Caroline Archer-Parré

Prof. Dr. Caroline Archer-Parré is Director of the Centre for Printing History & Culture, a postgraduate research centre which straddles the University of Birmingham and  Birmingham City University, and Chair of the Baskerville Society. With a particular interest in printing and typographic history of the English Midlands from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries, she has published widely and is the author of three books, a contributing author to numerous journals, and a regular contributor to the trade and academic press. She has just commenced a three-year collaborative research project with the University of Cambridge entitled ‘Small Performances: investigating the typographic punches of John Baskerville (1707–75) through heritage science and practice-led research’.

Melanie Bigold

Dr. Melanie Bigold is a Reader in English Literature at Cardiff University, where she researches and lectures on literature and book history of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. She has published articles, chapters, and books on a range of topics, including women’s poetry, letter writing, and manuscript culture; marginalia in Restoration play texts; life writing; and even twentieth-century ballet. Her current research project is the first book-length work on women’s libraries and book ownership in Britain, 1660-1820. This research was supported by the award of a prestigious Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship. An account of the project can be found on the Trust’s website. She is a section editor for the Elizabeth Montagu Correspondence Online, and is currently the director of the MA in English Literature Programme at Cardiff University. In 2020, she became a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Marlou de Bont

Dr. Marlou de Bont is curator of modern printed works at the Hendrik Conscience Heritage Library in Antwerp. She holds a PhD in Literature (Vienna University / Antwerp University) and specializes in 19th- and early 20th-century Flemish literature and book culture.

Pierre Delsaerdt

Prof. Dr. Pierre Delsaerdt is professor at the University of Antwerp and part-time professor at KU Leuven. He teaches on book and library history, the history of the Low Countries, and history and cultural heritage. His research focuses on the design of early printed books and on the history of libraries and bibliophily, especially in the Southern Low Countries in the early modern period and the nineteenth century. Recent publications include a monograph, together with Elly Cockx-Indestege, on the book collecting activities of the Arenberg family (Brepols 2022). Together with Esther Van Thielen he edited a volume of essays accompanying the exhibition ‘Baroque influencers. Jesuits, Rubens, and the arts of persuasion’ (Hannibal 2023). His current research is about the confiscation of books by the French revolutionary regime in Belgium, 1794–1795.

Gerda Dendooven

Gerda Dendooven was born in Kortrijk, Belgium. She studied Free Graphics at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent. At the beginning of her career, she supervised children's art studios in museums for several years. She currently also teaches Illustration at Luca School of Arts, in Ghent. 

She makes drawings for stories by other writers, but also for her own stories. Many of her stories became theater plays and she is sometimes on stage herself. For several years now she has regularly made live images at concerts or literary performances. In 2020 she made live images for the Brussels Philharmonic during the full performance of Peer Gynt and together with Mauro Pawlovski and Fikry El Azzouzi she forms Trio El Azzouzi. With Elvis Peeters, she came up with Mister Paper, which was shown as an animation series on Ketnet in 2021.

Dendooven has a style that is immediately recognizable through atmosphere and composition, color harmony and color alienation. Often inspired by the Flemish expressionists. Proportions and perspective are not taken into account. People are central in her drawings, interiors are only suggested by attributes. She uses archetypes (The Mother, The Doctor) and humor. She searches for the most appropriate techniques and lines for each book. She mostly works with pencil, paint and scissors. Much of her work for magazines has been created digitally or screen-printed. In 2007 she was appointed the first (and only) Children's Consul on behalf of the Belgian Reading Foundation. A task of ambassador for the children, especially with regard to art, culture and especially literature.

In 2022 and 2023 she was nominated for the Alma, Astrid Lindgren Award.

Henk de Smaele

Prof. Dr. Henk de Smaele is professor at the University of Antwerp. His current research focus is the history of gender and sexuality, and the history of cultural encounters between European and Ottoman/Turkish citizens in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is involved in several interdisciplinary projects on gender and sexuality, collaborating regularly with members of the Antwerp Gender and Sexuality Studies Network (A*). He is also co-chair of the Belgian Archive and Research Centre for Women’s History (Brussels) and founding member of the Forum for Belgian Research in History of Women, Gender and Sexuality.

Maartje De Wilde

Dr. Maartje De Wilde is team leader and curator of Special Collections at Antwerp University Library. She holds a master’s degree in Dutch and English Literature (Antwerp University) and a PhD in Literature (Antwerp University). She specializes in seventeenth-century book history and literature from the Low Countries and worked at the universities of Antwerp, Amsterdam (UvA) and Brussels (ULB). She has a great interest in transposing academic topics for a wide audience and she was the project leader of several book and heritage exhibitions.

