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Conference: The Permissive Archive

Further to the CFP, you can now book for the one-day conference The Permissive Archive (UCL, Friday 9 November 2012). Celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters, the fascinating-sounding event will ‘present a wide range of work which opens up archives – not only by bringing to light objects and texts that have lain hidden, but by demystifying and demonstrating the skills needed to make new histories’. Rescuing repositories from their persistent but wildly misleading association with neutrality, inertia, and ‘settled dust’, archival research will be ‘championed as engaged and engaging: a rigorous but permissive field’. Flying the flag for Cultures of Knowledge will be our former doctoral student Kelsey Jackson Williams (who will present on John Aubrey’s donations to the Ashmolean Museum) and Anna Marie Roos (who, on the same panel, will offer a case study of the complex archival trajectory of four boxes of Martin Lister ephemera [pictured] serendipitously discovered among the holdings of the Sackler Library earlier this year). Other epistolary papers abound.

The deadline for registrations is 1 November 2012. For further details, the schedule, and to book online, head along to the conference website.

Lecture: John Aubrey and the Printed Book

aubrey_books_posterOur very own Kate Bennett will deliver an Oxford Bibliographical Society lecture on John Aubrey and the Printed Book at the Taylor Institution on Monday 5 March at 5.15pm. John Aubrey is not known primarily for his publications, but for his manuscripts, including his letters, which the Project is editing for publication and calendaring within Early Modern Letters Online. This is often construed negatively, as a failure to print. In her lecture, Kate will reconstruct and explore Aubrey’s complex relationship with printed texts, through his library (full of annotated books), his relations with publishers, his interest in bibliography and the history of the book, and through the libraries of others which he consulted. She will also examine his relationship with the books of those with whom he collaborated, including Anthony Wood and Robert Plot. She will consider how Aubrey balanced print and manuscript as a way of avoiding the risks involved in printing modern histories and lives; and, ultimately what the printed book meant to him. All are welcome!

Universal Reformation: Intellectual Networks, 1560-1670


The opening plenary session.


Relaxing in the foyer.

The Project’s inaugural conference, Universal Reformation: Intellectual Networks in Central and Western Europe, 1560-1670, took place at St Anne’s College on 21–23 September 2010. The event, which was attended by over ninety delegates, built on three preparatory European workshops (held in Prague, Cracow, and Budapest), and allowed forty-two emerging and established scholars from eleven countries to share their perspectives on the international networks and intellectual traditions brought into being by the upheavals of the Thirty Years War. Themes explored included institutional networks and intellectual exchange, encyclopaedia and pansophia, the early modern European media revolution, ecclesiastical reconciliation, and millenarianism, prophecy, and propaganda. Delegates also enjoyed a drinks reception in the Bodleian Library‘s historic Divinity School (incorporating a private viewing of the exhibition ‘My Wit was Always Working’: John Aubrey and the Development of Experimental Science), and were present for the prototype launch of our union catalogue. For further information, including speaker profiles and abstracts, please visit the conference microsite; for details of our 2011 event, please visit the conference webpage.

John Aubrey: Exhibition and Publication

The intellectual contributions of John Aubrey, one of the best-connected scholars of the seventeenth century, a prolific correspondent, and a main focus of Cultures of Knowledge, will be brought to the fore in 2010. An exhibition entitled ‘‘My wit was always working’: John Aubrey and the Development of Experimental Science’, will run from 28 May31 October 2010 in the Exhibition Room of the Bodleian Library. The exhibition is curated by Project participant Dr William Poole, who has also written a companion volume, John Aubrey and the Advancement of Learning. To be released by Bodleian Publishing on 1 May 2010, the Project is delighted to have been able to support the book, for which advance information is available here (doc) . The exhibition will also be accompanied by an ‘Aubrey Day’ on Saturday 19 June, and a series of lunchtime talks on Fridays throughout July and August; for full details, see here.