“A little bundle of time”: Werner Rolevinck’s epic chronicle of the world, 1474

The Fasciculus temporum is an epic chronicle of ecclesiastical and world history, beginning with the biblical account of Creation up to events of the 15th century, such as the invention of printing. As well as being a bestseller in its day, the chronicle is an innovative example of early printing and represents one of the first examples of a writer working closely with a printer to ensure their intentions are carried out. The author in question, Werner Rolevinck (1425-1502), was born near Laer in Westphalia, Germany, the son of a prosperous farmer. He was probably educated in Cologne and in 1447 entered the Carthusian monastery of St. Barbara where he remained until his death. In his years at St Barbara’s, Rolevinck (or Rolewinck) produced more than 50 works, mainly theological and devotional in nature, but he is best known for the Fasciculus temporum, the title of which is commonly translated as “A little bundle of time”.

First printed in Cologne in 1474 and one of the first books by a living author to be published, the Fasciculus temporum became enormously popular and was reprinted in numerous editions and translations, including close to 40 editions during the author’s lifetime. It greatly influenced the major world chronicles that followed, including Hartmann Schedel’s famous Liber cronicarum (“Nuremberg chronicle”), first published by Anton Koberger in 1493.

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Woodcut of the Tower of Babel from the 1476 edition, also showing manuscript waste used as endpapers on the Lambeth copy ([ZZ]1476.2)
Lambeth Palace Library holds copies of two later editions of Rolevinck’s chronicle, the first printed in Louvain by Johnann Veldener in 1476 and the other published in Cologne around 1483. The former ([ZZ]1476.2) bears the arms of John Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury, on the binding and has leaves from a medieval manuscript as endpapers. The 1483 copy ([ZZ]1500.6.01) is described in the catalogues of the libraries of both Whitgift and Archbishop Richard Bancroft, who purchased Archbishop Whitgift’s books after his death. These editions corrected the errors that slipped into the printing of the first in 1474.

The Fasciculus temporum is an innovative work in several ways, not least in making a significant contribution to the organisation and presentation of historical information on the printed page. More than any previous writer before him, Rolevinck employed the layout of the page to structure his chronicle. The arrangement is complex, presenting unique challenges to the printer by using lines, shapes, images and text to convey the flow of time horizontally across the page. Rolevinck designed his book with two parallel timelines running continuously as the pages are turned, one running from the date of the creation of the world (established as 5199 B.C.) and the other beginning with the birth of Christ. This display allows the reader to compare important historical events with the key events of Christianity; the upper page is devoted to biblical and ecclesiastical history, while the lower part of the page covers secular events, including Classical mythology. A woodcut strip running across the centre of each page is separated from the rest of the text above and below by two sets of lines. Placed inside this band are circles containing the names of popes, saints, classical writers, and legendary figures from the Old Testament.

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Woodcut timeline with text above and below in the Cardiff University copy of the 1474 edition.

The text provides some of the earliest evidence of collaboration between author and printer in the design of printed books. In the colophon of first edition, printer Arnold Ther Hoernen (d.1483 or 1484) states that he is working from a manuscript provided by Rolevinck himself, “following the first exemplar which this venerable author himself wrote by hand completely.” It seems likely that the original manuscript also provided a layout for the printer to follow; Ther Hoernen had to be particularly skilled to replicate this design successfully and the numerous errors which had to be fixed in later editions demonstrate just how difficult a task this turned out to be!

Like many incunabula, the Fasciculus temporum is illustrated with a small number of woodcuts, some of which appear more than once – for example, a woodcut of an anonymous city on fire is used to represent the burning of Troy as well as the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. There are, however, unique and particularly nice illustrations for Noah’s Ark and the Tower of Babel, Several different woodcuts are employed to illustrate the second half of the book, which is full of references to signs and omens such as earthquakes, monstrous births, and the appearance of comets and eclipses.

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Woodcuts of Noah’s Ark and a rainbow on [a3v] of the 1476 edition. The text was rubricated by hand in red ink after printing following the earlier manuscript tradition ([ZZ]1476.2)
Rolevinck’s timeline takes us right up to his own lifetime with the papacy of Sixtus IV (1471-1484) and highlights the invention of printing and the emerging mass availability of books. Rolevinck first shares his thoughts on book collecting while describing the Library of Alexandria: “From this it is clear what great diligence ancient times showed in collecting books. Let those blush for shame who do not acquire a good supply of books when it can be done, of course, by small cost.” Rolevinck’s belief is that the rise of printing has finally made the noble goal of collecting books available to everyone:

“[Printing is] the art of arts, the science of sciences [which will] enrich and illuminate this world in its evil state. The unlimited virtue of books … is now spread by this discovery to every tribe, people, nation, and language everywhere …”

As one of the first true bestsellers, the Fasciculus temporum certainly played its part in bringing the ‘unlimited virtue of books’ to a wider audience than ever before.

