Squires C, Nash A & Willison I (2019) Introduction. In: Nash A, Squires C & Willison IR (eds.) Cambridge History of the Book in Britain Volume 7: The Twentieth Century and Beyond. Cambridge History of the Book in Britain, 7. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 1-38. http://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/subjects/literature/printing-and-publishing-history/cambridge-history-book-britain-volume-7?format=HB
First paragraph: When the Cambridge history of the book in Britain project was first conceived in the early 1990s it was acknowledged by D.F. McKenzie that, compared to the first six projected volumes in the series, ‘the terms of reference’ for the final volume – originally planned to cover the period 1914-2000 – ‘remain disturbingly imprecise’. McKenzie offered three explanatory factors: ‘partly because the book must now share its functions with other media with which it is complexly interdependent, partly because the archival resources are so much richer than for earlier periods, [and] partly because new technologies and the emergence of multinational publishing weaken the very premises of a national history’. A quarter of a century on we might add a fourth factor. Compared to earlier volumes in the series the period after 1914 remains largely unmapped – or at best inconsistently plotted. With a much smaller body of existing research on which to draw, this volume should be seen as laying the groundwork for future exploration of the book in Britain since 1914 as much as the summation of current work in the field.