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Andrew Pettegree (University of St Andrews), Arthur der Weduwen (University of St Andrews): 'The Institutional Library and the History of Book Collecting: Fragility and Perseverance'

This presentation will consider the long and tumultuous history of institutional libraries, from the first mediaeval monasteries to the national, academic and heritage libraries of the present day, paying particular attention to the early modern period, when many institutional libraries were neglected and dispersed. While we like to consider institutional libraries as stable collections, we will make the case for their inherent fragility, and demonstrate how their development has always been reliant upon private book collectors, and affected by changes in intellectual fashion and literary taste.

The History of Libraries seminar series concentrates on examining all aspects of the provision of libraries during all periods of history and all countries. Talks are based on substantial original research and are usually by established researchers; but we do encourage new students to present their research as well. The seminar can be found on Twitter: @HistLibraries

Organisers: Giles Mandelbrote (Lambeth Palace Library); Dr. Keith A. Manley (National Trust); Dr. Raphaële Mouren (Warburg Institute); Professor Isabel Rivers (Queen Mary)