News | March 16, 2024

Crime Novels and Islamic Manuscripts Feature in New Cambridge University Library Exhibitions

Cambridge University Library

Murder by the Book poster

Cambridge University Library will draw on its collections of crime fiction for a new exhibition opening later this month.

Murder by the Book: A Celebration of 20th Century British Crime Fiction will focus on the stories of the UK’s most popular fiction writing. Curated by crime novelist Nicola Upson, it will challenge traditional distinctions between literary fiction and genre fiction to examine crime’s place in literary history. 

Running from its early beginnings in titles by Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens to recent bestsellers such as Val McDermid and Ian Rankin, the exhibition will feature first editions of The Moonstone and Bleak House, as well as the dust jackets over more than a century of British book design.

Murder by the Book runs March 23 through August 24, 2024. Entry is free.

Later in the year, Endless Stories will look at the stories of a collection housed in the library since 1632 to examine the major impact made by scholar Thomas van Erpe (also known as Erpenius) on the study of Eastern languages and cultures.

Born in 1584, Erpenius became one of the most important linguists of his time and a prolific editor of Eastern texts, publishing the first accurate book of Arabic grammar, Grammatica Arabica and transforming the Western world's understanding of Arabic and the Middle East.

On display will be some of the library's previously unseen collections of original manuscripts, rare books and papers, including some of the oldest known materials from the Muslim world, from scientific knowledge and religious literature to philosophy, poetry and mysticism. Also free to the public, Endless Stories runs from September 28, 2024 through February 22, 2025.