News | November 19, 2023

Sandars Lectures 2022-2023 on Cambridge Bookbinding Dates


This year's annual Sandars Lectures series running later this month will be given by Dr David Pearson on the subject of Cambridge Bookbinding 1450-1775.

The Sandars Readership in Bibliography is one of the most prestigious honorary posts to which book historians, librarians and researchers can be appointed. Those elected deliver a series of lectures on their chosen subject. According to the Cambridge University Library:

Cambridge has been a leading centre for binding books (as well as for printing and selling them) for many centuries and books bound in Cambridge are found all over the world. How do we recognise them, and what can they tell us? The 2023 lectures will build on a project aiming, for the first time, to produce a comprehensive overview of Cambridge binding work through the early modern period. They will explore the evolution of the craft in its broader context, and the questions we should ask when we identify books bound in Cambridge.

Lectures will be held in-person at Robinson College, live-streamed and recorded. Click on the lectures below for more information and to book. All are free and open to all to attend:

  • Lecture 1: November 21, 5-6pm (followed by a drinks reception at the University Library)
  • Lecture 2: November 22, 5-6pm
  • Lecture 3: November 23, 5-6pm 

Dr David Pearson was formerly Director of Culture, Heritage & Libraries for the City of London Corporation. He is a Senior Fellow of the Institute of English Studies at the University of London, was Lyell Reader in Bibliography at Oxford 2017-18, and teaches regularly on the Rare Book Schools in London and Virginia. His books include Provenance Research in Book History (new edition, 2019), English Bookbinding Styles 1450-1800 (2005), Book Ownership in Stuart England (2021), and Speaking Volumes: Books with Histories (2022). In 2020 he launched the Book Owners Online database. 

Cambridge Bookbindings 1450-1770, featuring 45 bookbindings in Cambridge during the handpress period using the collections of Cambridge University Library, is available on the Cambridge Digital Library.