Events - Queens' Old Library


Queens' Old Library participates throughout the year in the cultural life of Cambridge. The Library opens its doors to the public and offers various activities to make people discover the extraordinary collection hosted in one of the oldest libraries in Cambridge.

New exhibition in the Old Library

Books and Power in Tudor England
The Renaissance Library of Sir Thomas Smith

Sir Thomas Smith (1513-1577) was one of Queens' College's most eminent alumni. Though he achieved high office as Secretary of State to Edward VI and Elizabeth I, ambassador to France and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, Smith is remembered as much more than a statesman; his remarkable annotated books, bequeathed to Queens' College, capture the mind of a man of singular intelligence and learning with an acerbic wit. These annotations and doodles reveal how humanist politicians like Smith used books as sources of power in Tudor England.

Opening hours:
9 Oct — 3 Nov
Late opening until 7pm on Thu 2 Nov

15-min curator's talk every Wed at 1.30pm

Free admission
Entrance via the Visitors' Gate on Queens' Lane and the War Memorial Library (please knock on the door).
The library is situated on the first floor of an historic building. Regrettably, due to the age of the building, there is no lift access to the library.

This exhibition is included as part of the Cambridge Festival of Ideas.

Upcoming events

Cambridge Festival of Ideas
16-29 October 2017

- Exhibition 'Books and Power in Tudor England: The Renaissance Library of Sir Thomas Smith'
  Mon-Fri, 1.30-4.30pm
- Workshops 'Bookbinding in Tudor Cambridge' (SOLD OUT)
  Sat 28 Oct, 9.30-10.30am & 11am-noon
- Talks 'Reading Books in 16th century Cambridge' (SOLD OUT)
  Sat 28 Oct, 2-4pm (access to the Thomas Smith exhibition after the talks)

Free - Booking is required (except for exhibition) via the Cambridge Festival of Ideas website.
Queens' leaflet available here.

Past events

Open Cambridge

Festival of Ideas

Other events

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