Good heavens! How on earth did this week pass us by so quickly? I think the short answer is, we haven’t stopped here in the offices of Family Wise Limited this week. Friday has come around and we are still running like hamsters in a wheel to keep up with all the cases we are working on. Of course, that’s a good thing and not something we are complaining about….!
But Friday also brings to an end the week of amazing websites and it is brought to a close with the British Book Trade Index (BBTI) – an index of names with brief biographical details and trade details of individuals who were trading by 1851 and worked in England and Wales in the book trade. [There is a separate Scottish Book Trade Index maintained by The National Library of Scotland.]
The website states that, “BBTI includes not only printers, publishers and booksellers but also other related trades, such as stationers, papermakers, engravers, auctioneers, ink-makers and sellers of medicines, so that the book trade can be studied in the context of allied trades”, though it is only intended as an index to other sources and not to be a biographical dictionary of individuals in the book trade.
The project is currently maintained by Dr Maureen Bell (Project Director) and Dr John Hinks (Honorary Research Fellow), though BBTI was founded 31 years ago (in 1983) by Peter C. G. Isaac, Professor Emeritus of Civil and Public Health Engineering, University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Originally supported by the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and the Sir James Knott Charitable Trust, the project has received financial assistance from the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust.
A brief search for the surname Cawthorne returns two records:
Probing the record for every available piece of information, George Cawthorne was declared bankrupt in 1801 and at the time, it would appear, he was the librarian/owner of a circulating library:
The index can be searched by name, place and various other options. Is it time to say – again – all you people out there who are doing one-name or one-place studies, what are you waiting for?!
One of the more interestingly named individuals was John Bookbinder, a bookbinder and servant to Martin Coeffin in 1522. I am sure there are many more…. I look forward to hearing your findings!