Rare Books London - London's festival of old and rare books – May – June 2017

23rd May - 12th June 2017

Tours

Tours, Walks
Sunday 28th May 1030-c.1200

Bibliophiles in St James: a walk about obsessive collectors

Obsessive book collectors, eccentric scholars, resourceful publishers and extravagant monarchs. This is a special walk for book lovers through one of London’s most fashionable areas, St James’s, telling its story and introducing some of the remarkable bibliophiles and literary figures who walked the elegant streets. Come and see where Samuel Pepys set his wig alight, the house which inspired the word ‘bibliomania’, the premises of the first sexologist and the only London square designed by a poet.

Guide: Anthony Davis of Booksteps is a book collector and author, educated at Oxford and London universities. He is a Fellow and Trustee of the Society of Antiquaries and a Council Member of the Bibliographical Society, as well as a qualified City of Westminster tour guide who leads tours in London for People Who Love Books.

Free but ticketed. Meeting point confirmed to attendees.

 

St James. Exact meeting point confirmed to Attendees
Tours
Thursday 1st June 0930-1100

Russian Revolution: Hope, Tragedy, Myths

Russian Revolution: Hope, Tragedy, Myths. A curator led tour of the British Library exhibition before it is open to the public.

From the fall of Russia’s last Tsar to the rise of the first communist state, this definitive exhibition takes a fresh look at the Russian Revolution 100 years on.

With rarely seen items from both sides of the conflict – from a first edition of the Communist Manifesto to anti-Bolshevik propaganda – this is a unique chance to understand the lesser-known personal stories behind the events that changed the world.

Also on display for the first time, from the British Library’s own archive: Lenin’s handwritten application for a Reader Pass.

Uniting the political and the personal, explore the Russian Revolution’s central characters, most notably Lenin and Trotsky, alongside the tales of ordinary people living through extraordinary times. Did events in Russia in 1917 transform the international landscape forever? Did they shape the world we live in today?

Bringing to life the hope, tragedy and myths of this seismic revolution, discover Russia 1917 – the biggest flame in a world on fire.

£20 per person to include exhibition entry.  Numbers are strictly limited.

The British Library, 96 Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London NW1 2DB
Tours
Saturday 3rd June 12.30pm-1.15pm

An Introduction to Rare Books

What counts as a rare book?

What makes an old book valuable?

How can I start collecting?

Do you want to know more about the fascinating world of rare books?

 

For the answers to all of the above, come along to the ABA Olympia Book Fair for a free guided Introduction to Rare Books tour.

Lasting about 45 minutes, and led by a rare book specialist, the tour will lead you around the treasures of London’s largest antiquarian book fair.

 

 

ABA Olympia Book Fair, National Hall, Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, London W14 8UX
Tours
Saturday 3rd June 2pm

An Introduction to Rare Books: A Tour for Children

Most people have books at home, but don’t know that books can be rare, or even valuable.

Come and explore the extraordinary world of rare books, from books that are 500 years old to Harry Potter and co.

Led by a friendly and approachable rare book specialist, the tour will last approximately 30 minutes, and finish in the fair cafe.

Afterwards, why not try your hand at printing or book-binding in the LIVE! section of the fair.

Suitable for accompanied children aged 7+.

 

 

ABA Olympia Book Fair, National Hall, Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, London W14 8UX
Tours, Walks
Sunday 4th June 1130-1300 & 1400-1530

Bloomsbury’s lost libraries: a walk through some forgotten book collections

Twenty-first century London contains some of the finest book collections in the world, but what about the libraries that haven’t survived? If you know where to look, London’s streets and alleyways are crammed with the ghosts of libraries past.

Led by the infamous Walking Librarian, Alice Ford-Smith of Bernard Quaritch Ltd, this walk will carry you back through Bloomsbury’s history, to long-forgotten libraries, readers, librarians and collectors. Alice will reveal some of the links between London’s past and present book collections- and the tales of enterprise, transformation, obsession and destruction that are often behind them.

