Accessibility statement

Joe Saunders



Stationers' Company social networks c.1600-50

Supervisors: Mark Jenner and Helen Smith



I'm working on a social history of the print trade and the Company of Stationers c.1600-50. My study combines qualitative reading of wills to consider things like identity and material culture along with Social Network Analysis to look at social structure. I'm especially interested foreground the roles of individual actors and systems operating beneath the official face of the trade such as the work of women, credit, the role of kinship, and concepts such as social capital and identity. For the academic year 2022-3 I was supported by a bursary from the Economic History Society.

Papers and publications


  • ‘Richard Adams and his Network of Print’ in People of Print: Seventeenth Century (Cambridge University Press: 2023)
  • ‘Female agency in the English print trade, c.1624-1641’ in Women in Print (Peter Lang Publishing: 2022)

  • ‘The Howes family of Puritan booksellers in seventeenth century England’ in Bunyan Studies. No. 25 (2021)

Conference papers


  • ‘English Print Trade wills, c.1600-41’ at Social History Society annual conference, University of Essex, July 2023 
  • ‘Family Historians and our Archives’ at Family Archives Conference, University of Birmingham, June 2023 
  • ‘Local History for Family History’ at Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, February 2023 
  • ‘Your Ancestors and Local History’ at Society of Genealogists, September 2022
  • ‘‘See the truth of the worde I had gathered’; The reading and writing of Nehemiah Wallington’ at Reading Dissent and Dissenting Readers in the Reformation World, 1500-1800, University of Northumbria, July 2022
  • ‘Death of a Stationer: Copies in early seventeenth century publishers’ wills’ at SHARP 2021 'Moving Texts’, University of Munster July 2021
  • ‘Stationers’ Wills 1600-41’ at Centre for Printing History and Culture, 20x20/PechaKucha evening, June 2021
  • ‘The Social World of the Stationers’ Company, c.1600-41’ at Labour, Leisure, and Life seminar series, University of Bristol, May 2021
  • ‘Bequeathing shares: the English Stock in Stationers' wills, 1603-1641’ at Print, Profit and People: Stories of the English Stock: Stationers’ Company Archive Open Evening, April 2021
  • ‘Mastering divisions in the English print-trade c.1600: A case study of the bookseller Thomas Man’ at Division, Dispute and Debate in the Early Modern World, c.1500-1750, University of York Cabinet of Curiosities, April 2021
  • ‘Environments of the English Print Trade c.1600-41, evidence from wills’ at Spaces, Places and the Printing Press, University of Ljubljana, Centre for Printing History and Culture, March 2021
  • ‘Bequeathing Books in the English Print Trade, 1624-41’ at Bibliophilia and Bibliophobia, University of Durham, June 2020
  • ‘Women’s wills in the early seventeenth century Stationers’ Company’ at Women in Print, University of Birmingham, September 2018

Blog posts

External activities


I work as a professional researcher on family, house and local history projects for clients and am an Associate of AGRA (the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives). I also host the 'Really Useful Podcast' for the Family History Federation. I am a Trustee of the British Association for Local History (BALH) and am involved in the educational and outreach work of the charity including organising and hosting talks, speaking and writing about local history. I teach history courses with the learning provider Pharos Tutors and at the Centre for Lifelong Learning at York.

Contact details

Mr Joe Saunders
PhD student
Department of History
University of York
YO10 5DD