Provenance in Books
Course Tutor: David Pearson
The primary aim of this course is to develop a personal toolkit to identify and interpret the various kinds of provenance evidence found in books before 1900. Interest in historical book ownership and what we can learn from individual copies and whole libraries has steadily grown among librarians, scholars and collectors, and more attention is paid to recording it in catalogues. The course will cover different manifestations of provenance – inscriptions, bookplates and book labels, armorials and other evidence from bindings – and include practical instruction on palaeography, heraldry and reference sources. Although the focus will be on practical and factual learning to take away, some time will be devoted to the theoretical and interpretative book historical context within which provenance evidence is of value.