Photo of Professor Mark Towsey

Professor Mark Towsey MA (Hons), MLitt, PhD, FRHistS

Professor of the History of the Book History


    Personal Statement

    I studied at the University of St Andrews at undergraduate and postgraduate level, completing my doctorate in 2007. After one year at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, as the Past and Present Society’s Postdoctoral Fellow, I arrived in Liverpool in October 2008 on a three-year Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship. I was then appointed to a permanent position as Lecturer in 2010, earning promotion to Professor in 2018.

    I am primarily interested in the history of reading in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, using the practice and experience of reading in the past as a key to understanding much broader social and cultural processes across the English-speaking world. My research on the history of reading and libraries (including four books and more than twenty peer-reviewed essays) has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust, and I am currently leading a £1m digital humanities project on eighteenth-century libraries with collaborators and partners across the UK, USA and Australia.

    Prizes or Honours

    • Faculty Learning and Teaching Award (Team Leader: HLAC200) (2017)
    • Antiquarian Booksellers' Association Award (The Bibliographical Society, 2015)
    • THE FRANK WATSON BOOK PRIZE IN SCOTTISH HISTORY, 2011 (runner up) (Centre for Scottish Studies (Guelph), 2011)
    • SCOTTISH HISTORY BOOK OF THE YEAR (shortlist) (The Saltire Society, 2011)
    • Pantzer New Scholar (Bibliographical Society of America, 2009)
    • Pollard Prize (for the best paper given at the IHR by a postgraduate student) (Institute of Historical Research, 2008)
    • David Berry Prize (for the best article published in Scottish History) (Royal Historical Society, 2007)
    • Economic and Social History Society of Scotland Postgraduate Research Essay Prize (ESHSS, 2007)

    Funded Fellowships

    • Katharine Pantzer Senior Fellowship in Bibliography and the British Book Trades (Bibliographical Society of America, 2015)
    • British Academy Mid-Career Fellow (British Academy, 2014)
    • Frederick A. and Marion S. Pottle Fellowship in 18th-Century British Studies (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale, 2010)
    • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship (The Huntington Library, 2009)
    • W. Jackson Bate/Douglas W. Bryant/American Society for 18th-Century Studies Fellowship (Houghton Library, Harvard University, 2009)
    • Grolier Club Library Fellowship (Grolier Club, New York, 2009)
    • Roger W. Eddy Fellowship (Lewis Walpole Library, Yale, 2008)