Medieval and Renaissance Lost Libraries

Library & Information History Group Annual Conference Programme

Saturday 12 July 2014 – 10am to 5pm
Bedford Room, Senate House, London, WC1E 7HU

10.00 Registration


Blomefylde’s Forgotten Library: Textual Transformations and Early English DramaDanielle Magnusson

The Reconstruction of George Owen of Henllys’s LibraryJulie Mathias

The Afterlife of Some Lost Early Seventeenth Century Medical LibrariesAlison Walker

11.30 Refreshments

11.45 – Keynote Address

New Projects for Old Books: Reconstructing Libraries in the Digital AgeDr. Raphaële Mouren


Matthew Parker’s Library at Corpus Christi College, CambridgeSteven Archer

The Conundrum of Lord Conway’s ‘Lost’ LibraryBrenda Collins

13.15 Lunch


The Libraries of the Neapolitans Suppressed MonasteriesCiro Romano

Flodoard’s Ghost: Phantom Books and the History of ArtAlison Locke Perchuk

Lost Libraries in West Tuscany. The Case Study of Pisa and VolterraAndrea Puglia

15.30 Refreshments


The Dispersion and Virtual Reconstruction of Mazarin’s LibraryDelphine Mercuzot

The Lost French Royal Medieval Library. The Louvre Collection in the Hundred Year's WarVanina Madeleine Kopp

Lost Medieval and Renaissance Libraries of TransylvaniaAdrian Papahagi

17.00 Closing remarks

CALL FOR PAPERS: Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities: Thinking with Things, 1500-1940

Thinking with Things, 1500-1940: An interdisciplinary material culture workshop for graduate students and early career scholars

25th April 2014

Keynote speaker: Dr Spike Bucklow, Hamilton Kerr Institute, Cambridge
Closing Remarks: Dr Katy Barrett, Royal Museums, Greenwich

Thinking with Things is a one-day workshop to be held on Friday 25th April, 2014 at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), at the University of Cambridge. Research students from any discipline within the arts, social sciences, and humanities are invited to submit proposals for papers, and/or panels of three papers, that consider how ‘things’ can put a new perspective on the past. This workshop is affiliated with the ‘Things: Comparing Material Cultures’ seminar series at CRASSH

Over the past thirty years, the ‘material turn’ has reformed the way in which many historians approach the past, but attention to the ‘stuff’ of history has concerned archaeologists, art historians, anthropologists and sociologists for some time. From shoes to anatomical specimens, from people to paintings, from durable glass and porcelain to fragile fabrics and ephemeral foodstuffs, a vast array of ‘things’ are now subject to the researcher’s gaze, offering valuable windows into the experience of historical actors and the objects that mediated past social and cultural interactions.

The recognition that material objects are worthy subjects of scholarship is the premise of the successful CRASSH Graduate Seminar ‘Things’. Now in its third year, ‘Things’ began life as a series whose primary object was the study of material culture in the so-called consumerist ‘long eighteenth century’, taking the format of regular sessions of two papers on related themes and/or objects presented by scholars from different disciplinary backgrounds. Today, the series incorporates a longer chronological span, but retains its original focus on the material lives of the past and continues to attract scholars of all stripes to speak on a range of topics.

The aim of this workshop is to give graduate students (at both PhD and Masters level) and early career scholars a chance to present their work and to participate in discussion in the lively, welcoming and highly interdisciplinary space that ‘Things’ has created. Following the model of the ‘Things’ series, the conference will be structured around a series of panels that focus on particular types of objects or particular thematic questions (such as issues of methodology or themes like industrialisation).

