Upcoming events - Queens' Old Library

Upcoming events

The Age of Reason, Religion and Ridicule in the Library of the Revd David Hughes (c.1704-77)

The exhibition will be part of the Cambridge Science Festival.

Focussing on the science and theology of Isaac Newton and his Cambridge followers, this exhibition traces the path to modernity forged in 18th-century Queens’ through the recently catalogued collection of Revd. David Hughes (Queens’ Fellow (1727-77) & Vice President). Assisted by astronomical, religious, and scurrilous imagery drawn from Hughes's collection, the exhibition reveals the big questions of Man, Society and Creation as posed in 18th-Century Cambridge.

Public opening hours:

4-22 March 2018
Open late until 7.00pm on Thu 7 March
15-min Curator's Talk on Wednesdays at 1.30pm

Free admission, drop-in
(For access, please see Visit Us)

Latest exhibitions available online


Not A Day Without A Line: Past lives of Renaissance books in Queens' Library

This exhibition features unique discoveries made during the Library's two-year ‘Renaissance Queens’’ cataloguing and digitisation project, that provide fascinating insights into how and why Queens’ books were read in the Renaissance period, and the people who read them. Cryptic signs, messages, and poems (including a mischievous nun/friar poem scrawled onto a magnificent 15th-century bible), prayers, as well as mnemonic diagrams and hand-coloured decorations all record in unique ways the lives of early modern readers and the relationships they formed with the books they used (and misused).

Click here to visit the exhibition.


Books and Power in Tudor England: The Renaissance Library of Sir Thomas Smith (1513-77)

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.

Download and read the leaflet of the exhibition here.

Past events

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