Conference | The Humours of Collecting: Books and Related Material

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on October 1, 2021


Thomas Rowlandson, The Doctor’s Dream, ca. 1812.

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From the conference flyer:

The Humours of Collecting: Motive and Opportunity in Collecting Books and Related Material
42nd Annual Conference on Book Trade History
Stationers’ Hall (St Martin within Ludgate), London, 26–27 November 2021

Organized by Robin Myers, Michael Harris, and Giles Mandelbrote

This year’s conference on book-trade history can be seen as a moment of renewal. We look forward to a rich and informative exploration of current research on aspects of the history of collecting books and book-related material. Our emphasis will be on the individual collector, whose motives, methods, and experience have developed alongside the steady accumulation by libraries and specialist institutions.

The conference fee includes coffee/tea, a sandwich lunch, and a reception on both days. Registered students may apply for a limited number of reduced-rate places, sponsored by the Bibliographical Society. Conference fee: £95, with limited availability for the following: Student conference fee, £60; Single-day fee, £60; and Student single-day fee, £50. Early booking is recommended and places will be offered in order of receipt.The number of places may be limited, as we will be observing social distancing restrictions applicable at the time.


Mark Byford, formerly Salvesen junior fellow at New College, Oxford, is an associate member of the Oxford History Faculty. His doctorate focused on religious change in Elizabethan Essex. A collector of early modern books and manuscripts, he is a Council member of the Bibliographical Society.

Laura Cleaver is Senior Lecturer in Manuscript Studies at the University of London and Principal Investigator of the Cultivate MSS project, funded by the European Research Council. The project is examining the international trade in pre-modern manuscripts c.1900–1945 and its impact on the formation of collections and scholarship.

Michelle Craig is a Leverhulme Trust doctoral scholar working on the library of Dr William Hunter (1718–1783). Her thesis is titled “From Early Modern to Enlightenment: Provenance in William Hunter’s Library.” She is interested in 18th-century book auctions, library cataloguing systems, and the materiality of books, provenance, and bindings.

Patrick Goossens studied history at the universities of Antwerp and Louvain. Closely connected with the Plantin-Moretus Museum in his home town of Antwerp, he is Treasurer of the Association of European Printing Museums and board member of the printing museum at the Royal Library of Belgium. His archival research into innovation in the printing industry in 19th-century Belgium is complemented by his collecting of historical printing equipment.

Robert Harding is a director of the London antiquarian bookdealer Maggs Bros Ltd., specialising in early modern Britain, and has a personal interest in the history of collecting in the Stuart period, especially around the circle of Thomas Howard, 14th Earl of Arundel.

Julie Anne Lambert has been Librarian of the John Johnson Collection at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, for more than 30 years. She is interested in all ephemera, while her exhibitions have focused principally on trade and advertising: A Nation of Shopkeepers (2001) and The Art of Advertising (May–August 2021). Both are accompanied by publications.

Robin Myers is archivist emeritus of the Stationers’ Company, where she was in charge of the archive for 30 years. Her many publications include The Stationers’ Company Archive (1990) and The Stationers’ Company, a History of the Later Years, 1800–2000 (2001).

Julian Pooley FSA is Public Services and Engagement Manager at Surrey History Centre and Honorary Visiting Fellow of the Centre for English Local History at the University of Leicester. He is preparing an analytical guide to the Nichols family papers from the time of John Nichols (1745–1826) to the death of John Gough Nichols in 1873. His recent publications include articles about John Nichols for The Journal of Eighteenth Century Studies and the British Library website Picturing Places.

F R I D A Y ,  2 6  N O V E M B E R  2 0 2 1

10.00  Registration and coffee

10.30  Mark Byford — Study, Self-Expression, and Sentiment: Charting the Meaning of Some Early Modern English Books for Their Successive Owners

11.45  Coffee

12.15  Robin Myers — Booksellers and Bookbinders’ Collections within the Stationers’ Company Archive

1.30  Lunch

2.30  Robert Harding — Connoisseurs and Patriots: Four Centuries of Collecting the Prints and Drawings of Wenceslaus Hollar

3.45  Tea

4.15  Julian Pooley — ‘A Copious Collection of Newspapers’: John Nichols and His Collection of Newspapers, Pamphlets, and News Sheets, 1760–1865

5.30  Reception at Stationers’ Hall

S A T U R D A Y ,  2 7  N O V E M B E R  2 0 2 1

10.00  Coffee

10.30  Laura Cleaver — Henry White (1822–1900): Wine Merchant and Collector of Second-Rate Manuscripts?

11.45  Coffee

12.15  Julie Anne Lambert — John de Monins Johnson and His ‘Sanctuary of Printing’

1.30  Lunch. During the break, Dr Michael Harris will lead a walking tour to visit some parts of the parish with book-trade connections

3.00  Michelle Craig — A Physician and a Book Collector: The Library of Dr William Hunter (1718–1783)

4.15  Tea

4.45  Patrick Goossens — Wood, Iron, Lead, and Printed Matter: On Converging Collections


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