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Dr Richard Espley (Head of Modern Collections, Senate House Library): 'Jonathan Cutbill and Book Collecting'

Jonathan Cutbill was a co-founder of Gay's the Word bookshop in Bloomsbury and a passionate campaigner for social justice as well as the leading collector of LBGT related material in Britain. His collection of over 30,000 items, including books, archival material and ephemera dating from the 18th century to the present day was given to Senate House Library following his death in 2019. This talk will look at Cutbill as a collector, and the way he preserved and recorded the traces of other collectors in his books.

The Book and Print Initiative unites the study of printed material as a physical object with the information it contains and its influence on society. Rejecting the conventional limits of ‘text and image’, its inclusive remit spans artefacts of bindings to zoological illustrations.

The Book and Print Initiative’s directors are Tansy Barton (Senate House Library), Raphaële Mouren (British School at Rome & Warburg Institute), and Elizabeth Savage (Institute of English Studies).