Bibliography

Matthew S. Champion. The fullness of time: Temporalities of the fifteenth-century Low Countries. University of Chicago Press, 2017.

“Fasciculus temporum”. Open book: News from the Rare Books Department of Special Collections at the J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah. Accessed 28 July, 2020. https://openbook.lib.utah.edu/book-of-the-week-fasciculus-temporum/

L. C. Ward. “Authors and authority: The influence of Jean Gerson and the “Devotio moderna” on the Fasciculus temporum of Werner Rolevinck”, in: Die Kartäuser und ihre Welt. Kontakte und gegenseitige Einflüsse, I (Analecta Cartusiana, 62), 1993, pp. 171-188

Mark A. Lotito. The reformation of historical thought. Leiden: Brill, 2019.

Virginia Moscrip. “Werner Rolevinck’s Fasciculus temporum”. University of Rochester Library Bulletin, Vol. IX, No. 3, Spring 1954. Accessed 28 July, 2020. https://rbscp.lib.rochester.edu/3422

Unchained, but not unchanged: Encountering books and their history in Lambeth Palace Library (Part 1)

Today we are excited to present a guest post from Becky Loughead, formerly of Lambeth Palace Library and now Serials & E-Resources Librarian at the Society of Antiquaries.

One of the fascinating things about working with the historic collection of Lambeth Palace Library is not just the content of the manuscripts and printed books, but the books themselves as objects. What can examining this book tell us about its past? Who owned it, sold it, bought it, gave it as a gift? What does its binding tell us? Did it once have clasps or a chain attached to it? Does it have a shelfmark or title on the outside? What can this tell us about how it was kept or stored?

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Matthew the Evangelist in the MacDurnan Gospels (MS 1370)

The chances are, if you’re an avid reader, you have some book shelves at home. You probably shelve your books in the way we’re using to seeing in libraries nowadays – rows of vertical books on a shelf with their spines facing outwards. If you have a lot of books, perhaps you also have some sort of finding aid, ordering the books by author’s surname, or by genre. We’re so accustomed to seeing books laid out in this fashion that it might seems strange – or even counterintuitive – to find out that this was not always the case. In fact, it’s a relatively recent development, and one with which our Medieval and early Renaissance ancestors wouldn’t have been familiar in the libraries and book collections of the day.

The books now in Lambeth Palace Library date back to the late 9th century or early 10th century. The oldest is the stunningly illuminated MacDurnan Gospels, believed to have been written in Armagh, Ireland, and later acquired by King Aethelstan of England (925-940) who donated it to Christ Church, Canterbury.  This was a time when manuscripts were produced by monks in monasteries; an extremely labour-intensive operation involving many hours of copying text by hand. Books, therefore, were extremely valuable, so they were kept in locked chests or cupboards (‘armaria’) to keep them safe from wandering hands.

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Librije Zutphen (Netherlands), a 16th-century public library with the lectern system of chaining

Some (but not all) books were chained to reading desks in a church or to lecterns in monastic cloisters. Those chained would be generally be large, heavily-used reference books, rather than the ones we might consider ‘valuable’ in a monetary sense today – these would still be kept securely locked away elsewhere. (Think about the not-for-loan books in the reference section of a modern library: you won’t find an expensive illuminated manuscript bible on the shelves, but you’d likely find a modern printed reference edition.) Chaining was an expensive practice, and some books may also have been available to be loaned under strict conditions, such as on payment of a deposit.

By the end of the medieval period, it was not only monastic institutions which had their own libraries. Universities and theological colleges likewise needed communal book collections for their students, also chaining their books to keep them from “disappearing” from the shelves. In earlier chained libraries, the books were typically chained to long, slanted reading lecterns, like pews in a church.

However, as more books were added to libraries, keeping them stored flat on slanted lecterns became more and more impractical. Some lecterns had shelves built in above or below, where books could be stacked horizontally – but this too posed logistical problems. Imagine trying to pull out your book from the bottom of a pile of heavy tomes! In the late 16th century, a continental technology was brought over to England (an early adopter was Merton College, Oxford) which would soon become the norm for libraries across the country. This was the stall system, where books could be stored upright in vertical rows in back-to-back shelving, lifted down and read on desks beneath.

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The chained library of Hereford Cathedral

The best surviving example of this can still be seen at Hereford Cathedral (the Chained Library was established in 1611). A chain was attached to the fore-edge of the book, typically on the corner of the front cover, and the end of the chain was attached to a steel rod running along the bottom of each shelf. Having the spines facing inwards meant the books could be lifted down off the shelf and opened, alleviating the need to turn them around. This meant the chain wouldn’t become tangled.

