On 16 October (Thursday), 4:30-5:30 pm, Main Building 1010, Dr Marika Keblusek of Leiden University will give the following research seminar at the University of Lincoln, UK:
A Living Library for Learning: The book collection of Michael Honywood as an intellectual centre in the Dutch Republic (1640-1660)
On Friday, 21 May 1660, Michael Honywood sat down at his desk in The Hague to write a jubilant letter to his friend William Sancroft, then living in Italy: "I could not but write, though it is a hard taske to sit still so long together, being all half mad with over-joy of a sudden happines befallen us, by the recalling of his Majesty by both the Houses of Parliament & the City of London."
After seventeen years of living in exile on the Continent, Honywood, like many other fellow royalists, could return home. With him he brought back many of the books that for a large part make up the holdings of Lincoln Cathedral Library.
Arriving in The Netherlands, in 1643, Honywood had been forced to leave his books behind, which were sequestered by the parliamentary troops. Living without them, however, proved impossible. As soon as he reached Utrecht, the town where he was to spent most of his exile, he started buying books again. Holland, with its lively printing industry turning out books in Dutch, Latin, French, Italian, Spanish and English, was a congenial environment for the bibliophile Honywood. He kept note of his purchases in the Dutch Republic in a small, unconspicuously looking notebook, which, however is a rare book historical treasure: it tells us precisely what Honywood bought, listing authors and titles, size and price of the books. It also records the many books that were borrowed from Honywood's exile collection, including by Henry Oldenburg, the future secretary of the Royal Society. The manuscript is part of the collections of the Wren Library at Lincoln Cathedral.
In this paper, I will discuss the way in which Honywood's extremely varied book collection functioned as an almost "public" library for learning, catering to an equally varied audience of English courtiers, scholars, students, merchants and clergymen. The notebook - purchase register, catalogue and lending register enrolled in one - will be examined not only as a rich book historical source, but as a document attesting to the practices of book collecting and intellectual exchange within the exiled British community on the Continent.
Anna Marie Roos, Ph.D., F.L.S., F.S.A.
Senior Lecturer, History, University of Lincoln
University of Lincoln
Associate Faculty, History, University of Oxford
Associate in Research, Museum for the History of Science, Oxford
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