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THE BIBLIO FILE is a podcast about "the book," and an inquiry into the wider world of book culture. Hosted by Nigel Beale it features wide ranging, long-form conversations with best practitioners inside the book trade and out - from writer to reader. Why listen? The hope is that it will help you to read, write, publish, edit, design, and collect better, and improve how you communicate serious, big, necessary, new, good ideas and stories...

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Mar 1, 2018

Guy Baxter has been University Archivist at University of Reading since 2008. His responsibilities include caring for the Archive of British Publishing and Printing, the archives of the Museum of English Rural Life, and the Beckett Collection. Guy has worked in museum archives for over 15 years and has advised on several major research projects including Staging Beckett (AHRC), Giving Voice to the Nation (AHRC) and the East London Theatre Archive/ CEDAR (JISC). He is a Trustee of the Beckett International Foundation.

I met him at the Museum to talk about the Printing and Publishing Archive, and the Ladybird books collection and permanent exhibition. Among other things we discussing the importance of correspondence to the publishing business, Mills and Boon, file sets, literary biography, reader reports, Tolkien, Stanley Unwin, chance and serendipity, the importance of a general pubic audience, Agatha Christie, police mechanics using the Ladybird experts series, the appeal of Ladybird books to adults, and their conservative nature, the civil rights movement, a whitewashed view of history, diasporic nature of archives, competition, Ted Hughes, the Harry Ranson Center, critical mass, personal relationships and Samuel Beckett and archives-led study.