Programme for the session 2022–2023

The Society plans to hold its meetings at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE, beginning at 5.30 p.m., and all lectures will also be live-streamed. However, meetings may be moved completely 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.

18 October 2022

The Annual General Meeting will take place at Lambeth Palace Library, 15 Lambeth Palace Road, London, SE1 7JT. No tea will be served before the meeting, but refreshments will be served afterwards.

15 November 2022

Panel for grant recipients

ELISE WATSON: ‘Seditious and scandalous‘ books crossing borders in the Low Countries.
Though Catholic print was legally defined as ‘seditious and scandalous’ material in the Protestant Dutch Republic, it was a valuable commodity and a critical community lifeline for the large but marginalised community of Catholics living there. Using trade records between Dutch Catholic booksellers and the Officina Plantiniana in Antwerp, this paper will examine how books crossed, subverted, questioned and undermined boundaries between communities, nations and confessions in the early modern Low Countries.

TIM WADE: Travel and treason: The library of Sir John Mason (d.1566).
The scholar and diplomat Sir John Mason was one of the great survivors of the Tudor period, serving as a secretary, councillor and diplomat to successive monarchs between Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. This papers investigates the surviving fragments of Mason’s library and the light they shed on the tumultuous events of his life, his travels and diplomatic missions, and, above all, his love of books.

EVELYN HEINZ: The Egoist Press and the networks of modernist print.
This talk explores the publishing work of Harriet Shaw Weaver’s Egoist Press, a London-based modernist small press that published important work by James Joyce, T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Richard Aldington, Wyndham Lewis, H.D., Marianne Moore and others between 1917 and 1923. By focussing in particular on those of the Egoist Press’s titles which were printed by Francis Meynell and Stanley Morison’s Pelican Press, the talk seeks to explore how the ‘amateur’ sphere of modernist small press publishing intersected with the contemporary world of commercial printing and high-end typography.

6 December 2022

DAVID LEVY: A century and a quarter of Hoyle.
The Proprietors of Hoyle’s Games lost copyright protection in the Donaldson v Beckett decision (1774) freeing other booksellers to compete with improved versions of Hoyle. The Proprietors ruthlessly copied the innovations and, with superior financing, marketing, and engineering, continued to dominate the market for gaming literature through the late nineteenth century.

17 January 2023

HANNAH MURPHY: Early modern calligraphy manuals.
The sixteenth century saw the emergence of a new genre of text which appeared in both print and manuscript, the calligraphy manual. Examining the contents of these manuals, as well as the relationship between print and manuscript they conjured, provides new insights into writing, expression, and subjectivity in Renaissance Europe.

21 February 2023

MEGHAN CONSTANTINOU: The library of the Elliots of Minto, 1738–1938: A panoramic view.
This presentation offers the first substantial study of the library of the Elliots of Minto, a prominent Scottish aristocratic family active in the legal, political and social landscape of Great Britain between the eighteenth and early twentieth centuries. Based on research supported by the Bibliographical Society’s Fredson Bowers Award, it draws upon a rich cache of primary documentation to reconstruct and contextualize the library in several distinct phases, from its establishment in the 1730s to its dispersal in the first half of the twentieth century.

21 March 2023

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 (1622–1653), 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.

18 April 2023

Graham Pollard Memorial Lecture

ADRIAN SEVILLE: Board games uncatalogued.
The 1842 Copyright Act enabled the survival by Legal Deposit of even such ephemeral material as the printed rules for obscure games. Now in the British Library, these forgotten games are hard to find: why are they worth the effort?

16 May 2023

Homee and Phiroze Randeria Lecture

JAN STORM VAN LEEUWEN: ‘How far that little candle throws his beams’: The Mame firm and books bound for the young.
The firm of Mame in Tours, both publishers and binders, dominated the market for books for young people in the period c. 1840-1875. This lecture will focus on Mame’ bindings and the different materials – leather, cloth, and paper, often embossed, coloured and gilt – which the firm used on copies of the same edition of a text. It will also look at how, despite these books providing its main income, the firm considered its trade in luxury books and bindings to be more important.

Summer visit: details will be announced in The Library for March 2023.