The exact meeting point will be confirmed to ticket-holders.

Generously Sponsored by CILIP Library and Information History Group

 

Russell Square, London WC1B 5BE
Tours
Monday 5th June 1100-1230

A Tour of the Middle Temple Library

An exclusive librarian-led Tour of the Middle Temple Library and viewing of a selection of rare books and manuscripts, as well as the Molyneux Globes.

Middle Temple Library was established in 1641 with a bequest of over 3,700 books made by Robert Ashley (1565-1641). Since then, the collection has grown from a Renaissance library to a modern legal library.

Numbers strictly limited.  To join the waiting list, please email info@rarebookslondon.com

 

Middle Temple Library, Middle Temple Lane, London EC4Y 9BT
Tours
Monday 5th June 1530-c.1700

Treasures of the National Art Library

An exclusive tour of the library led by V&A Librarian Elizabeth James, followed by the chance to view some of the library’s artistic treasures.

 

Free but ticketed.

 

Please see alternative listing https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/treasures-of-the-national-art-library-repeat-tickets-33488360588. The 5th June visit is now sold out.

National Art Library, Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL
Tours
Tuesday 6th June 1530-1700

The Library at Lambeth

A Tour of Lambeth Palace Library, led by the Librarian, Giles Mandelbrote. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the 17th-century Great Hall of Lambeth Palace, now part of the Library (founded 1610), and to climb a medieval staircase to visit the Library’s conservation studio in Morton’s Tower.

Numbers limited; pre-booking essential.

 

Followed by the History of Libraries Seminar, which see.

This tour is repeated on Thursday 8th June. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-library-at-lambeth-tickets-32924649513

Lambeth Palace Library, Lambeth Palace Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 7JU
Tours
Wednesday 7th June 1430-1600

A Cabinet of Rarities

Curator-led tour of the exhibition ‘A cabinet of rarities’: the curious collections of Sir Thomas Browne, followed by a hands-on session introducing some of the treasures of the Royal College of Physicians rare books collection, including medical and non-medical works.

 

£6 per person.

 

 

 

 

De humani corporis fabrica libri septem. Andreas Vesalius, published Basel, 1543. © Royal College of Physicians, photography Mike Fear

Royal College of Physicians, 11 St Andrews Pl, Regent's Park, London NW1 4LE
Tours
Thursday 8th June 1530-1700

The Library at Lambeth

A Tour of Lambeth Palace Library, led by the Librarian, Giles Mandelbrote. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the 17th-century Great Hall of Lambeth Palace, now part of the Library (founded 1610), and to climb a medieval staircase to visit the Library’s conservation studio in Morton’s Tower.

Numbers limited; pre-booking essential.

 

Photo by Jonty Sexton.

Lambeth Palace Library, Lambeth Palace Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 7JU
Talks, Tours
Thursday 8th June 1730-1900

Back street printing presses: chapbooks and street literature in the 18th and 19th centuries 

Speakers: Ruth Richardson (independent historian) and Adam Ray, Special Collections Manager, King’s College London.

The talk will explore the world of the chapbook, small inexpensive books that were sold on the streets to adult and child readers and whose contents ranged from fairy tales and legends to gruesomely recounted real-life crimes and disasters. After the talk there will be an opportunity to see parts of the historic Maughan Library building (the former Public Record Office, now King’s College London’s largest library) and to view a selection of chapbooks and other ephemera from King’s College London’s own library special collections.

Free but prebook

 

Maughan Library, 100-113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1LR 
Tours
Monday 12th June 1400-1530

Treasures of the National Art Library (repeat)

An exclusive tour of the library led by Dr Catherine Yvard, Curator of Special Collections in the National Art Library, followed by the chance to view some of the library’s artistic treasures.

Free but admission strictly by prebooked ticket only. Meeting point confirmed to attendees.

National Art Library, Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL