The Folio Society Wins Award for Excellence

This year, for the first time, The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers decided to introduce the Stationers’ Company warrant as a new annual award for product excellence. The Folio Society was invited to enter the Letterpress Shakespeare, completed in 2014. The awards ceremony took place on 29 June at the Stationers’ Hall, a fascinating Grade I listed building in the City of London, built in around 1670 to replace that burnt down in the Great Fire. Joe Whitlock Blundell, our Limited Editions Director, accepted the award from the Master, Ian Locks. There was an exhibition of all the products awarded warrants, and we were delighted to hear the Letterpress Shakespeare highly praised. The Stationers’ Company was founded in 1403 when scribes and illuminators petitioned for a company to oversee their affairs. They traded from permanent, or ‘stationary’, stalls around St Paul’s Cathedral – hence the name. With the advent of printing in England in 1476 came both the risk of plagiarism and the opportunity for the spread of sedition, so the Stationers were given the power to restrict printing. Once a member had asserted ownership of a text or copy, they owned the copyright and no one else was entitled to publish it. Fittingly, all of Shakespeare’s plays would have been so registered with the Stationers, in records still held in the archives at Stationers’ Hall today. award-for-excellence