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Posts Tagged ‘Lambeth Palace Library’

Amsterdam, Biblioteca Philosophica Hermetica MS 1, f. 118, detail:
His castle falls on the duke who killed King Lancelot.
(© Amsterdam, Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, via the Lancelot-Graal Project.)

Who remembers all the excitement over the auction of the Rochefoucauld Grail in December 2010? It’s a beautiful set of three volumes of the Estoire del Saint Graal. Although it is privately owned, you can see digital images of some of the illuminations and illustrations on the Lancelot-Graal website. Perhaps what you don’t know about items going up for auction is that for some days in advance of the auction, it is possible to visit the auction house to view such items close at hand, often closer than would be possible in a museum. In the case of books such as the Rochefoucauld Grail volumes, you can be lucky enough to have a rare opportunity to sit at a table in the auction house, to – carefully! – leaf through the pages. I duly went to Sotheby’s on Bond Street one early December lunchtime, to have a look at that manuscript. I had heard nothing of any British public library or museum putting in a bid for the Rochefoucauld Grail, and was beginning to dread that this would be my only opportunity to have a good look at it. Unfortunately, I only had one hour for lunch, and when I arrived, others were already looking at the various volumes. (more…)

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I was a volunteer exhibition steward at the first Lambeth Palace Library exhibition in 2010, The Treasures of Lambeth Palace Library, celebrating the Library’s 400th anniversary. It’s a beautiful place, and its collections are befitting of such a place. So it’s wonderful to find out that one of the original collections has found its way back home.

A Monument of Fame

The latest issue of The Spectator (13 April 2013) contains a long article by Professor James Carley about a remarkable group of books which has miraculously found its way back to Lambeth Palace Library after many decades.

Early in 1975 the Lambeth Palace Librarian noticed a troubling gap on the shelves where some important books had been kept. The books could not be found and a search of the rest of the Library showed that this gap was not unique. On examining the card catalogue it was discovered that the catalogue cards for the missing items had also been removed. This made it difficult to ascertain exactly what was missing but it was thought that around sixty items had been removed from the Library. The police were informed and the bookselling community notified. None of the books was recovered, however, and the trail went cold.

Over thirty-five years later, in February 2011, the newly appointed Librarian, Giles Mandelbrote, was contacted by…

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Senate House Library, University of London – the latest publication from Senate House Library

I spent this afternoon in Senate House Library, attending the CILIP Rare Books and Special Collections Group‘s event Show off your special collections with a treasures volume. The launch of the Library’s latest publication, Senate House Library, University of London, took place on 23 November last year, not even two months ago. Dr Karen Attar, joint editor with Christopher Pressler, Director of Senate House Libraries, very kindly spent a couple of hours talking us through the process of and reasons behind producing the volume. (more…)

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Giving something back, and/or taking something away?

Giving something back, and/or taking something away?

Volunteering nowadays is much more complicated than it used to be, thanks to our current government trying to convince us that volunteering can replace working. Before the attempted launch of the Big Society, I would have said that volunteering was undeniably a good thing, both for the volunteers and the institutions for whom they volunteered. But I would never have accepted, or envisaged, that volunteering could replace paid employment of fully-trained and experienced individuals. Deprofessionalisation of sectors is never the answer. (more…)

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I’ve been away from London, back home in Scotland, for a while now, on something of a sabbatical, as I have four research papers and articles to complete and submit, and a Chartership portfolio to prepare.  Having been in London for at least three years prior to my current hermitude, it had become nothing more than the place in which I worked, researched, and, when time permitted, lived. Mostly I rushed through it in a blur, enjoying some of what it had to offer, but always at a pace that even Sheldon Cooper as the Flash could not match (bazinga). There was always something else that needed to be done, and I was always exhausted. (more…)

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The first film that I have managed to watch in its entirety since Halloween weekend was Julie and Julia, starring Amy Adams and Meryl Streep. The following exchange between Julie and her husband caught my attention immediately:

– You know what I love about cooking?
– What’s that?
– I love that after a day when nothing is sure, and when I say “nothing” I mean nothing, you can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. It’s such a comfort.

I don’t know if this exchange appears in the original Julie/Julia Project blog and/or book that inspired the film, but it has stayed with me over these past few days. (more…)

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