We encourage applications for 20-minute papers (or panels of 3 such papers) along the following themes (broadly construed) in relation to the period 1500-1940:

  • Methodologies of material culture
  • Material culture and modernity
  • Print and advertising: books, newspapers, posters, magazines, packaging and ephemera
  • Material culture of religion: art, icons, buildings
  • Objects of desire: fashion, clothing and luxury
  • Eating and drink: festivals, cooking, eating paraphernalia, and food itself
  • Scientific and medical objects: tools, images, teaching materials
  • Industrial objects: mass production machines and the objects they make
  • War: memorials, diaries, uniforms
  • Gendered things
  • Cultures of collecting & travel

Abstracts of no more than 300 words, accompanied by a brief biographical note of no more than 100 words stating degree status and any institutional affiliation, should be sent to ThinkingThingsCRASSH@gmail.comby 3rd March 2014. This conference is being organised by Lesley Steinitz, Michelle Wallis and Mike Ashby (University of Cambridge).

This workshop has been made possible due to funding from the University of Cambridge History Faculty, and organisational assistance and facilities from CRASSH. We are unable to cover travel or accommodation costs for speakers, though we are happy to help book affordable accommodation for those participants that require it. We would encourage participants to request accommodation early, as college guest rooms are in high demand.

Lesley Steinitz
PhD Candidate, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge

CALL FOR PAPERS: ‘Early Modern Soundscapes’

Thursday 24th – Friday 25th April 2014, Bangor University

To include the Society for Renaissance Studies Annual Welsh Lecture, given by Professor Jennifer Richards (Newcastle University) and Professor Richard Wistreich (Royal Northern College of Music)

‘The Difficulty of that language is not to bee conceived, and the reasons thereof are especially two:

First, because it hath no affinitie with any other that ever I heard. Secondly, because it consisteth not so much of words and Letters, as of tunes and uncouth sounds, that no letters can expresse. For you have few words, but they signifie divers and severall things, and they are distinguished onely by their tunes that are as it were sung in the utterance of them, yet many words there are consisteth of tunes onely, so as if they like they will utter their mindes by tunes without wordes’ (Francis Godwin, The Man in the Moone, 1638)

Early modern culture was awash with sounds. From psalm singing to tavern songs to the reading of the riot act or town criers announcing noteworthy news, we are presented with an image of oral culture forming the basis of perpetual interaction between individuals and their communities. Music, in particular, forms a backdrop to the soundscape, negotiating abstract sounds and speech. This two-day symposium will interrogate ways of conceiving the early modern soundscape. Topics might include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Sounds and space
  • Sounds sacred
  • Sounds profane
  • Civic noise
  • Imagined soundscapes
  • Interaction between sound and speech communities
  • Oral and literate cultures
  • Music and performance culture
  • Sounds and medicine
  • Sounds and the senses
  • The relationship between words and music

We welcome abstracts of not more than 250 words for twenty-minute papers, or proposals for panels comprising three papers, to be sent to Rachel Willie by December 1st 2013.

CALL FOR PAPERS, Scientiae 2014, in Vienna

University of Vienna, 23-25 April 2014

Keynote Speakers: Thomas Wallnig (University of Vienna) and Howard Hotson (University of Oxford)

The deadline for all abstracts is 15 October 2013

Paper and panel proposals are invited for Scientiae 2014, the third annual conference on the emergent knowledge practices of the early modern period (ca. 1450-1750). The conference will take place on the 23-25 April 2014 at the University of Vienna in Austria, building upon the success of Scientiae 2012(Simon Fraser University) and Scientiae 2013 (Warwick), each of which brought together more than 100 scholars from around the world.

The premise of this conference is that knowledge during the period of the Scientific Revolution was inherently interdisciplinary, involving complex mixtures of practices and objects which had yet to be separated into their modern “scientific” hierarchies. Our approach, subsequently, needs to be equally wide-ranging, involving Biblical exegesis, art theory, logic, and literary humanism; as well as natural philosophy, alchemy, occult practices, and trade knowledge. Attention is also given to mapping intellectual geographies through the tools of the digital humanities. Scientiae is intended for scholars working in any area of early-modern intellectual culture, but is centred around the emergence of modern natural science. The conference offers a forum for the dissemination of research, acts as a catalyst for new investigations, and is open to scholars of all levels.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

