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London Rare Books School, Week 1 - Collectors, Collections, and Collecting

decoration20 June 2016|24 June 2016
Dr Cynthia Johnston (IES), Dr Karen Attar (Senate House Library)

A chronological examination of collecting manuscripts and books in Britain. Beginning with perhaps the UK’s most prolific and influential collectors, Sir Robert Cotton and Archbishop Matthew Parker, the course will examine the personal and socio-cultural impetus behind the process of collecting, as well as the content of the collections themselves. Moving on from the sixteenth century collections of Cotton and Parker, the seventeenth century Library of Sir Hans Sloane will be examined, and the eighteenth century collection of Sir William Boothby. For the nineteenth century, the influence of John Ruskin will be discussed with particular attention paid to the collections amassed during the Industrial Revolution in the North West of England. The collections of Senate House Library will be examined in the light of this cultural heritage. Visits to major collections will be arranged.

London - with its long history of book production, its role as one of the world’s major publishing centres, its famous libraries, museums, archives, and antiquarian bookshops - is the ideal place in which to study the history of the book. And the London Rare Books School (LRBS) is one of the world’s leading institutions in this field. In June and July 2016 London Rare Books Schools once again offers a series of five-day, intensive courses on a variety of book-related subjects to be taught in and around Senate House which is the centre of the University of London's federal system.

The courses are taught by internationally renowned scholars, including the ILAB affiliates and ABA members Angus O’Neill and Laurence Worms, using the unrivalled library and museum resources of London, including the British Library, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Senate House Libraries, and many more. Each course consists of thirteen seminars amounting in all to twenty hours of teaching time spread between Monday lunchtime and Friday afternoon. In small groups of no more than 12 participants, the students have plenty of opportunity to talk to the teachers and to get very close to the books. All courses stress the materiality of the book, so students will have close encounters with remarkable books and manuscripts and other artefacts from some of the world's greatest collections. There will also be timetabled 'library time' that will allow students to explore the rich resources of the University's Senate House Library, one of the UK's major research libraries.


20 June 2016|24 June 2016
Malet Street
Institute of English Studies in the University of London
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