by Laurence Worms - Ash Rare Books

Historic Collections at Senate House Library

We were delighted this week to host a visit by students on the Institute of English Studies’ MA in the History of the Book course, in the suitably bookish surroundings of the Durning-Lawrence Library. A mouth-watering buffet of books was laid out on the table, ranging from the 1471 edition of the great compendium of medieval science De Proprietatibus Rerum (‘On the properties of things’) which William Caxton helped to print during his visit to Cologne – complete with elegant hand-coloured initials in blue and red – to 1930s drafts and redrafts of poems by Thomas Sturge Moore, showing the creative process from first trials to the printed page. Under the expert guidance of Professor Simon Eliot the lively discussion took in illustration, piracy and copyright, type, colour printing, the transition of play texts into print, three-decker novels, Dickens monthly parts, and much more besides.

 Students in the Durning-Lawrence Library

Chosen to illustrate…

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