The library of Sion College (a college, guild of parochial clergy, and almshouse founded in 1630) was another such chained library in its early days. In 1996, when Sion College Library was closed, its manuscripts and pre-1850 books were transferred to Lambeth Palace Library. Many of its books still show evidence of chaining.

Chained joined
Holes in the upper boards of these Sion College Library books show where a chain had once been stapled. The binding leather was damaged on the latter when the chain was later removed. (Sion Arc Octavo A46.3/AB1H and Sion Arc Quarto A52.0/T97)
Benefactors joined
The Sion College Library Benefactor’s Book, 1629-1703, was chained to a desk on display. Part of the chain is still attached. (Sion L40.2/E64)

But did chaining actually work? Unfortunately – at least for Sion College – having chains didn’t make their library theft-proof. The Benefactors’ Book describes a substantial bequest by Thomas James, who died in 1711 and left some 3,000 volumes to the college. An assessment of the collection was carried out, and it was discovered that “several of those chain’d [books], have at sundry times been broke of ye chains, and stole away, notwithstanding ye strictest diligence & attendance of the Library Keeper, and all imaginable methods that he used to prevent it.”

stollenbooks

Another entry of 1718 reads: “The foremention’d Books are now in ye Library. But some others have been stollen; & some of these are liable to be stollen; notwithstanding their chaines, & all possible care besides.

By the late 1800s, the mass availability of cheaply printed books meant chained libraries were redundant, and the practice died out. Part two of this article will look what happened when the chains came off…

References and further reading:

Chain, chest, curse: Combating book theft in Medieval times, Erik Kwakkel, medievalbooks.nl, published July 10th, 2015.

Reading in restraint: The last chained libraries, Allison Meier. AtlasObscura.com, published May 8th, 2014.

Libraries used to chain their books to shelves, with the spines hidden away, Colin Schultz, Smithsonian.com, published September 6th, 2013.

The chained library: a study of four centuries in the evolution of the English library, Burnett Hillman Streeter. Macmillan, 1931.

The last of the great chained libraries, Jenny Weston. medievalfragments.wordpress.com, published May 10th 2013.

The English library before 1700: studies in its history, edited by Francis Wormald and C. E. Wright. Athlone Press, 1958.

Christmas update from the Library and Record Centre

Merry Christmas from
the Library and Record Centre!

Lambeth Palace Library and the Church of England Record Centre regularly embark on new projects and acquire and catalogue new material, from rare books and manuscripts to modern publications.  These posts provide a brief update on some of our latest acquisitions, projects and upcoming events, to keep you up-to-date with our most recent news.

New books

Enjoy reading one (or more!) of our recently acquired new books. Highlights include:

Magazines and journals

Lambeth Palace Library also collects a variety of magazines and journals. You are very welcome to visit the Reading Room to consult these too. Some of our recently received titles include:
magazinesChurch Archaeology
Churchman
Ecclesiastical Law Journal
Ecclesiology Today
The Friends Quarterly
Historical Research
The Huguenot Society Journal
Journal of Ecclesiastical History
Journal of Religious History, Literature & Culture
Modern Believing
Parliamentary History
The Prayer Book Today
Privacy & Data Protection
Reformation
Royal Historical Society Transactions

newspapers

We also receive the following papers and magazines weekly:
The Church of England Newspaper
Church Times
The Tablet
TLS (The Times Literary Supplement)

Please note that since October 2019, Lambeth Palace Library is closed on Fridays. This is to give the staff time to prepare the collections for the move to the new library building. Opening hours will be 10am to 5pm on Tuesday and Wednesday, and 10am to 7.30 pm on Thursday.

 

Upcoming events

‘Bishop Symon Patrick (1626-1707) – unsung hero of the Restoration Church of England’

Dr Nicholas Fisher
Thursday 26 March, 6pm (admittance from 5:30pm)

PYT0001 (2)In 2018, Nick Fisher was the first recipient of a Lambeth doctorate after the scheme had been rebranded ‘Lambeth Research Degrees in Theology’.  His thesis explored the writings and career of Symon Patrick from Rector of St. Paul’s, Covent Garden, to Bishop of Ely. This illustrated talk will explore the religious tensions of Charles II’s reign and suggest that Patrick’s contribution to the national Church has been unjustly neglected.

All are welcome, but those wishing to attend should book a free ticket at https://nickfisherlambeth.eventbrite.co.uk, or email melissa.harrison@churchofengland.org not later than Friday 20 March.

