Bibliographical Society Lecture on Early Printing on Wed 30 May

Oxford Bibliographical Society Lectures – Annual General Meeting

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 in the Freind Room, Lee Building, Christ Church, at 5.15 p.m

Lotte Hellinga on  “Explorations in Early Printing Houses”

Dr Lotte Hellinga was Deputy Keeper (The British Library) and is a Fellow of the British Academy and a Correspondent of the Netherlands Academy of Sciences.

She specialises in early printing, with interests ranging from detailed studies of textual bibliography of early printing and the transition of manuscript to print, early printing types, book-trade and readership, to bibliographical control of early materials through databases. The British Library enabled her to initiate the ISTC database of incunabula of which she was the first editor, as well as related projects, The Illustrated ISTC and the microfiche project The printing revolution in Europe.

Her recent work includes the volume ‘England’ of BMC, (the BMC is all known as the ‘Catalogue of books printed in the XVth century now in the British Library’), published in 2007, with contributions by John Goldfinch, Paul Needham and Margaret Nickson. Her most recent books are ‘William Caxton and early printing in England’, published by the British Library in 2010, and ‘Printing in England in the fifteenth century’, an updated reprint of E. Gordon Duff’s bibliography, published jointly by the Bibliographical Society and the British Library in 2009. She has published around 170 articles and contributions to volumes regarding the history of the book and early printing in a variety of languages.

All are welcome.

Related Links: More about Dr Lotte Hellinga | Oxford Bibliographical Society website

Lyell Lectures 2012

Engraving by Droeshout, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library

The Lyell readership in bibliography at Oxford University is endowed by a bequest from James Patrick Ronaldson Lyell (1871–1948), a solicitor, book collector and bibliographer. Each year since 1952, a distinguished scholar has been elected to deliver the lectures, usually six in number, on any topic of bibliography, broadly conceived.

Lyell Lectures 2012

Lukas Erne, University of Geneva

“Shakespeare and the Book Trade”

Location: TS Eliot Lecture Theatre at Merton College, all lectures take place at 5pm.

  • Tuesday, 24 April (TODAY), ‘Shakespeare and the Book Trade, 1593-1622: An Introduction’
  • Thursday,26 April, ‘Shakespeare, Publication, and Authorial Misattribution’
  • Tuesday, 1 May, ‘Introducing Shakespeare’s Early Publishers’
  • Thursday, 3 May, ‘Investing in Shakespeare’s Playbooks’
  • Tuesday, 8 May, ‘Investing in Shakespeare’s Poems’

Related links: Lyell Lectures webpage

Early English Books Online offers free training webinar

Early English Books Online (EEBO) – Training Webinar
Hosted by Rebecca Price, ProQuest Training and Support Team

EEBO homepage

EEBO homepage

Digitised directly from the UMI Early English Books collection in microform, Early English Books Online (EEBO) presents classic early English works as they appeared in their original format and includes works ranging from Galileo to Purcell to Shakespeare. Join an online session to get an introductory overview of this database and interface or to refresh your awareness of how Early English Books Online (EEBO) can support your research into early modern literature, language, culture and history. This webinar covers content, functions and features, as well as tips for using Early English Books Online (EEBO) on the Chadwyck-Healey interface. It will also try to answer any questions and show you how to access support, including tutorials, help pages and documentation. The session is scheduled for 60 minutes to cover:

  • Print to electronic – the EEBO collections
  • Content examples
  • Key and specialist functionality
  • Live demo
         – Basic, Advanced searching
    – Variant spellings & Variant forms
    – Browsing by author, Thomason Tracts, Periodicals
    – Output options
  • Review & questions

Dates and times

Two sessions are being held in March and both will cover the same material. Select whichever session suits you best:
– Tuesday, 13 March 2012 10:00, GMT Time (London, GMT)
Participants will need to register here:

– Thursday, 15 March 2012 14:00, GMT Time (London, GMT)
Participants will need to register here:

On registration, you will be sent an email with full instructions on how to join the online meeting. Following the session is easy – just listen via our audio broadcast or call in to the teleconference. All details will be provided in the registration email. Participation is free of charge.

