A major transnational research initiative involving partners from eight different countries is in development, with the aim of documenting the manner in which printing personnel, trade skills and trade information circulated across the English speaking world in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the manner in which social identities were forged and maintained in such print trade arenas. An initial symposium on the subject, supported by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation was held 1-2 October 2010 in Edinburgh. A follow on symposium, sponsored by the University of Southampton's International Fund, was held 9 October 2010.
A British Academy funded pilot study run between 2006-2008 evaluated to what extent Scots migration over the last 150 years has contributed to the skills base and infrastructure of the print trade in New Zealand. Working in collaboration with Victoria University of Wellington, SAPPHIRE sponsored research into Scots who were involved in New Zealand print culture, explored what were some of the results, whether the skills and knowledge gained in New Zealand were fed back to Scotland, and produced reports on primary research material available to develop further studies on the subject.
Preliminary research, funded by the Carnegie Trust, the Bibliographical Society and the Printing Historical Society has enabled initial research into aspects related to circulation of personnel and knowledge across Scottish printing union networks in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Subjects being researched include membership data, STA journal publications and communication networks, regional, national and international migration and the 'tramping typographer' phenomena.
Key factors in shaping transnational communication links and print union identity were typographical journals, usually produced under the auspices of local or national printing trade unions. Projects and initiatives linked to this aspect of print and typographical activity and social networks form part of the Printers on the Move initiative.
Scots input has been instrumental in establishing industrial centres of paper making activity on both the North and South Island of New Zealand. Some initial results of our British Academy funded evaluation of past and contemporary paper making history and practice in New Zealand are represented in this section.
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