History of Libraries Seminar

History of Libraries Seminar
7 May 2019, 5.30pm - 7.30pm
The Warburg Institute, Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AB

Julian Pooley (Surrey Museums, Woking): ‘Working tools almost daily in demand’: The Libraries of John Nichols and His Family.


The Nichols family lived and breathed books. They printed them, reviewed them, sold them, borrowed them and collected them. Writing his autobiography in 1850, the architectural historian, John Britton, paid tribute to the ‘Spacious printing office of my venerable and kind friend, John Nichols, who indulged me with the use of many books from his valuable topographical library, but none were to be taken away, for he justly saw them as his working tools almost in daily demand’. That may have been the case with some volumes of particular value but, as I hope to show in this paper, people did borrow books from the Nichols family, just as the Nichols’s borrowed books from their own friends, fellow researchers and colleagues in the trade.  Books were not simply working tools, they were material and physical agents of information, friendship and leisure and it will come as no surprise that they feature very regularly and prominently in the Nichols correspondence.


Venue: The Warburg Institute, Woburn Square, London, WC1H 0AB, at 5.30 p.m.

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