Special Collections

Bindings for the Bibliographical Society

Every year the Bibliographical Society, the academic body formed in 1892 to encourage the study of all kinds of bibliography and matters pertaining to the history of the book, gives a season of lectures; and every year that series finishes with the Homee and Phiroze Randeria Lecture, devoted to the history of bookbinding. This year the Homee and Phiroze Randeria Lecturer was Edmund M.B. King, author of Victorian Decorated Trade Bindings, 1830-1880: A Descriptive Bibliography (2003), on the topic: “‘Handsomely bound in cloth’: UK book cover designs 1840-1880” – a review of the many varied cover designs made for cloth trade bindings, with reference to signed cover designs. As the lecture was held in Senate House, Senate House Library provided specimens from among its special collections to illustrate the talk.

21 May 2015
Dr Karen Attar

Featuring Octave Uzanne

The Foskett Uzanne Collection contains some of the most visually striking material in Senate House Library’s special collections, both through the lavish ‘chocolate box’ use of gilt on some of the covers and internal design

15 Apr 2015
Dr Karen Attar

WWI and London: Senate House Library conference contribution

Material from the  Playne Collection  (based around World War One) and from the  Bromhead Library  (based around London) appears in a display to accompany the conference “London and the First World War”, held at the Institute of Historical Research on 20-21 March 2015. For information, see  here . The display is in the ante-room of the Senate Room, on the first floor of Senate House. This is not the only contribution by Senate House Library to the conference: Dr Richard Espley is giving a paper on 21 March on “Caroline Playne in wartime London”.
16 Mar 2015
Dr Karen Attar

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