Special Collections

London Rare Books School 2014

The London Rare Books School is upon us, and once again we are busy delivering books and manuscripts to classes and witnessing the value of our holdings for teaching purposes, from the demonstration of press figures (numbers used by eighteenth-century English printers to keep a tally of their work) to samples of private press books and to various kinds of binding.
3 Jul 2014
Dr Karen Attar

BeFriend a Book sponsors the conservation of a botany book in memory of John Grigg, a passionate Linnean, who loved books and the natural world.

Professor Michael Slater, seen below with the book, Elizabeth Twining’s Illustrations of the Natural Orders of Plants, wanted to celebrate the life of his close friend, John Grigg. Michael chose to sponsor the conservation of a book that reflected John’s interests in taxonomy and books.                      
12 Jun 2014
Angela Craft

EPCOM: another cataloguing milestone

Recently we reported the online cataloguing of the Austin Dobson Collection. Now another complete collection has been catalogued online, the so-called EPCOM Collection. In the library since the late 1940s, it is named after the Enemy Publications Committee, which made German academic books available in Great Britain after the War.
9 Jun 2014
Dr Karen Attar

Pexe Nicolao, a Seventeenth Century Merman

One of the few foreign language items in our exhibition is the anonymous work Relacion de como el pexe Nicolao agora se ha aparecido de nueuo en la mar (Salamanca, 1608), from our Eliot-Phelips Collection. The central character of this little pamphlet in Spanish verse is Pexe Nicolao, the half-man half-fish so strikingly depicted in the simple woodcut on the title page. The story of this legendary merman was well known in Spain at the time and Pexe Nicolao is even mentioned in Don Quixote de la Mancha (Part 2, chapter 18).
3 Jun 2014
Julio Cazzasa

Feature of the month: The Kelmscott Press Golden Legend

For most of June 2014, a display celebrating the Jesuit tradition is being held at Senate House Library to support a major conference being held by the Institute of English Studies and Heythrop College. Jacobus de Voragine’s Legenda Aurea, or Golden Legend, is a key work because reading it inspired Ignatius of Loyala on the spiritual journey which led to his founding of the Jesuits, and a fifteenth-century edition of it forms part of the display.
2 Jun 2014
Dr Karen Attar

Two books celebrating the treasures of Senate House Library – available now

These two books celebrate the best of Senate House Library. They include beautiful images and fascinating insights into the rarest, most valuable, and intriguing treasures in our holdings. The publications cover important moments in the history of the printed book, English literature, magic, mathematical history, and the internationally renowned Goldsmiths’ Library of Economic Literature. Individual gems range from mediaeval manuscripts to books printed by William Caxton, Shakespeare’s First Folio, and a presentation copy of Das Kapital.
22 May 2014
Dr Karen Attar

A new milestone: Austin Dobson online

The poet, critic and author Austin Dobson (1840-1921) is scarcely a household name. Nonetheless, he was significant enough to merit entries in the ODNB, the Oxford Companion to English Literature, and in the Dictionary of Literary Biography.
20 May 2014
Dr Karen Attar