Special Collections

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

The Bibliographical Society visits

On Wednesday 7 May 36 members of the  Bibliographical Society  accepted an invitation to view Senate House Library’s Shakespeare folios. The Library’s two First Folios (1623) were displayed, alongside its three copies of each of the Second, Third and Fourth Folios (1632, 1664 and 1685 respectively).
8 May 2014
Dr Karen Attar

Treasure of the Week: Coriolanus

Coriolanus William Shakespeare; ed. by Herbert Farjeon; ill. by C. Pal Molnár [Shakespeare] New York: Limited Editions Club, 1939 [S.L.] III [Limited Editions Club – 1939]
2 May 2014
Dr Karen Attar

1814 in Senate House Library

Recently we noticed a two-day conference to be held in Senate House in mid-May on the cultural impact and significance of the year 1814 – the year in which Napoleon was defeated and Britain and Europe celebrated peace, and the year in which Jane Austen published Mansfield Park, among other events. The conference made us think about the variety of material in Senate House Library published in 1814.
26 Apr 2014
Dr Karen Attar