Early printed books - and the men and women involved in their production - are the focus of my research. I have a particular interest in women as booksellers, publishers, printers, hawkers and distributors of books; and in the development of the provincial book trade. I have recently completed work on an early C18 Derbyshire reader and his access to books: A Catalogue of the Library of Titus Wheatcroft of Ashover. I am currently working on the papers of the Franklin family of Lincolnshire.
As Director of the British Book Trade Index I have collaborated with many colleagues - librarians, archivists, local historians as well as academics from other universities - to establish the biographical details of those in the book and allied trades before 1851. I am a member of the Bibliographical Society, and of the editorial panel of Publishing History. I have been on the advisory groups of other funded projects, such as the BookHAD Project (London College of Printing) and the Beyond the Book Project. In 1998 I was a co-founder of the Book History Research Network which supports research into the history of the book nationwide. I am a member of several Birmingham research networks, including the Centre for Reformation and Early Modern Studies (CREMS).