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This one-day course offers an introduction to the subject of book forgery. It is designed to equip students with the necessary skills to identify fakes, in addition to providing a historical overview of their production from the early modern period to the present day. Students will learn about false imprints, techniques of duplication, the doctoring of facsimiles, sophisticated and ‘made-up’ books, and the falsification of provenance. There will be a strong focus on using bibliographical evidence from type and paper to identify anachronism and undisclosed tampering. 

The course is aimed at booksellers, librarians, academics, graduate students, and collectors. Although no specialist prior knowledge is required, a basic understanding of bibliographical description and collation will be advantageous.

This short course is part of the London Rare Books School programme.

Tea, coffee and lunch will be provided to all delegates.

Course Structure

09:30-11:00 (Seminar 1)
11:00-11:20 (Break)
11:20-12:50 (Seminar 2)
12:50-13:30 (Break)
13:30-15:00 (Seminar 3)
15:00-15:20 (Break)
15:20-16:50 (Seminar 4)
16:50-17:00 (Reflection)

Provisional seminar topics include:

  • Seminar 1: Fakes and Facsimiles
  • Seminar 2: False Imprints and Creative Forgeries
  • Seminar 3: Sophisticated and ‘Made-Up’ Books
  • Seminar 4: Forged Provenance

As seminar topics have not yet been finalised these are subject to change.

Bursary Applications

Thanks to a generous grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, ten bursaries are available to cover fees and limited support for travel and subsistence. 

Bursary applications are now closed.

General Admission

Once bursary applications have closed and places accepted, general admission places will open in Mid April 2024.

Course Fees

  • Standard: £175
  • Concession*: £100


The course is limited to 15 delegates and bookings must be made by the Friday 3 May 2024.