Programme for the session 2021–2022

The Society plans to hold its meetings at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington  House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE, beginning at 5.30 p.m. However, meetings  may be moved online at short notice, and updates will be published on the  Society’s website and communicated to members by email.

For all regular meetings at the Society of Antiquaries, tea will be served at  5.00 p.m. and wine will be served after each lecture. Members are welcome to  bring guests, both to meetings and to the social  gatherings


19 October 2020: AGM, 6 p.m.

The Annual General Meeting will take place at the Society of Antiquaries. No tea  will be served before the meeting, but refreshments will be served afterwards. 

The business of the meeting will be followed by a lecture by Nil Palabiyik entitled  The Mad, the Bad and the Silenced: Three Tales about Ottoman Learning and  Renaissance Book Culture. Turkish publishing in early modern Europe started  off on the wrong foot with the word lists of the eccentric Guillaume Postel and  the first grammar printed privately by the linguist Hieronymus Megiser who  falsely claimed authorship of the work. When Anton Deusing, a Leiden medical  student, discovered the collection of manuscripts Jacobus Golius brought from  the Ottoman Empire, things began looking up. The paper explores the rise of  oriental studies in early modern Europe through annotated manuscripts and  printed editions.

16 November 2021

Before the meeting, the Society’s Gold Medal will be presented to Professor  Michael Twyman.

Grant Recipients’ Panel

EDUARDO FERNÁNDEZ GUERRERO: Manuscript production and circulation  in the age of print: the case of the Apocalypsis Nova.
The Apocalypsis Nova, a  work describing the revelations of a Franciscan friar in Rome at the end of the  fifteenth century, became a widely popular text in the early modern period  throughout Catholic Europe. An exhaustive codicological survey of its manuscript  circulation sheds light not only on how these revelations were read over time but  also on how manuscript production evolved in pre-modern Europe.

JACOB BAXTER: A diplomat in the book world: Sir William Temple in print.
According to the lexicographer Samuel Johnson, Sir William Temple (1628-1699)  ‘was the first writer who gave cadence to English prose’. This paper will outline  the literary life and afterlife of this now largely forgotten author, with a particular  emphasis on those who published his writings, and the men and women who read  them.

YELDA NASIFOGLU: Tracing the circulation of mathematical books in early  modern Britain through book catalogues.
This talk will address the possible  methodologies and their challenges for studying the mathematical book trade in  early modern Britain. It will also briefly introduce the ‘Catalogue of British Book  Catalogues in Print & Manuscript up to 1700’ currently under development.

Monday, 13 December 2021

ELIZABETH SAVAGE: German Renaissance woodcuts at the British Museum.
In the last ten years, art historians have begun to recognise the significance of  colour in print history—but the role of printed colour in books has been  overlooked. This lecture offers a new approach, one centred on printers, based  on a survey of the British Museum’s holdings of German prints, ephemera,  broadsides, and books printed in 1450–1600.

The lecture will be followed by the launch of Early Colour Printing: German  Renaissance Woodcuts at the British Museum (Paul Holberton Publishing, in  association with the British Museum, 2021).

18 January 2022

EDWIN ROSE: Books, botany and empire in eighteenth-century Cambridge  1760 –1825.
Botany is a discipline that relies on books to function, a feature that  became apparent after the foundation of the first Cambridge Botanic Garden in  1762. Concentrating on Thomas Martyn, the third Professor of Botany between  1762 and 1825, this talk will show how books were used to manage, order,  describe and collect plants for the Botanic Garden across a network ranging from  Tasmania to the Americas.

15 February 2022

PAUL HOFTIJZER: ‘Books from Britain in the Leiden Bibliotheca Thysiana’.
The Bibliotheca Thysiana in Leiden, founded at the death of its owner, the jurist  Johannes Thysius (16221653), is made up of a wide variety of books from all  over Europe. This paper will look at the relatively small, but highly interesting  number of books printed in the British Isles or owned by British collectors.

15 March 2022

Presidential Address

JAMES RAVEN: Monsters, myths and methods: towards a global book biography  of Erik Pontoppidan’s Det første Forsøg paa Norges naturlige Historie (17523)  [The Natural History of Norway (1755)]. What are the bibliographical  implications of a ‘book biography’ (or the ‘life cycle of a book’)? Pontoppidan’s  observations on giant sea monsters reappeared in Moby Dick and influenced  modern sightings, writings and films around the world. Examination of surviving  copies of the different editions of the Natural History (including those owned by  Benjamin Franklin, Edward Gibbon and the Maharajah of Tangore), suggests gatherihow its ‘verification’ methods were modulated by different translations and inherited representationsbut also by typographies, engravings and other  material book forms.

19 April 2022

Graham Pollard Memorial Lecture

CRISTINA DONDI and NEIL HARRIS: The Zornale of Francesco de Madiis  (148488): the end of the tunnel.
After over ten years of analysis of this rich and  complex account book, this talk will share the final results in terms of editions  identified, the availability of foreign and non-Venetian editions on the Venetian  market, the speed of sales, the consistently decreasing prices of printed books,  and what was sold within those early years.

17 May 2022

Homee and Phiroze Randeria Lecture

ARTHUR MARKS: The curious career of Nathaniel Price, a journeyman binder  working in England and America.
This talk will follow the movements of Price, a  late eighteenth-century London trained binder who worked in England and the  United States, the latter in large part while in flight as an escaped  convict. Eventually he made his way back to England and freedom, where after  losing his sight, he encountered another impediment, blindness, while continuing  to practise his profession.

Summer visit: details will be announced in The Library for March 2022.