History seminars at the IHR

History of Libraries

 A series of research seminars, which are freely open for anyone to attend, has been organized by the Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London.

The seminars are jointly sponsored by the Institute of English Studies, the Institute of Historical Research, and the Library & Information History Group of CILIP.

Meetings usually take place monthly during term-time on Tuesdays at 5.30 p.m. in Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU, but a number have been arranged elsewhere (see below).

Conveners: Giles Mandelbrote (Lambeth Palace Library); Dr. Keith A. Manley (National Trust); Professor Simon Eliot (Institute of English Studies); Dr.Raphaële Mouren (Warburg Institute); Professor Isabel Rivers (Queen Mary)

For enquiries relating to this seminar please contact Jon Millington: jon.millington@sas.ac.uk

Venue: Various locations inside and outside the University of London, as in the programme, below.

Time: Mainly Tuesdays, beginning at 17:30, unless otherwise indicated in the programme, below. 

Some podcasts from this seminar are available online

Summer Term 2015
DateSeminar details
5 May Bombs on Books: Germany's Lost Libraries of WWII

Dr. Jan L. Alessandrini (University of St. Andrews)

Questions concerning the rescue, reconstruction, and restitution of libraries during (and after) WWII continue to fox book historians. This paper focuses on the administrative and practical measures undertaken by German libraries that suffered some of the worst damages, including Hamburg, Lübeck and Rostock, to rescue rare books from deliberate destruction. Furthermore, it investigates the reconstruction that took place in the immediate aftermath of WWII, whilst tracing the displacement of books taken as trophies of war. Finally, this paper tackles the (thorny) issue of restitution, considering Cold War relationships, transnational policies implemented to return lost books after the thaw in the 1990s, as well as the technological initiatives that are making rediscovered materials available again to wider audiences.

Venue:  Warburg Institute, Woburn Square, London, WC1H 0AB

2 June 'Painters, limners, writers, and bookbinders': Matthew Parker's printed books
William Hale (Cambridge University Library)

The Parker collection of manuscripts at Corpus Christi College is one of the glories of Cambridge, but Parker's still larger library of printed books has remained relatively little explored. As Parker Taylor Bibliographer, William Hale spent three years cataloguing the collection and here looks at the history and characteristics of the library of one of the great English reformers.

Venue: Lambeth Palace at 5.30 p.m. Pre-booking is required, and details will be supplied later.


June / July 

Repeat of last year’s new library walk by Alice Ford-Smith (Bernard Quaritch Ltd.)