC and Museum Galleries Scotland, Edinburgh City of Print gives visitors the opportunity to view previously unseen items from these collections , to understand the history of these key industries that shaped Edinburgh, and to discover the working lives behind them. Photos of the launch can be seen here.

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SAPPHIRE team members presented results of ongoing funded projects

SAPPHIRE team members presented results of ongoing funded projects at the international conference of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing in Toronto, 23-27 June 2009. Sessions featuring SAPPHIRE work included 'Text and Technology: Web 2.0 Applications and Book History', and 'Migrant Printers and Transnational Printing Networks, 1840-1918'.

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'Words From Home' project to study the changing tastes and habits of Scottish readers abroad

The Carnegie Trust has awarded SAPPHIRE researcher Dr. Linda Fleming funding to interview Scottish ex-pats born in the 1930s and 1940s, who now live in New Zealand, Canada, Australia, South Africa and the USA. The oral histories collected will uncover the lives and reading practices of volunteer interviewees who have been part of the Scottish diaspora in the twentieth century. The project adds another dimension to ongoing AHRC funded SAPPHIRE work into Scottish reading habits.

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People Behind the Pages: Making Books in Scotland

Museum of Edinburgh, 142 Canongate, Royal Mile, Edinburgh: 13 September 2008-17 January 2009

A free exhibition documenting the working lives of people involved in book production; authors, editors, paper-makers, printers, booksellers, librarians and finally the Scottish readers who bought and borrowed the books. The exhibition exploits material gathered over the last ten years by the Scottish Archive of Print and Publishing History Records (SAPPHIRE) and allows a glimpse into the lives of the ‘People behind the pages’. It includes film footage of the various stages of book production as well as a unique opportunity to hear the voices of individuals from all stages of production talking about their working lives.

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