 Early European Books, the acclaimed sister resource to EEBO, allows researchers to extend their survey of early modern printed sources into continental Europe.
A free Early European Books training webinar is also now open for bookings – click here for details.

OBS Lecture by Brian Cummings 23 Jan 2012

Details of the next Oxford Bibliographical Society lecture

Date: Monday, 23 January 2012

Location: Taylor Institution, Seminar Room 3, at 5.15 p.m.

Lecture: The Book of Common Prayer and the History of the Book – Brian Cummings

Poster for OBS Lecture by Brian Cummings 23 Jan 2012Brian Cummings  is currently Professor of English at the University of Sussex. He specialises in many aspects of early modern English literature, especially More, Wyatt, Shakespeare, Donne, and Milton. He also works on the history of the Reformation, the history of theology and of heresy, the English Bible and the Book of Common Prayer, medieval and Renaissance philosophy, humanism, especially Erasmus, the European Renaissance and the reception of the classics, grammar, logic and rhetoric and on literary theory and the philosophy of language. He has recently published The Book of Common Prayer: The Texts of 1549, 1559, and 1662 (Oxford University Press, 2011), a unique edition of the Book of Common Prayer that brings together the texts of three different versions – 1549, 1559, and 1662 – to provide a panorama of the history of ritual in England from the Reformation to the twentieth century. He is also the author of The Literary Culture of the Reformation: Grammar and Grace (Oxford University Press, 2002), a Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year for 2003. A paperback edition of this book appeared in July 2007. He has also published widely in journals such as English Literary Renaissance and Studies in Church History, and is a contributor to The Cambridge History of Medieval English Literature (1999) and The Oxford Companion to the Book (2010). This year Professor Cummings is guest curating an exhibition for the 350th anniversary of the BCP at Lambeth Palace Library which will run  from May to July 2012, entitled Royal Devotion: the Monarchy and the Book of Common Prayer. Later in 2012 he will be giving the Clarendon Lectures in Oxford.

Mon 21 Nov @ 5.30pm: Classifying the world: John Wilkins and the invention of the universal language


‘Classifying the world: John Wilkins and the invention of a universal language’

Dr. Tabitha Tuckett (Magdalen College, Oxford)

Monday 21 November, 7th week, 5.30pm

Summer Common Room, Magdalen College, Oxford

Historians are warmly invited to the third in the new series of Magdalen Library Seminars on the College’s library collections and their context. This term’s seminar will be given in 7th week by Dr. Tabitha Tuckett, who will discuss the extraordinary project of the scientist John Wilkins and his colleagues in the seventeenth century to construct a universal, artificial language. Tabitha Tuckett, Assistant Librarian at Magdalen, is an experienced lexicographer and works on Classical and Renaissance literature.

The seminars are open to all and offer the opportunity to see some of the early books in the Old Library and find out about their context. Refreshments will be provided but it would help us anticipate numbers if you could reply to if you would like to attend.


New: State Papers Online 2, The Spectator 1828-2000, Early European Books 2 and many more

It gives us great pleasure to announce some end-of-year purchases of major databases.

They can all be accessed via OxLIP+ and will be added to SOLO shortly. Oxford users have remote access and should use their Single Sign-On username and password. All other readers are welcome to use the databases in any of the Bodleian Libraries. Want to register as a reader? Check out our Admissions page.

State Papers Online II: The Tudors 1509-1603 (Foreign)

Part II completes the State Papers of the Tudor period by reuniting the Foreign, Scotland, Borders and Ireland papers for the 16th century together with the Registers (‘Minutes’) of the Privy Council for the whole of the Tudor period. Its sources are The National Archives, London: SP 46,. 49, 50-53, 59-63,65, 66, 68-71, 75, 77-85, 88, 89, 91, 92, 94 – 99, 101-106, 108, and PC 2 British Library: Selected documents from the Cotton, Harley and Yelverton Collections.

