Conference Report: Ambassadors of the Book, part 1

I thought it might be worthwhile writing a report of this conference that I attended recently at the University of Antwerp. It's probably mostly of interest to those who are or want to be special collections librarians... The two-day conference, subtitled 'Competences for heritage librarians', was organised by Pierre Delsaerdt who teaches in the Library... Continue Reading →

History of Libraries Research Seminar

A series of research seminars on the History of Libraries take place annually at  Senate House, University of London, sponsored by the Institute for English Studies, the Institute of Historical Research and the Library and Information History Group of CILIP. The seminars are free and open to everyone. And this year there's one of particular... Continue Reading →

The Genius of Illumination

A little late to the party but I recently went to see the Royal Manuscripts exhibition at the British Library. Many of the manuscripts from the exhibition are also now featuring in a BBC4 series on the private lives of medieval kings, along with our own MS 183, a copy of Bede's Life of St... Continue Reading →

A busy week

Wer're gearing up in the library for the annual Audit Dinner on Friday evening. This year we've also scheduled a one-day conference to coincide with the dinner which has been organised by Visiting Fellow Dr Satoko Tokunaga and is in collaboration with Keio University. The conference addresses digitisation of manuscripts and rare books and includes... Continue Reading →

Treasures of Heaven

There's been a lot of media attention about the new exhibition in the old reading room at the British Museum which opens on Thursday. It's called 'Treasures of Heaven: saints, relics and devotion in medieval Europe'. It's a great opportunity to showcase a range of beautiful objects from the whole of the medieval period, from... Continue Reading →

Looking at Books as History

This is the title of a talk I attended recently at Emmanuel College, Cambridge which was given by David Pearson, director of Libraries for the City of London. David talked about the importance of books as material and social objects, of value and importance beyond the texts they contain. Studying books as physical objects -... Continue Reading →

National Library of Wales

I spent last week in sunny Aberystwyth, home to the National Library of Wales. The town is small, only about 20,00 people, and everywhere you go you can see the huge grey library perched on the hill. I took a tour and was privileged enough to see behind the scenes and find out something about... Continue Reading →

Oxford visit

Last week was the biennial gathering of Oxford and Cambridge college librarians - a great chance to meet and swap ideas with our counterparts from 'the other place'. It was nice to meet the librarian of Corpus Christi College, Oxford - after redirecting a lot of enquiries in her direction - and receiving a fair... Continue Reading →

The Beauty of Books

Looking forward to the new 4-part documentary series that starts on BBC4 this evening, The Beauty of Books. The first episode, 'Ancient Bibles' features the fourth-century Codex Sinaiticus and the fabulous twelfth-century Winchester Bible - and Dr de Hamel. The episodes were filmed in various libraries, including the BL and St John's College, Oxford.

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