Nina Geerdink

Prof. Dr. Nina Geerdink is an assistant professor of early modern Dutch literature at Utrecht University. She specializes in authorship, patronage, women’s writing, and social poetry. Among her publications are the co-edited volume Economic Imperatives for Women’s Writing in Early Modern Europe (Brill 2018), the article ‘Economic Advancement and Reputation Strategies: Seventeenth-century Dutch Women Writing for Profit’ (in Renaissance Studies, 2020) and the book chapter ‘Women’s Strength Made Perfect in Weakness: Paratextual Authority Constructions in Printed Vernacular Religious Literature by Early Modern Dutch Women Writers’ (together with Feike Dietz, in B. Vanacker, & L. van Deinsen (Eds.), Portraits & Poses, Leuven University Press, 2022).

Jessica Glaser

Jessica Glaser is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Wolverhampton whose doctoral research has reappraised the First Lady of Typography, Beatrice Warde ( 1900-1969). Jessica has written books on design and typography, including The Graphic Design Exercise Book. She is a regular contributor to conferences and has articles published by online magazine, Smashing. She has contributed a biography of Beatrice Warde to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and her chapter on Warde’s Anglo-American book exchange, Books Across the Sea, is part of Women in Print 1, published by Peter Lang Publishers.

Patrick Goossens

Patrick Goossens studied history at the Universities of Antwerp and Leuven. He is affiliated with the Museum Plantin-Moretus through the Association of Friends of the Museum, of which he is now chairman. He currently prepares a PhD-thesis on the dissemination and implementation of new letterpress technology in nineteenth-century Belgium. Mesmerized by the press room at the Museum Plantin-Moretus in his youth, he began collecting, using, and researching historical printing equipment and processes. Housed in a warehouse-workshop, this collection now features over a hundred nineteenth-century printing presses, expanded with type casting and typographical punch and matrix making. The collection, and its extensive library of printing manuals and examples of techniques, serve as an industrial-archaeological cave for researchers, emphasizing the preservation of knowledge associated with historical production methods and their global dissemination.

Vanessa Joosen

Vanessa Joosen is full professor of English literature and children’s literature at the University of Antwerp. There she led the ERC-funded project “Constructing Age for Young Readers” (2019-2024) and organises the annual Children’s Literature Summer School. She is the author of, amongst others, Adulthood in Children’s Literature (2018), co-author of Age in David Almond’s Oeuvre (2023) and edited Connecting Childhood and Old Age in Popular Media (2018). Her research interests include fairy tales, age studies, translation studies and digital humanities. Vanessa Joosen is currently the vice-president of the International Research Society for Children’s Literature.

Marie-Charlotte Le Bailly

Dr. Marie-Charlotte Le Bailly is curator of early printed books at the Hendrik Conscience Heritage Library in Antwerp. She studied medieval history and obtained her PhD in History at the University of Leiden in 2001. Besides her dissertation on justice at the Court of Holland in the fifteenth century, she has published a great deal about judicial institutions and justice in the Low Countries in the period 1400–1800. Currently, her research focuses on the early printing of legislation in Antwerp in the sixteenth century.

Kristof Selleslach

Kristof Selleslach is curator of the Archives at the Museum Plantin-Moretus in Antwerp. He is making the business and family archives of the Officina Plantiniana accessible. His research topics relate to the Plantin Press, including the succession of the family business to the next generation, the privilege policy, and the journeymen on the shop floor. He started a PhD at the University of Amsterdam on the intergenerational succession and transformation of the Officina Plantiniana in the seventeenth century.

Patricia Stoop

Dr. Patricia Stoop is a research fellow at the Ruusbroec Institute and teaches several courses in historical Dutch literature and cultural history at the University of Antwerp. She studied female authorship and authority in late medieval and early modern vernacular sermons from the Low Countries and was one of the initiators of the international and interdisciplinary project Nuns’ Literacies in Medieval Europe. Recently she published, with Veronica O’Mara,  Circulating the Word of God in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Catholic Preachers and Catholic Preaching Across Manuscript and Print (c. 1450 to c. 1550) (Turnhout: Brepols, 2022). She is currently working on her project ‘Birgittine Monasteries in the Low Countries as Communities of Learning and Sites of Knowledge Transmission in a European Context (c. 1440-1600)’. 

Steven Van Impe

Dr. Steven Van Impe is curator of early printed books and manuscripts at the Hendrik Conscience Heritage Library in Antwerp. He holds a master’s in History (Ghent University) and in Library and Information Science (Antwerp University) and a PhD in Literature (Antwerp University). He is also connected to the Institute for the Study of Literature in the Netherlands (ISLN) of Antwerp University and publishes on the history of printing and publishing in the Southern Netherlands in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Heleen Wyffels

Dr. Heleen Wyffels is a historian and heritage professional focusing on book and social history in early modern Europe. Her PhD, entitled Women and Work in Early Modern Printing Houses. Family Firms in Antwerp, Douai, and Leuven (1500–1700) analyses the economic role of women in printing houses (defended in 2021). As project leader for rare books and analytical bibliography at Vlaamse Erfgoedbibliotheken she is currently working on ‘STCV. The Bibliography of the Hand Press Book in Flanders'.