ESPRit, the European Society for Periodical Research, was founded in 2009 by a group of periodical researchers from Austria, Belgium, England, the Netherlands, Scotland, Sweden, and the United States. The aim of the organization is to unite the resources of individual scholars from various disciplines who work with periodicals.

Researchers throughout Europe find periodicals of their own and other nations indispensable resources for understanding such practices as the reception of literature, the segmentation of markets, shifts from reading of newspapers in public venues to domestic consumption of news, gender issues in reading, and the development of literary nationalisms. Although many of these scholars explore similar issues, they have tended to work in isolation and lacked a combined perspective. ESPRit aims to provide a platform for periodical researchers through its website, listserv, conferences and online journal.

ESPRit takes an interdisciplinary approach and focuses on both English and non-English-language periodicals. It transcends specific thematic interests, although the emphasis will be on European research. ESPRit is affiliated with various European and American research groups, such as the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing, the Research Society for American Periodicals, the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals, the Arts and Humanities Alliance, TIGRE (Texte et Image, Groupe de Recherche à l’Ecole), and Projectgroep Tijdschriftstudies (Huizinga Instituut, the Netherlands) to ensure a broadly international and transatlantic collaboration.

ESPRit currently has around 400 members that stay in contact through the network website, which keeps track of current research in the field and serves as a medium to share research findings and material. The ESPRit committee organises annual international conferences during which members can define common topics in the field of periodical research and explore ways to publish together.