‘Of the making of books…’ : Thomas Nelson and the SAPPHIRE initiative

McCleery, Alistair and Finkelstein, David and Bromage, Sarah (2004) ‘Of the making of books…’ : Thomas Nelson and the SAPPHIRE initiative. International Review of Scottish Studies, 29. pp. 29-48.


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For over five hundred years, the printed word has played a central role in human development, revolutionising communications and transforming society. Between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries, Edinburgh played a particularly important and influential part in this communication revolution, establishing itself as a worldrenowned centre for printing and publishing. One of the city's most famous publishers and printers was Thomas Nelson and Sons, which specialised in producing popular literature, children's books, educational books, Bibles and religious texts. From its founding in 1798 to its departure from Scotland in 1968, Nelsons was an established and well-known presence in Scotland, its Parkside Works on Dalkeith Road a major landmark in the Edinburgh cityscape. This paper charts its history as an international publisher and printer, examines its place in the working lives of its employees, and looks at the impact of its philanthropic activities on the social fabric of Edinburgh. Itdraws on social history research and original interviews with former Nelsons employees conducted under the SAPPHIRE International Review of Scottish Studies Vol. 29 2004 29F(Scottish Archive of Print and Publishing Records) initiative.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management > Media, Communication and Production
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2009 14:07
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2017 13:42
URI: http://eresearch.qmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/204


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