Events - Queens' Old Library

Events

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.

The Library also takes part in international initiatives that aim to promote the special collections of cultural institutions across the world.

Queens' Old Library Open Day


Come and join us for a special day in the Old Library on Saturday 21 April 2018:

- Bookbinding in Tudor Cambridge
Hands-on workshop, 9.30-10.30am & 11.00am-noon
Free - booking essential: CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR TICKET

Discover how sixteenth-century bookbindings were made, from the sewing to the decoration (tooling). This workshop highlights the work of local binder Garrett Godfrey (c. 1527-33) and offers a display of his finest bindings along with other fascinating Tudor bindings from the Queens' College Old Library's collections. Use a bookbinder's roll to understand the technique more fully.

- 'Not a Day Without a Line: Past lives of Renaissance books in Queens' Library'
View of the exhibition, 1.30-4.30pm
15-min curator's talk at 2.00pm & 3.00pm
Free admission - drop in
(Due to the limited space within the Old Library, the number of visitors will be restricted to thirteen at any one time)

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).


Exhibition


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

Wednesday 18 - Saturday 21 April 2018
1.30-4.30pm
15-min curator's talk on Wed at 1.30pm, on Sat at 2.00pm & 3.00pm

Free admission - drop in
Entrance via the Visitors' Gate on Queens' Lane and the War Memorial Library
Access by stairs (no lift)

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).


Online exhibition: Books and Power in Tudor England

Our highly attended exhibition, Books and Power in Tudor England: The Renaissance Library of Sir Thomas Smith, which was included as part of the Cambridge Festival of Ideas 2017, will soon be available online alongside the previous ones.

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.

In the meantime, you can download and read the leaflet of the exhibition here.

Past events

Open Cambridge

Festival of Ideas

Other events

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