Lecture | Mark Purcell on the Country House Library

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on April 5, 2018

Booking information is available through Eventbrite:

Mark Purcell | The Country House Library
Art Workers’ Guild, London, 10 April 2018

The Society for the History of Collecting are delighted to announce their next event which sees Mark Purcell discusses his new book The Country House Library.

Country Houses are normally studied by art, architectural, and social historians for the prosopography of their ownership, the details of the house, the modifications and motivations thereof, and the chattels (art and furnishings). However, when it comes to the actual contents of the library, often considered the most important room in house, the books themselves are overlooked. This is perhaps due to a general and historic lack of understanding of the history of the book, although the value of the books could equal that of the rest of the chattels in a house. Mark Purcell has remedied this oversight in his majestic survey of country house libraries, those that are and even those that once were but have been dispersed. Mark demonstrates that the country house libraries were not standard appendages, underappreciated and under read by their owners, but that they encompassed a vast range of form and function. His immensely successful book will be a sourcebook for art historians and those interested in the history of collections for decades to come.

Tuesday, 10 April, 6:00pm, Art Workers’ Guild, 6 Queen Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AT. The lecture will be followed by drinks. Please book as soon as possible as places are limited.

Mark Purcell is Deputy Director, Research Collections, University of Cambridge, University Library. Formerly he was responsible for all the libraries within the National Trust (1999–2015) that comprise much beyond the country house, ranging from vernacular buildings to industrial in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Mark has studied the NT collections and has published numerous gems within. Responsible for a thorough cataloging of that vast corpus, he is perhaps the world’s expert on libraries once privately held in the UK.

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