2011-12 Fellows at the Centre for the Study of the Book

The CSB hosted four short-term Visiting Fellows in 2011-12

Dr Susan Nalezyty, Renaissance Society of America/Bodleian Library Research Grant, 2012

My month-long residency at the Bodleian Library was a productive one, both for discovering important research findings and for making professional connections in and outside my field of art history I spent the month of June 2012 in Oxford transcribing and translating letters addressed to Pietro Bembo for my current book project, Pietro Bembo as Art Collector. Especially due to the library’s generous hours and excellent cataloguing of the collection, I was able to find two other important pieces of evidence in rare, early printed books, one related to the dispersal of Cardinal Bembo’s collection, and the other an oration by one of Bembo’s colleagues that lends insight into Bembo’s personality and collecting habits. Both of these books could not have been found in the United States (according to WorldCat), and this underscores the valuable experience this grant afforded me and my project.

Dr Louisiane Ferlier (Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7) Humfrey Wanley Visiting Fellowship, 2012

Studying how, where and why anti-quaker volumes were incorporated into the Bodleian Library collections revealed the library’s participation in the shaping of opinion in the first decades of the eighteenth century. The research I pursued using Library Records [the Register of Donations, 1692-1710; and A Catalogue of Books sent to the Library, Library Records b.158], and manuscript notes in bound copies of pamphlets donated to the library, including two given by John Wallis (1616-1793) [4o Th A 83 and 8o Th F 95, volumes of George Keith’s pamphlets compiled by Wallis] illuminates how book circulation and preservation was used to curb dissenting religions — quakerism in particular — in the university town.

Dr Eliza O’Brien (Newcastle University) British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies/Bodleian Libraries Fellowship, 2012

In the Abinger Collection I began by consulting Godwin’s reading notes, writing notes, philosophical notes, draft advertisements, autobiographical notes, and book proposals, moving on to read more widely across the letters and biographical fragments contained within the collection.  I found that the reading and writing notes contained many interesting statements from Godwin indicating his opinions towards literature, the reading public, and life as both a reader and an author.  The most exciting material dealt with Godwin’s records of criticism he received from reviewers, friends and fellow-writers relating to his work, particularly the detailed responses offered by Thomas Holcroft on Caleb Williams and St Leon. 

Dr Efstathios Arapostathis (University of Athens), Douglas Byrne Marconi Lecturer

Dr Arapostathis delivered the 2012 Douglas Byrne Marconi Lecture in the Museum of the History of Science on Friday 11 May. His theme, “Owning and disowning wireless,” addressed the history of intellectual property at the turn of the 20th century, and was based on his research conducted during a residence in Oxford and examination of the Marconi Archive and Collection at the Bodleian Library and Museum of the History of Science.

Professor Jim Bennett, director, Museum of the History of Science, Oxford, with Dr Arapostathis on the occasion of the 2012 Douglas Byrne Marconi Lecture, at the Museum

Patenting his inventions was an important foundation of Marconi’s business success, notably the award of the patent number 7777, for separating signals through tuning, allowing simultaneous transmission on different frequencies — a patent which however inspired a lawsuit against Marconi.

Dr Arapostathis’s lecture examined the gap between the understanding of judges and the technical descriptions supplied by inventors.

In 2013, Dr Gabriele Balbi, the 2012 Douglas Byrne Marconi Fellow, will deliver the Douglas Byrne Marconi Lecture on the topic of his research into the transition from one-to-one transmission to the idea of broadcasting as a business aim of the Marconi Corporation.

Apply for the 2013 visiting fellowships by visiting the Centre’s webpage at:


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