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Friday 22 October: Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen (University of St Andrews): ‘The Institutional Library and the History of Book Collecting: Fragility and Perseverance’

This presentation will consider the long and tumultuous history of institutional libraries, from the first mediaeval monasteries to the national, academic and heritage libraries of the present day, paying particular attention to the early modern period, when many institutional libraries were neglected and dispersed. While we like to consider institutional libraries as stable collections, we will make the case for their inherent fragility, and demonstrate how their development has always been reliant upon private book collectors, and affected by changes in intellectual fashion and literary taste.


Andrew Pettegree, FBA is Professor of Modern History at the University of St Andrews and Director of the Universal Short Title Catalogue. He is the author of over a dozen books in the fields of Reformation history and the history of communication including Reformation and the Culture of Persuasion, The Book in the Renaissance, The Invention of News, and Brand Luther: 1517, Print and the Making of the Reformation. 
 
Arthur der Weduwen is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of St Andrews and Deputy Director of the Universal Short Title Catalogue. He researches and writes on the history of the Dutch Republic, books, news, libraries and early modern politics. He is the author of Dutch and Flemish Newspapers of the Seventeenth Century, The Bookshop of the World. Making and Trading Books in the Dutch Golden Age (co-authored with Andrew Pettegree) and two books on early newspaper advertising in the Netherlands.