Special Collections

Commemorating Terry Pratchett

The death yesterday of fantasy writer Terry Pratchett speedily made headline news. And no wonder: the Discworld he created (a flat world on the back of four elephants, themselves standing on the back of a giant turtle) captured the imagination of the world.The Carpet People: picture hand-coloured by Terry Pratchett.
13 Mar 2015
Dr Karen Attar

Students discover Harry Price

On Wednesday afternoon undergraduate students from Royal Holloway, University of London visited Senate House Library to view books from the  Harry Price Collection of Magical Literature , from sixteenth-century editions of the Malleus Maleficarum (“Hammer of Witches”), seeking to prosecute witches, and the first edition of Reginald Scot’s Discoverie of Witchcraft (1584), which argued against the existence of witchcraft, to seventeenth-century pamphlets of single trials and an eighteenth-century play by Joseph Addison.
20 Feb 2015
Dr Karen Attar

Feature of the month: remembering Roger Ascham and archery

Toxophilus Roger Ascham London: A. Jeffes, 1589 [Q.M.L.] Y13 [Ascham] SR Roger Ascham (1515-1568) was born 500 years ago this year. He was the tutor of Elizabeth I when she was a princess and the author of two well-known educational treatises,  The Scholemaister (1570) and  Toxophilus  (1545). Senate House Library’s  Quick Memorial Library , a collection of early educational books, includes sixteenth-century editions of both works, in addition to Ascham’s Familiarium epistolarum libri tres  (1590). [Ascham Toxophilus 1589]
4 Feb 2015
Dr Karen Attar

Aldus Manutius and his Legacy

Of the many printers to have operated in Venice in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Aldus Manutius (c.1452-1515) was a shining light. An outstanding advocate of Greek literature, he produced the first printed editions of 31 Greek authors, designing a Greek type in order to do so. He was also a humanist scholar printer par excellence, who edited, translated or wrote commentaries on works he published.
15 Jan 2015
Dr Karen Attar

Special collections acquisition: The Elf

The Elf: A Sequence of the Seasons  is a series of four slim volumes about the seasons issued between 24 May 1902 (spring) and 6 February 1904 (winter); 250 copies were produced of each issue. Each volume comprises a mixture of prose and poetry accompanied by full-page illustrations. The artist and writer is James Guthrie (1874-1952), a Scottish-born artist, printer and bookplate designer who had founded  The Elf  with W.B. Macdougall as a journal in 1899.
12 Jan 2015
Dr Karen Attar

The Writer and the Artist: Romantic Illustration Displayed

On Saturday 29 November, delegates gathered in Senate House for a conference organised by the Institute of English Studies and the Romantic Illustration Network at the University of Roehampton on the ‘communication-circuit’ between artists, writers and publishers. Topics included Dickens and Cruikshank; William Westall and the Lake poets; William Blake; and illustration of Samuel Richardson’s Pamela. [IMAGE viewing the display, 29 Nov. 2014] viewing the display, 29 Nov. 2014
8 Dec 2014
Dr Karen Attar

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