Day conference on the seventeenth-century book collector Richard Smith (1590-1675) and his library

Hall

Wednesday 27 May (further details to follow)

Speakers will include Peter Lake, Jason Peacey, Andrew Foster, Vanessa Harding, David Pearson, Alan Nelson and Kenneth Fincham.

The Books of Henry Bradshawe, nephew of the regicide

Professor Alan Nelson (University of California, Berkeley)
Tuesday 9 June, 5:30pm (admittance not before 5pm)

Gate HouseThe name of Henry Bradshawe, and the family seat in Marple, Cheshire, in the seventeenth century, are familiar to bibliographers and to the book trade. According to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, John Bradshawe the regicide, being childless, bequeathed ‘all my Law Bookes,’ along with books ‘on divinity, history and other books’ to his nephew Henry, who maintained the family library until his death in 1698. This traditional account is an extreme simplification of the true story, which must start with the realization that books from the Bradshawe family library carry the ownership signatures of at least four Henry Bradshawes. Books from the library are scattered across the English-speaking world.

In association with the University of London research seminar on the History of Libraries. All are welcome, but those wishing to attend should book a free ticket at https://alannelsonlambeth.eventbrite.co.uk, or email melissa.harrison@churchofengland.org not later than Friday 5 June.

Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Lambeth Palace Library, followed by a lecture by Professor Richard Gameson: ‘Codex and Colour: the pigments of Lambeth Palace manuscripts’

Thursday 18 June, 2:30pm (admittance not before 2pm)

RichardGamesonOne of the most striking aspects of medieval manuscripts is their ravishing colours. Scientific advances mean that it is now possible, using non-invasive techniques, to identify the pigments that were used to produce the illuminations in question. This lecture will report the findings from recent investigations of illuminations in Lambeth Palace Library, explaining the processes that were used, summarising the pigments that were identified, and contextualising them within broader patterns of medieval and renaissance painting.

This meeting, open to Friends of Lambeth Palace Library, will be followed by tea. Friends should book in advance with Melissa Harrison, Lambeth Palace Library, melissa.harrison@churchofengland.org  or telephone 020 7898 1400.

 

New Library update

The project remains on time and on budget, and detailed planning for the move is taking place. The scaffolding is coming down on the whole building, with the front elevations now clearly visible.
View from Lambeth Bridger Oct19

View of the Library from Lambeth Bridge

Internally, all shelving units have been installed and the installation of timber bookcases in the Reading Room is also nearing completion.

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Shelving units installed

Reading Room shelves

View from inside the east wing Reading Room

Externally, the landscaping works for the Palace are progressing with the brick features and extensive soft landscaping. This will continue into 2020 and will include extensive planting and a wetland habitat. The external landscaping works on Lambeth Palace Road will commence in January 2020 with remodelling of the footpath immediately outside the site (with pedestrian access maintained at all times).

External facade and wetland

External facade and wetland area

Library staff enjoyed visits to the site in November to view the latest progress of the build.

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The new Library offers spectacular views of the surrounding area, a few glimpses of which can be seen below:

view from semianr room Oct19
View from the seminar room

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Knight Harwood have been running workshops for children at The Evelina Children’s Hospital, as part of the project’s commitment to engaging with the surrounding community. In their latest workshop, on 27th November, patients enjoyed building their versions of the new Lambeth Palace Library out of Duplo and Lego, with the help of the developers from Knight Harwood, teachers from Evelina Hospital School and play specialists. Children and young people, aged 18 months to 13 years old, had a perfect view of the new library, which is being built just across the road from Evelina Hospital, inspiring them to construct their own versions of the building. The full article can be read here on Evelina Hospital’s website, and the children’s designs are on display in front of Evelina Hospital School.

Lego

The results of one of Knight Harwood’s workshops with the Evelina Children’s Hospital

 

Archive news

A large amount of material has continued to be digitised and made available through the Library’s online image gallery. Recent highlights include a range of manuscripts from Sion College (best opened in Chrome):
http://images.lambethpalacelibrary.org.uk/luna/servlet/s/223kgv
http://images.lambethpalacelibrary.org.uk/luna/servlet/s/v817bq
http://images.lambethpalacelibrary.org.uk/luna/servlet/s/tjh7xd

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Sion L40.2L7 f.13r

An English translation of Tacitus’ Annals (MS 683) held by the Library and dating from c.1600 was the subject of an article in the Times Literary Supplement: https://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/royally-adorned/ and other press coverage regarding corrections made by Elizabeth I. The volume has also been fully digitised.

