The story of Scotland's first book, 17 January 2023

30 August 2022
The fascinating story behind Scotland's first printed book: the 16th-century volume that may - or may not - have changed Scottish history.


17 January 2023, 6.30pm UK time


In the winter of 1507-08, two men - Walter Chepman and Andro Myllar - set up a strange device in one of the buildings on Edinburgh's Cowgate.  Made of wood, taller than a man, and looking like a cross between a torture implement and a wine press, it was Scotland's first printing press. 

This lecture tells the story of how it came to Scotland, what Chepman and Myllar printed on it, and how that book may (or may not) have changed Scottish history.

Event details

Join Dr Kelsey Jackson Williams for a live c.45-minute illustrated online talk on 17 January, followed by approximately 30 minutes of questions from the audience. The webinar will be recorded and made available to ticket-holders for 7 days after the broadcast.

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The event will be chaired by Dr Allan Kennedy, Lecturer in History at the University of Dundee and consultant editor of History Scotland magazine.

Registration fee: £10. Starts 6.30pm UK time. To find the start time in your time zone, visit TimeAndDate. Got a question? E-mail Rachel Bellerby.

Speaker details

Dr Kelsey Jackson Williams is an Associate Professor of Early Modern Literature at the University of Stirling and studies the intellectual, literary, and material cultures of early modern northern Europe, particularly Scotland. His latest book – ‘Some bonie litle bookes’: A History and Catalogue of the Lindsay Library, 1570-1792  (co-authored with William Zachs) – is available from Brill and he is currently working on a new project which explores the role of 19th-century publication societies, such as Walter Scott’s Bannatyne Club, in shaping modern views of the Scottish past.