History of Libraries Seminar

History of Libraries Seminar
5 November 2019, 5.30pm - 8.00pm
Room 243, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Dr. Keith Manley (Hon. Fellow, Institute of Historical Research): `Sociability, Pretension, and the Reality of Georgian Subscription and Circulating Libraries’.

The private subscription and commercial circulating libraries of eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century England are frequently referred to by historians as `libraries for sociability’. But what is a `library for sociability’? Does holding card games in a library qualify? Did these kinds of lending libraries contain elements of `sociability’ at all or is the phrase just an academic conceit? This study will consider hard evidence. Circulating libraries in popular holiday resorts in particular will be examined as well as the careers of certain individual librarians. Were they really librarians or booksellers or perhaps just fancy goods salesmen, or even masters of ceremonies? And how did a gang of bank robbers come to be connected to a `library for sociability’? How are an Edinburgh mugger and a pair of duellists connected to library history?

Unless stated otherwise, all our events are free of charge and anyone interested in the topic is welcome to attend. Registration is required for all events. Please sign up using the booking form below.


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