The London Rare Books School (LRBS) began with the leftover sunshine from the annual heatwave and soon descended into the more classic British summertime. The first week of LRBS, however, was not dampened and the vivacity of our students’ enthusiasm reigned on.

This year LRBS extended into three weeks of glorious seminars, discussions, tours and, the often anticipated, receptions. We have been overwhelmed by the fantastic response of our first week from our students and tutors.

If you’d like to find out what our students got up to, continue reading to see what week one had to offer!

A cheery shot from The Walking Librarian Alice Ford-Smith in the midst of the LRBS Sold & Saved walk.

The first week ran the following courses:

Provenance in Books with Director of Culture, Heritage & Libraries for the City of London Corporation, David Pearson. The aim of this course is to identify and interpret the various kinds of provenance evidence found in books before 1900. The course covers different manifestations of provenance – inscriptions, bookplates and book labels, armorials and other evidence from bindings – and include practical sessions on palaeography and reference sources.

History of the Book in India with Aakriti Mandhwani, doctoral researcher at the Department of South Asia, SOAS, University of London, was another success. This course examines the interplay of manuscript and print with the transmission of text through orature and performance traditions. It also looks at the influence of different faiths on manuscript production and illustration, and the impact of printing technologies (xylography and lithography as well as typography).

image credit: Tamara Belts

The Printed Book in Europe, 1455-2010 with Simon Eliot, Professor of the History of the Book at the School of Advanced Study, University of London and was the founding director of the London Rare Books School, explores the origins, spread, and impact of printed materials in Europe, and particularly Great Britain, from Gutenberg to the point at which they appear to be facing their greatest challenge in five hundred and fifty years.

You can read more about Simon Eliot’s course from student Michelle Milan by clicking here. 

And finally, History of Book Illustration with Elizabeth James and Rowan Watson. This course offers an introduction to the history of post-medieval Western book illustration, with an emphasis on developments in printing and in printmaking technology. Students have the opportunity of seeing selected methods demonstrated, and are encouraged to work towards an understanding and recognition of some of the main techniques through examining examples.

The History of Book Illustration students thoroughly enjoyed their time with Elizabeth and Rowan, sharing a number of images from their week:



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LRBS is a series of five-day, intensive courses on a variety of book-related subjects taught in and around Senate House, University of London. London Rare Books School 2017 will take place from 26 – 30 June (week one), 3 – 7 July (week two), and for the first time the School will run a third week of courses from 10-14 July. Each course lasts five days. Bookings cannot be made for individual days.

Our courses are taught by internationally renowned scholars using the unrivalled library and museum resources of London, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, Senate House Libraries, and many more.

For further information, including course descriptions, please click here.