Early Modern Exchanges


Seventeenth-Century Libraries: Problems & Perspectives

06 June 2019–08 June 2019, 1:45 pm–1:45 pm

17th century library

This symposium brings together a group of UK-based academics and librarians, as well as key Continental scholars, in an attempt to consolidate current research, for the first time, on seventeenth-century libraries and book collecting.

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Early Modern Exchanges


IAS Common Ground
South Wing, Wilkins Building
Gower Street
United Kingdom

Much research has been done on seventeenth-century libraries and book collecting, but it remains scattered across disciplinary divides. Until separate findings have been amalgamated, we will not be able to establish the patterns of book acquisition and library formation for this important period. 

Seventeenth-Century Libraries: Problems & Perspectives will address questions of topography and typology, networks of library activity, administration, visual identity, dispersal, owners and content, and definitions of public and private. The symposium will also confront current topics of cultural and intellectual history – especially heritage and antiquarianism, the circulation and management of knowledge, and the rise of consumerism and the culture of collecting, as presented in such books as Arthur MacGregor’s Curiosity and Enlightenment (2007), Ann Blair’s Too Much to Know (2010), and Linda Levy Peck’s Consuming Splendor (2005). 

Keynote with Jill Bepler (Wolfenbüttel), ‘Dynastic Women and Book Collecting in Seventeenth-Century Germany: Fragmented Evidence’.

This event is organised by the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters, part of the UCL Institute of Advanced Studies.


Full registration costs £50. If you wish to attend Friday only (includes tea/coffee and lunch) the cost is £35. One half-day (Thursday or Saturday, includes tea/coffee) the cost is £15.