Famed across the known world, jealously guarded by private collectors, built up over centuries, destroyed in a single day, ornamented with gold leaf and frescoes – or filled with bean bags and children’s drawings – the history of the library is rich, varied and stuffed full of incident.
In The Library: A Fragile History, St Andrews Professor, Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen (who co-authored The Bookshop of the World) explore this contested and dramatic history – the first major study of its kind.
From the famous collections of the ancient world to the embattled public resources we cherish today, The Library is a fascinating journey. Along the way we meet antiquarians and philanthropists who shaped the world’s great collections, see the rise and fall of fashions and tastes, and reveal the high crimes and misdemeanours committed in the name of pursuing rare and valuable manuscripts. This will be an unmissable evening!