ElizabethMS 683 f.2r

The Library’s archive collections have featured heavily in some recent publications:
https://www.authorhouse.com/en/bookstore/bookdetails/794245-the-cowley-fathers-in-philadelphia
https://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9783030271299

Appraisal and cataloguing work continues on the papers of Archbishop George Carey. In addition a range of other material has been catalogued, such as archives of the Nikaean Club, the Liturgical Commission, the Joint Liturgical Group and Lord Wharton’s Charity, and papers of various 19th century Archbishops of Canterbury, Henry Evington, Bishop of Kyushu, and correspondence regarding the Book of Common Prayer (1928).

Staff have hosted a range of visits, ranging from academic institutions such as the Open University and Royal Holloway (University of London) to professional groups such as notaries public.

 

Lambeth Palace Library and Church of England Record Centre Collection and People Migration Project

Teams are getting-ready for the big move next year to the new Lambeth Palace Library site at the end of the Lambeth Palace Garden, which is due for handing over in April 2020.  In the meantime, planning has been working towards scheduling the move of people and collections across the year 2020; and finishing-off some of the final mapping (where things are going in the new building) and protection (cleaning, boxing etc) of collections.  Activities have included clearing out old kit and equipment (a few skips worth!) both at CERC and LPL; and over 34,000 boxes being made for books moving across to the new library, which also included cleaning them all!

Next steps are working through protection needs for CERC, finishing off Morton’s Tower and ending with protection of the most vulnerable collections in the Great Hall.  Exciting times ahead as next year is a busy move year for us with all Library and Record Centre staff being involved in some aspect of move supervision for collections, kit and equipment.

Atsuko and Erin rotated

Don’t forget – you can also keep up-to-date with our news and events, and enjoy glimpses of some of the treasures in our collections, by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

April update from the Library and Record Centre

Lambeth Palace Library and the Church of England Record Centre regularly embark on new projects and acquire and catalogue new material, from rare books and manuscripts to modern publications.  Every two months, we post here a brief update on some of our latest acquisitions, projects and upcoming events, to keep you up-to-date with our most recent news.

billyNew books!

Enjoy reading one (or more!) of our recently acquired new books.  Highlights include:

Magazines and journals

Lambeth Palace Library also collects a variety of magazines and journals.  You are very welcome to visit the Reading Room to consult these too.  Journal rackA few titles for which we have recently received new issues are:

Upcoming events

Lambeth Palace Garden Open Days with Great Hall entry and exhibition

Every first Friday of the month until September, 12 noon to 3pm

An opportunity to visit the Palace’s beautiful 11-acre gardens, enjoy a cup of tea and slice of cake, and purchase plants and honey from the gardens.  The 17th century Great Hall will also be open throughout the Open Days, with a chance to view a display of highlights from the Library’s collections.  Do come along and bring your friends and family.

There is an entrance fee of £5, which will go to a chosen charity each month, and there is no need to book.

Watercolour of Lambeth Palace

“Mysteries” Demystified: The Making and Meaning of the Lambeth Articles (1595)

A talk by Professor Nicholas Tyacke (University College London)

Tuesday 8 May, 5.15pm (admittance not before 4.45pm)  

Nicholas Tyacke’s books include Altars Restored: the changing face of English religious worship, 1547-c.1700.  The event is run in association with the University of London seminar on the Religious History of Britain 1500-1800.

All are welcome, but those wishing to attend should book a free ticket at www.nicholastyackelambeth.eventbrite.co.uk, or email juliette.boyd@churchofengland.org not later than Friday 4 May. 

Whitgift2

Reformation on the Record: the legacy of libraries

Monday 4 June, 2 – 4pm

The dissolution of monastic and pre-Reformation libraries destroyed the established structures of learning, but also provided opportunities for other institutions and individuals to form collections during the following decades. This workshop will explore the development of new libraries (such as Lambeth Palace Library, founded in 1610) and their role in preserving pre-Reformation books and manuscripts.

Led by period specialists, this workshop will offer you the chance to learn about the aftermath of the Reformation, looking in particular at some original examples of the books and manuscripts which survived the dissolution of the monasteries.

Please come to the Library entrance on Lambeth Palace Road.

This is a joint workshop with The National Archives.

All are welcome, but those wishing to attend should book a free ticket at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/reformation-on-the-record-the-legacy-of-libraries-tickets-43653612129, or email juliette.boyd@churchofengland.org 

RefonRecord

New Perspectives on Seventeenth-Century Libraries

Robyn Adams (Centre for Editing Lives & Letters, UCL):
Donations to the Bodleian Library in the Early Seventeenth Century,
Katie Birkwood (Royal College of Physicians Library):
Digging Deeper into the Marquess of Dorchester’s Library,
Jacqueline Glomski (Centre for Editing Lives & Letters, UCL):
Religion and Libraries in the Seventeenth Century

Tuesday 5 June, 5.30pm (admittance not before 5pm) 

This event will showcase some recent research on library formation, both public and private, in the seventeenth century. Three short talks will deal with patterns of book selection and acquisition as revealed by individual practice and in seventeenth-century theoretical writing on bibliography. The presentations will discuss the potential for research on seventeenth century libraries and the application of digital methods to this research.