· Intellectual geography: networks, intellectual history, and the digital humanities.
· Theological origins and implications of the new sciences.
· Interpretations of nature and the scriptures.
· Antiquarianism and the emergence of modern science.
· The impact of images on the formation of early modern knowledge.
· Genealogies of “reason”, “utility”, and “knowledge”.
· Humanism and the Scientific Revolution.
· Paracelsianism, Neoplatonism, and alchemy more generally.
· Interactions between the new sciences, magic and demonology.
· The history of health and medicine.
· Morality and the character of the natural world.
· Early modern conceptions of, and practices surrounding, intellectual property.
· Poetry and the natural sciences.
· The development of novel approaches to cosmology and anthropology.
· Botany: between natural history, art, and antiquarianism.
· Music: between mathematics, religion, and medicine.
· The relationship between early modern literature and knowledge.
· Advances or reversals of logic and/or dialectic.

Abstracts for individual papers of 25 minutes should be between 250 and 350 words in length. For panel sessions of 1 hour and 45 minutes, a list of speakers (with affiliations), as well as a 500-word abstract, is required. Roundtable discussions or other formats may be accepted at the discretion of the organizing committee. All applicants are also required to submit a brief biography of 150 words of less. Abstracts must be submitted through our online submission form.

If you have any questions, please contact the conference convenor, Vittoria Feola (

The 2014 conference will be held in the Juridicum at the University of Vienna, a modern conference building which is part of the ancient University of Vienna, founded in 1365. The conference will take place in the historic city centre of one of Europe’s most beautiful capitals, easy to reach by plane and train.

Vacancy: Lecturer in Late Medieval Literature in English

Ref: B713A (SELLS)
Faculty/Services: Humanities & Social Sciences
Department: School of English Lit, Language & Linguistics
Job Type: Academic (non-clinical)
Hours of Work: Full time

Salary: £32,590, with progression to £36,661
Closing Date: 7 May 2014

You will have a PhD in a relevant subject area and proven experience in teaching mid-14th century to early/mid-16th century literature to undergraduate students across a range of modules, with experience of teaching Chaucer highly desirable. You should also have a record of high quality publications in late medieval literature commensurate with your career stage and outstanding plans for future research projects and grant capture. Knowledge of and demonstrable expertise in digital scholarly editing and/or digital humanities is highly desirable and we would like you to have the potential to contribute to the development of the School’s work in the Digital Humanities.

Informal enquiries can be made to the Acting Head of School, Dr James Annesley,  tel: 0191 208 6617, and the Director of Research, Professor Matthew Grenby, tel: 0191 208 6182, e-mail:

The position is available from 1 September 2014
More details here

AHRC Network: Voices and Books, 1500-1800

Co-led by Professor Jennifer Richards (Newcastle University) and Professor Richard Wistreich (Royal Northern College of Music)

This is an AHRC-funded network of early modern scholars based in the UK and US (literary scholars, linguists, historians, musicologists) and partners (British Library; City Library, Newcastle; National Early Music Association UK; The Reading Experience Database; Seven Stories, National Centre for Children's Books) who are committed to recovering the history of reading aloud and listening to books. In 2014 we will be organising three workshops, to be held at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, Strathclyde University, Glasgow and the British Library, London. And in 2015 we will host an International Conference on Reading Aloud 1500-2015 at City Library, Newcastle. Please see below for an invitation to attend our first workshop in Manchester. For more information, see our website:

'Voices and Books, 1500-1800' Workshop 1: Saturday 12th April 2014

Venue: Conference Room, Royal Northern College of Music, 124 Oxford Road Manchester M13 9RD

Saturday Programme

10.00 Neil Rhodes (St Andrews University): 'Speech and Text in Early Modern England: An Outline of Some Problems'
10.50 Communal sight-reading from part-books: live demonstration with RNCM vocal students, with commentary by Richard Wistreich
11.45 Coffee
12.00 Abigail Williams (St Peter's College, Oxford) 'Practices of reading aloud in the eighteenth century'

1.00 Lunch (at RNCM)

1.45 Richard Bethell (National Early Music Association): 'The Hegemony of Vocal Sound through the Long Eighteenth Century' (with live demonstration by a singer - followed by discussion)
2.30 Felicity Laurence (Newcastle University): 'Children's voices in the contemporary classroom'
3.15 Tea
3.30 Margaret Wilkinson (Newcastle University): Writing for radio
4.15 Closing discussion
5.00 Finish

This event is free and open to anyone who would like to come. If you are interested in attending, however, please contact the Network Co-ordinator: (N.B. places may be limited).

