Provenance: Historical Book Ownership | Salisbury Cathedral

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Provenance: Historical Book Ownership

Thursday 13th June 2019
10:00 - 12:00
Salisbury Cathedral
David Pearson Historical book ownership talk

Join us for a morning of free talks focusing on the Cathedral library’s rare book collection and exploring the growing interest in historical book ownership.


10am-11am: Exploring Provenance in Historic Books

A talk by David Pearson, author of Provenance Research in Book History, who has lectured and published extensively on the ways in which historic books have been owned, used and bound. 

In recent years, people have become increasingly interested in understanding the ways in which books were read and used in the past – we want to know not just what was printed, but what impact it had. By looking more closely at the former ownership of books, and the ways in which they were collected, annotated and read, we can gain insights into these things, and enter into the interface between the authors and their readers.  David Pearson  will explore these themes and invite us to consider the many interesting things which books can reveal via their ownership history.

David is currently a Research Fellow at the Institute of English Studies, University of London, and his 2018 Lyell Lectures in Oxford focused on Book Ownership in seventeenth-century England. Publicatons include Provenance Research in Book History (1994, new edition 2019), English Bookbinding Styles 1450-1800 (2005), and Books as History (2008).

11am-12 noon:  Focus on  the Cathedral Library.

Two provenance case studies presented by Cathedral library volunteers and staff based on the books in our own liberary.  The first is by library volunteer Peter Hoare who will trace the history of one particular book in our collection which was seized by the Swedish army when they occupied Wurzburg in 1631 during the Thirty Years War.   The second case study Recording Provenance Information: Considerations for Cataloguing will be given jointly by assistant librarian Anne Dutton and library cataloguing volunteer John Dover and will discuss how provenance information is being added to our new library catalogue database.

The session will end with an opportunity for discussion and questions.


This special event is part of our Beyond the Library Door Project click here to learn more about it. 


Booking details

Free, no need to book included in your donation to the Cathedral.