In association with the University of London research seminar on the History of Libraries.

All are welcome, but those wishing to attend should book a free ticket at www.seventeenthcenturylibraries.eventbrite.co.uk, or email juliette.boyd@churchofengland.org not later than Friday 25 May.

Great Hall

Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Lambeth Palace Library, followed by a lecture and afternoon tea

Dr Peter Blayney: Printing the 1559 Book of Common Prayer: events without precedent

Thursday 5 July, 2.30pm (admittance not before 2pm)

An authority on the history of the early modern book trade, Peter Blayney’s most recent book is The Stationers’ Company and the Printers of London, 1501–1557 (2013).

This meeting, open to Friends of Lambeth Palace Library, will be followed by tea. Friends should book in advance with Juliette Boyd, Lambeth Palace Library, juliette.boyd@churchofengland.org  or telephone 020 7898 1400, not later than Friday 22 June.  Please join the Friends of Lambeth Palace Library http://www.lambethpalacelibrary.org/content/friends

xxH5145 A4 1559 sig2A1r

Recently catalogued in the Sion College Library Collection

More and more of the Sion College collection is now available through our online catalogue for you to search – with almost 15,000 items to browse, many of which can be requested in the Reading Room.

Cataloguing continues to reveal not only interesting volumes, but also bibliographic insights into the history of the collection. Recent additions to the catalogue include this 1824 edition of Peter Schmidtmeyer’s Travels into Chile, over the Andes (B17.10/Sch5), which added colour to the cataloguer’s desk with the multiple hand-coloured lithographs which feature in the volume. From scenes of everyday life and cultural activities, to curious wildlife the book is one of a number of works to be found in Sion which examines travel and exploration.

B17.10_Sch5

One of the many lithographs to be found in B17.10/Sch5

An elusive armorial ink stamp was found in an early 18th century work called Jus canonicum universum which was written by Anaklet Reiffenstuel (A95.5/R27). Printed in black and featuring a coronet and fleurs-de-lis at its centre, the image is surrounded by text reading: “Scipio prior de Guglielmis”. Do you know anything about this former owner or do you have any ideas about their identity?

A95.5_R27

Unidentified armorial ink stamp, A95.5/R27

If you’re interested in helping us to identify former owners or interpret inscriptions, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are now over 300 images which have been uploaded to the Sion Provenance Project so far. We’ve already received contributions and suggestions from people across the globe, but there are still plenty of pieces of detective work to be done and you can help. Why not go to the Project page and see what you can do? More images are being regularly added, so keep your eyes peeled.

The Sion Team will be heading to Crieff in May to give a presentation on the Sion Provenance Project at the Annual Meeting of the Independent Libraries Association. The talk will focus on the efforts that have been made to publicise the Sion College collection and engage the wider community through our crowdsourcing initiative. We want to inspire other libraries to engage with crowdsourcing and provenance research and we’re hoping that the Sion Provenance Project might be of especial interest to independent libraries who are seeking a novel means of capturing new audiences and expanding their reach.

Archive news

New acquisitions

The Friends of the Library have acquired a manuscript relating to the family of Daniel Wilson (1778-1858), Bishop of Calcutta, and a diary of Sir Henry Longley (1833-1899), son of Archbishop Longley.

Longley

Collections in focus

We continue to mark the centenary of the First World War with a blog post concerning Dick Sheppard, who ministered to soldiers at St Martin-in-the-Fields, and another relating to post-war clergy training. The archive collections document subjects which continue to be topical: the World Council of Churches, which celebrates its 70th anniversary, features in the papers of the prominent ecumenist Oliver Tomkins (1908-92), Bishop of Bristol. The evangelist Billy Graham features in the papers of several 20th-century Archbishops and other collections. Literary associations include the marriage record of the poet John Milton, whose Paradise Lost recently featured on Radio 4, and the writer Henry James, the origin of whose story The Turn of the Screw was told to him by Archbishop Benson at the Archbishops’ country residence, Addington Palace.

Prints034.103

The collection continues to support the Archbishop’s ministry, with an image from the Macdurnan Gospels forming a gift during a visit to Ireland. Both the Library and Record Centre feature in a new database recording collections relating to crime and punishment, including records of the National Police Court Mission, a forerunner of today’s probation service.

