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Appears in Collections:Literature and Languages eTheses
Title: Publishing in Scotland 1970–2020: from cultural heritage to global engagement
Author(s): Piotrowska, Alice
Supervisor(s): Squires, Claire
Tasker, Gill
Sinclair, Marion
Barclay, Sheena
Keywords: publishing
publishing studies
independent publishing
Issue Date: Aug-2023
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: This study examines the history of the book publishing industry in Scotland from approximately 1970 to 2020. The main aim is to generate a history of the trade that goes substantially beyond existing literature by incorporating a business-oriented perspective and investigating how ideas of nationhood and culture interrelate with those of economics and commerce in the transition to a global marketplace. Using a combination of oral histories and archival research, the project addresses the following key questions: how has Scottish publishing developed in the past five decades, what have been its opportunities and challenges, and what is the relationship between these opportunities and challenges and the factors of conglomeration, internationalisation, and socio-political change? The thesis traces the development of the trade by considering the impact of conglomeration, the emergence of new independent presses, and the efforts to grow and internationalise the industry. Building on detailed case studies, it narrates the history of Scottish publishing from an industry operating ‘in’ Scotland – centred in Edinburgh and Glasgow while extending its reach across the British Empire – to one reclaiming its cultural heritage and political impact by publishing books ‘for’ Scotland and, finally, to one seeking growth opportunities beyond national borders. Overall, the study reveals the practice of cooperative competition as key in allowing the Scottish book trade to develop and withstand the political and economic turmoil of the past five decades. It emphasises the pivotal role of public subsidy in the development of publishing and examines the continued professionalisation of the trade, showcasing how the rejuvenation of the industry in the period related to ideas of publishing in national and transnational contexts.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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