James W. P. Campbell is an architect and architectural historian. Born in Harrogate in North Yorkshire, he studied architecture at Trinity College, Cambridge. After working in the US and Hong Kong, he returned to Cambridge to do a PhD and became Fellow in Architecture and History of Art at Queens' College, Cambridge (see picture). He is married with one child and divides his time between writing and lecturing. His first book "Brick a World History" was Guardian Book of the Week when it was released in 2003 and has appeared in eight languages. Not just a history of bricks as objects, it tells the story of how they have been used throughout the ages. Most histories of architecture focus on stone buildings. "Brick, a World History" provides an alternative way of looking at the history of architecture from the beginning of building to the present day. "Building St Paul's" was described on publication as "compulsory reading for architectural students". It uses the story of the building of St Paul's Cathedral in London to explain the workings of the building industry in the seventeenth century, a period that established the role of the architect and modern building practice.
"The Library: a World History" sets out to tell the history of the library as a building type from the invention of writing to the present day. At a time when the future of libraries is under debate, this book seeks to explain the role played by buildings in forming our idea of the library today. The book, which took five years to produce, was released in October 2013.