Msc1370f4v

Archives in print and the media

The 200th anniversary of the Incorporated Church Building Society, whose archive the Library holds including numerous church plans and other images, is marked by a new book. Other publications relating to the collections include an article on a portrait of Martin Luther formerly held in Lambeth Palace (Steffen Weisshaupt, “Anglican (Re-) Presentation? Two Paintings of Luther at Lambeth Palace”, Anglican and Episcopal History, vol 86, no 4, Dec 2017, pp. 396-418).

Free seats

In the Conservation studio…

Conservation StudioThis year in the conservation studio, conservator Alex Wade has been working on a funded project to clean and box 590 books in the early manuscript series. Here’s Alex to give an insight into what is involved in her work:

“These volumes contain some of our most precious and oldest pieces and are filthy. Dirt can penetrate the surface of the text and stain the material.

“I am completing anywhere between two to four books per day, the books get smaller in size as I progress through the series, meaning that I will be aiming to complete up to six books per day in the future. I am boxing one bay ahead of where I am cleaning to ensure that the material is transported safely from the store to the conservation studio. To do this I measure the book height, width, and depth and input those measurements into the Zund cutting machine and create a custom-made box. This protects the material from handling and storage damage, as well as defending it against the fire defence, water misting system we will have in place in the new library.

ToolsCleaning

“To do the cleaning I use a smoke sponge which is a natural material, soft sponge to wipe and dab away surface dirt. It is quite heavy duty and can remove a wide variety of surface debris. Once this has been done I go along the surface with a soft brush called a hake brush to make sure that there is no residue left behind.”

BeforeAfter2

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February update from the Library and Record Centre

Lambeth Palace Library and the Church of England Record Centre regularly embark on new projects and acquire and catalogue new material, from rare books and manuscripts to modern publications.  Every two months, we post here a brief update on some of our latest acquisitions, projects and upcoming events, to keep you up-to-date with our most recent news.

New books!

An insular odysseyEnjoy reading one (or more!) of our recently acquired new books.  Highlights include:

Magazines and journals

Journal rackLambeth Palace Library also collects a variety of magazines and journals.  You are very welcome to visit the Reading Room to consult these too.  A few titles for which we have recently received new issues are:

Pencils at the ready!

This year Lambeth Palace Library has once again taken part in the #ColorOurCollections social media campaign spearheaded by the New York Academy of Medicine. Libraries and special collections were invited to design and submit colouring sheets using copies of images from their holdings that could be enjoyed for free by the public. Lambeth has created a colouring book which showcases some of the wonderful illustrations which can be found within our astounding collections.  If you want to try your hand at adding wild colours to woodcuts or enlivening an engraving, the sheets are available to download here. We’d love to see some of your finished attempts, so please do email examples to jessica.hudson@churchofengland.org

Color

Upcoming events

An evening with the Library’s conservators

With an opportunity to view the conservation studio and discuss techniques and treatments with the Library’s conservation staff Thursday 19 April, 6-7:30pm (admittance not before 5:45pm)

Tickets £15 per head (£10 for Friends of Lambeth Palace Library), to include a glass of wine. Numbers will be limited. Please note that the conservation studio is reached by a medieval spiral staircase.

Friends and guests are welcome, but please book in advance with Juliette Boyd, Lambeth Palace Library, juliette.boyd@churchofengland.org or telephone 020 7898 1400, not later than Friday 13 April.

Conservation work

“Mysteries” Demystified: The Making and Meaning of the Lambeth Articles (1595)

A talk by Professor Nicholas Tyacke (University College London) Tuesday 8 May, 5.15pm (admittance not before 4.45pm)  

Nicholas Tyacke’s books include Altars Restored: the changing face of English religious worship, 1547-c.1700.  The event is run in association with the University of London seminar on the Religious History of Britain 1500-1800.

All are welcome, but those wishing to attend should book a free ticket at www.nicholastyackelambeth.eventbrite.co.uk, or email juliette.boyd@churchofengland.org not later than Friday 4 May.

Whitgift2

New Perspectives on Seventeenth-Century Libraries

Robyn Adams (Centre for Editing Lives & letters, UCL):
Donations to the Bodleian Library in t
he Early Seventeenth Century,

Katie Birkwood (Royal College of Physicians Library):
Digging Deeper into the Marquess of Dorchester’s Library,

Jacqueline Glomski (Centre for Editing Lives & Letters, UCL):
Religion and Libraries in the Seventeenth Century
Tuesday 5 June, 5.30pm (admittance not before 5pm) 

This event will showcase some recent research on library formation, both public and private, in the seventeenth century. Three short talks will deal with patterns of book selection and acquisition as revealed by individual practice and in seventeenth-century theoretical writing on bibliography. The presentations will discuss the potential for research on seventeenth century libraries and the application of digital methods to this research.