Related interest: SPO1 (Tudor Domestic Papers) is already available.

Early European Books 2 (Italian collection)

Early European Books builds upon and complements Early English Books Online (EEBO) and is largely concerned with non-Anglophone materials. All works printed in Europe before 1701, regardless of language, fall within the scope of the project, together with all pre-1701 works in European languages printed further afield.

Collection 2 contains early printed volumes from the Biblioteca Nazionale di Firence (National Central Library of Florence). The selection of works focuses on four collections of particular historic and bibliographic importance within the library’s holdings from this period:

The Nencini Aldine Collection. More than 1,000 editions printed by the Aldine Press, founded by Aldo Manuzio the Elder (also known as Aldus Manutius) in Venice in 1495, and continued by his wife, son and grandson until the 1590s. The Aldine Press was one of the most historically significant institutions in the early history of printed books, with numerous innovations including the first use of italic type and the adoption of the smaller, more portable, octavo paper size.

Marginalia. A collection of more than 80 sixteenth- and seventeenth-century volumes which have been identified for the importance of the postillati, or marginal annotations. Researchers will be able to read marginal notes written by Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) on his own personal copies of works by Euclid, Petrarch, Ariosto, Tasso and Horace. Other notable authors include Michelangelo Buonarroti the Younger (nephew of Michelangelo the painter and sculptor), the playwright Lodovico Castelvetro and the poet Alessandro Tassoni. Continuing the astrological theme, there are also editions of works by Galileo and Johannes Kepler with annotations by Galileo’s follower, the mathematician and scientist Vincenzo Viviani (1622-1703).

Incunabula: almost 1,200 volumes, including rare first editions of the works of Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio, and 100 volumes by the controversial preacher Girolamo Savonarola (1452-1498).

Sacred Representations. Over 600 sixteenth- and seventeenth-century editions of sacre rappresentazioni, popular verse plays depicting Biblical scenes, episodes from the lives of the saints and Christian legends, which were originally performed in Florence and elsewhere in Tuscany and are considered by scholars to form the foundations of Italian theatre. Although many of the texts are anonymous, those by named authors include Castellano Castellani’s Figliuol prodigo and Lorenzo de’ Medici’s Rappresentazione di San Giovanni e Paolo.

Related databases: Early English Books Online, Making of the Modern World 1455-1850, Eighteenth Century Collections Online, Early American Imprints I 1639-1800.

Periodicals Archive Online 7

Collection of international historical humanities and social science journals. Importantly it includes The Spectator (1828-2000).

The Spectator is an important British weekly magazine which is generally considered to be a right-of-centre and conservative magazine. It focuses largely on political and cultural aspects.

Oxford currently has access to PAO 1-5 and 7.

The Financial Times Historical Archive,1888-2006

The Financial Times Historical Archive provides an online, fully-searchable facsimile run of the London edition of the FT, from its first issue in 1888 to the end of 2006. Each item in this complete collection is categorized by both subject and topic, with every individual article, advertisement and market listing included and searchable for retrieval individually and in the context of the full page and issue of the day.

Related databases: for our growing selection historical newspapers, go to OxLIP+, select Topic tab and select Newspapers.

Mass Observation 2011 update

The latest update to Mass Observation Online will see a further 200,000 pages added to the resource, bringing the total to around half a million pages of unique material for the study of Britain, 1937-1955. All material for this section has been digitised in colour.

Diaries: Men and Women, 1943-1945
Directives: Men and Women, 1943-1945
The Worktown Collection
Topic Collection 26: “Britain Can Make It”
Topic Collection 42:  Posters 1939-1947
Topic Collection 63:  Smoking Habits 1937-1965
Topic Collection 85: Drinking Habits
Topic Collection 86: Gambling

Adds new sources to existing Mass Observation Online.

FBIS Western Europe 1974-1996

The Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Report has been the United States’ principal record of political and historical open source intelligence for nearly 70 years. The original mission of the FBIS was to monitor, record, transcribe, and translate intercepted radio broadcasts from foreign governments, official news services, and clandestine broadcasts from occupied territories. FBIS Daily Reports, 1974–1996 constitutes a unique archive of transcripts of foreign broadcasts and news that provides insight into the second half of the 20th century; many of these materials are firsthand reports of events as they occurred.