Bursaries to attend! We have bursaries for unsalaried ECRs (within 2 years of PhD) and PhD students to cover some of the cost of travel / accommodation to attend a workshop. If you would like this support please send a short statement about how attendance at one of the workshops would benefit your research to the Network

Early Career Research Network Symposium: Editing

University of Sussex and British Academy
April 11th, 2014 at the University of Sussex.

Keynote speaker: David McKitterick, F.B.A. (University of Cambridge)

Registration is free and inclusive of lunch and refreshments, but places are limited.
Contact Simon Davies ( for more information.

Travel expenses will be reimbursed.

A British Academy funded networking event for early career researchers, hosted by the University of Sussex, focussing on the issue of editing. The day will consider: questions of editing manuscripts; editions of literary works; editions of letters; editions of documentary sources; collation; annotation; digital editions; organising collaborative projects; and any other relevant issues.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Sound in the Early Modern City - Early Modern Conversion

King's College, 11 April 2014, 13:00 - 12 April 2014, 18:00

This, the first in a series of workshops, is devoted to the theme of ‘The Early Modern City as the Site of Conversion’, and will take place in King's College, Cambridge on 10-11 April 2014. A small number of bursaries are available to enable doctoral students to attend; these will cover reasonable travel expenses, accommodation and subsistence costs. Those wishing to apply should send a short CV together with a brief description of their current research project and its relevance to the theme of the Workshop to Iain Fenlon, King’s College, Cambridge, CB2 1ST. The deadline for applications is 15 March 2014.

Whether it is an awakening to a new faith, an induction into a religious cult or radical political movement, a sexual transformation, or the re-engineering of human beings as bio-mechanical “cyborgs,” conversion is a source of fascination, a promise of newness, and a focus of anxiety for people in the twenty-first century. We do not know if such conversions are inward turnings toward a better life or monstrous impositions upon unwitting victims. We cannot fathom how individuals or groups of people are able to convert to a new politics, religion, or way of life all at once and quite completely, as if they had never been other than what they have become. We would not want to part with the freedom of self- determination embodied in conversion, which seems to be its purest expression, even though we are troubled by what radical transformations tell us about the instability and changeability of human beings.

Among other goals, the Forms of Conversion project will develop an historical understanding of conversion that will enlighten modern debates about corporeal, sexual, psychological, political and spiritual kinds of transformation. The project will study how early modern Europeans changed their confessional, social, political, and even sexual identities. These subjective changes were of a piece with transformations in their world—the geopolitical reorientation of Europe in light of emerging relations with Islam and the Americas; the rethinking and the translation of the knowledge of Greek and Latin Antiquity, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam; changes in and changing uses of the built environment; the reimagining of God.

This workshop is part of the CRASSH five year project, Forms of Conversion, in a partnership led by McGill University, including researchers from universities in Canada, the USA, Australia, and England as well as leading centres for the humanities and/or early modern studies, and four of Canada’s top-ranked performing arts organizations.

For further information about this project please contact Simon Goldhill at CRASSH.

Shakespeare and His Contemporaries, Graduate Conference 2014

On Thursday 10 April, the British Institute of Florence organises the 6th annual Shakespeare Graduate Conference, on the theme Forms of Nationhood.

The event is in collaboration with IASEMS - Italian Association of Shakespeare and Early Modern Studies - and with the University of Florence. 

Entrance is free and open to all. Seats are limited. Booking is recommended (by email or by phone at +39 055 26778270). 

Please note that it is possible to reserve a place for the light lunch in the Library and that we request a contribution for the lunch. Please specify when you contact us whether you wish to be added to the lunch reservation list.