In association with the University of London research seminar on the History of Libraries. All are welcome, but those wishing to attend should book a free ticket at www.seventeenthcenturylibraries.eventbrite.co.uk, or email juliette.boyd@churchofengland.org not later than Friday 25 May.

Great Hall

Recently catalogued in the Sion College Library Collection

The Sion Team are working hard to catalogue the collection and are adding new records to the online catalogue each week which you can explore. In addition, more material is being uploaded to the Sion Provenance Project and your help would be greatly appreciated. Can you decipher inscriptions or help identify historic owners? Why not get involved, and visit the Sion Provenance Project website and contribute your ideas and suggestions?

sion coronationAn interesting item recently discovered is Edward Walker’s A circumstantial account of the preparations for the coronation of His Majesty King Charles the Second, and a minute detail of that splendid ceremony (B94.2/W15(1)). This is the first work in a bound volume of three published accounts of the coronation ceremonies of kings and queens. Printed in 1820 from Walker’s contemporary manuscript, it describes in great detail the preparations for the crowning of Charles II in May 1660, his journey from Dover to London, and the pomp and ceremony of his coronation at Westminster. The other two works in the volume describe respectively the coronation ceremonies of George III and Queen Charlotte in September 1761, and of George IV on 19 July 1821. As fascinating as these accounts are, it is the unique additions to the Sion College Library copies which make them especially interesting. Each of the three descriptions has been extra-illustrated with various memorabilia from the coronations, including numerous portraits of the monarchs, plans of the processions and contemporary newspaper clippings. Souvenir prints of the ceremonies, some coloured by hand, have been bound with the volume, as have several tickets issued to gain access to Westminster Abbey, the processions and even the coronation services themselves. Together these items form a one-of-a-kind record of these historic occasions.

Archive news

New acquisitions and newly-catalogued items

Sections from the papers of Archbishop Runcie from 1987 have been made available for research. For more information please see the online archives catalogue. The Friends of the Library have acquired Latin verses of Thomas Keble (MS 5127), adding to the collection of material on the Keble family. The Library also acquired, by kind gift of a descendant of Mary Sumner, an addition to Mothers’ Union material: a photograph of Mrs Sumner (shown below), also picturing her husband George Henry Sumner, Bishop of Guildford, and Randall Davidson, Bishop of Winchester, later Archbishop of Canterbury (MU/PHOTO/4/3). One of our 2016 accessions, an account of Bishop Thirlby’s journey to Rome in 1555 (MS 5076), featured in the National Archives review of collecting.

MU-PHOT-4-3

Collections in focus

New posts on the Library blog have included the death of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd in 1282, the 50th anniversary of the charity Crisis at Christmas, and Anglican-Methodist relations. We continue to mark the centenary of the First World War with a blog post concerning the Mothers’ Union roll of honour. The Library also holds letters of the writer R C Sherriff, whose famous play Journey’s End is the basis of a new film. He was a friend of Gerald Ellison, Bishop of London, whose papers the Library holds. As this year sees the centenary of votes for women, readers may wish to revisit our blog post on women’s suffrage. This year also sees the 200th anniversary of the Incorporated Church Building Society, whose archive the Library holds.

New additions to our image database

Further additions to the Library’s image database include material relating to witchcraft (below) and further volumes from the collection of Greek manuscripts.

1597.15.03TPr

Archives in print and the media

The British Records Association published an article by Matti Watton, “Seven hundred years since a spade cost sixpence: Records of the Lambeth Palace garden”. The garden also featured in Gardeners’ Question Time. The Library featured in a BBC World Service programme on the Renovationist Church in Russia, a reform movement following the Revolution of 1917 which is documented in the archive of Archbishop Davidson and that of Canon John Douglas, a pioneer of relations with the Orthodox Churches whose papers the Library also holds. The Library holds extensive sources on Orthodox relations which of course continue to form part of the Archbishop’s ministry with his visit to Russia in 2017. The Society of St John the Evangelist, records of which are accessible at the Church of England Record Centre, forms the subject of a project on the Cowley Fathers during the First World War. A 15th-century printed book from the Library’s collection will appear on exhibition in Bruges from March onwards.

CERC update

ASBcoverRecords of the Committee of the Alternative Service Book dated 1967-1988 are fully catalogued and available here.

Henry H. Willmore Collection dated 1935-1940 (notes made by Henry H. Willmore on church spires and stone coffins) are fully catalogued and available here.

 

Don’t forget you can also keep up-to-date with our news and events, and enjoy glimpses of some of the treasures in our collections, by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, as well as on our blog.