FBIS Daily Reports, 1974–1996 consist of translated broadcasts, news agency transmissions, newspapers, periodicals, and government statements from nations around the globe. These media sources were monitored in their languages of origin, translated into English, and issued by an agency of the US government

This FBIS collection complements those for other areas, e.g. Eastern Europe, Soviet Union, Latin America, Middle East, South Asia, etc.

Perdita Manuscripts: Women Writers 1500-1700

Perdita provides access to the manuscripts of early modern women writers, from diaries to works of drama, and from widely scattered locations. Detailed catalogue descriptions are linked with complete digital facsimiles of the original MSS, providing a wide variety of search and browsing options. There is extensive biographical information, notes on provenance, bibliographies, the first and last lines of all poetry, and contextual essays and notes on ‘Perdita in the Classroom’.

Latin American Newspapers, 1805-1922

This important online collection provides more than 30 fully searchable Latin American newspapers published in the 19th and 20th centuries. Featuring titles from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela and elsewhere, the collection offers unprecedented coverage of the people, issues and events that shaped the region between 1805 and 1922. Through eyewitness reporting, editorials, legislative information, letters, poetry, advertisements, matrimony notices and obituaries, this unique collection chronicles the evolution of Latin American culture and daily life over two centuries.

Related databases: for our growing selection historical newspapers, go to OxLIP+, select Topic tab and select Newspapers.

African Writers Series (via LION)

The electronic edition of Heinemann’s African Writers Series, providing searchable online access to the founding works of modern African literature from 1962-2003, mostly now out of print. Over 260 volumes of fiction, poetry, myths, drama, memoirs and reportage are included from a wide geographic range across Africa, mostly written in English but including some translated volumes. Each work is available in full text, re-keyed from authoritative editions, and every author has an author page with links to all their works and a biography specially commissioned for the collection.

Related databases: Literature Online (LION)

Early modern historians: Discover Early English Books Online

Early modern historians: Discover Early English Books Online (EEBO)

Friday 17 June (week 7), 14:15-15:30 – BOOK HERE

EEBO is an important database of early printed books from 1475-1700. If you need tracts, texts and pamphlets written in Britain and colonial America in this time, then this hands-on session will show how to search, manipulate and print the text.

Presenter: Rebecca Price (ProQuest)

IT Room, History Faculty, George Street

Database trials until 31/1/11: Early European Books and The Cecil Papers

Oxford users now have trial access to two databases until 31 January 2011:

Early European Books – now with Part 2 (Italian imprints):

Early European Books builds upon and complements Early English Books Online (EEBO) and is largely concerned with providing online access to non-Anglophone early printed materials. It offers scholars new ways of accessing and exploring the printed record of early modern Europe, drawing together a diverse array of printed sources from the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries. All works printed in Europe before 1701, regardless of language, fall within the scope of the project, together with all pre-1701 works in European languages printed further afield.

The Cecil Papers

The Cecil Papers is a collection of documents, principally from the reigns of Elizabethan I and James I/VI, privately held by the Gascoyne-Cecil family at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire. Until now, researchers of Elizabethan & Jacobean history have only been able to view these papers by applying to visit the archives at Hatfield House or by consulting a pair of aging and increasingly-degraded black & white microfilm copies. Now, these documents are available digitally. The resource contains nearly 30,000 documents gathered by William Cecil (1521-98), Lord Burghley and his son Robert Cecil (1563-1612), First Earl of Salisbury. Occupying some of the highest offices of state in the land (both men were Secretary of State to Elizabeth I and Robert Cecil also served her successor, James), these two men were at the heart of events during one of the most dynamic periods in Western history.

Please send feedback to Isabel Holowaty (  Note that there is currently no funding for either of these. However, we will use your feedback to help prioritise the desiderata list.