History events at the IHR

'How Hard a Task you Lay vpon Mee you doe not Knowe': Editing the Libraries of the First and Second Viscounts Conway, 1610-1645

04 December 2012, 17:30 - 19:30

Event Type: Seminar


Daniel Starza Smith (University College, London)


Between 1610 and his death in 1631 Sir Edward Conway (later first Viscount Conway), enjoyed a spectacular rise in professional fortune, transforming from a Netherlands-based soldier to a Secretary of State who served both James I and Charles I. Conway acquired most of his education and courtly polish by seeking out literature in manuscript and by collecting around 500 printed books. Two catalogues exist of his libraries – dated, fortuitously, 1610 and 1631. I am in the process of editing these catalogues for Private Libraries in Renaissance England, and this paper presents my findings about this important statesman and patron's intellectual profile at the beginning and end of this period. It also expands previous work on Conway's son, Edward, second Viscount Conway (d.1655), one of the greatest private book collectors of the seventeenth century, whose collections totalled some 13,000 printed volumes.

Please note:  this session takes place in the Dr Seng T Lee Centre for Manuscript and Book Studies in Senate House Library (fourth floor).


Venue: Dr Seng T Lee Centre for Manuscript and Book Studies

Senate House Library
4th Floor, Senate House
Malet Street
London WC1

Related Events: History of Libraries History