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Cambridge University Library


About Us

The Cambridge Bibliographical Society was founded on 20 January 1949 for the promotion and publication of bibliographical studies. The Society holds regular meetings at Cambridge University Library and its summer AGM is usually accompanied by a visit to a Cambridge library. Membership of the Society is open to all those interested in bibliography, and members receive the publications as part of their annual subscription. The Society publishes occasional monographs and the annual, peer reviewed Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society and welcomes offers of papers from members and non-members alike. General correspondence and applications for membership should be addressed to the Cambridge Bibliographical Society, University Library, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR (email: For further information, see Membership and Subscriptions.

Owing to the temporary closure of the University Library we regret that we are currently unable to supply copies of the Society's publications.

Programme 2019–2020

Milstein Seminar Rooms, Cambridge University Library, 5:00pm, with tea from 4.30.

Tuesday 12 November 2019: Dr Ben Griffin (Faculty of History, Cambridge), co-curator of the University Library's new exhibition, 'The Rising Tide: Women at Cambridge', will lead a tour of the exhibition.

Wednesday 5 February 2020: Dr Andrew Dunning (Bodleian Library) will speak on 'Unravelling a Manuscript's Collaborators'.

Medieval manuscripts are fundamentally collaborative productions. Reflecting this, our editions, catalogues, and reference tools exist in a constant tension between individuals and institutions; unique recensions and multifaceted literary works. This paper considers how we can improve our analysis of these books through digitally recording manuscripts’ histories of participation more systematically.

POSTPONED * Wednesday 18 March 2020: Dr Georgi Parpulov (University of Birmingham) will speak on 'Orphaned Leaves: Eight Pages from the History of Byzantine Painting'. * POSTPONED

All surviving remnants from the past were originally embedded in a physical context which time has destroyed. In some cases this context can be partially recovered. This talk will highlight little-known Greek manuscript leaves as an example of the (essentially archaeological) method involved in this process of recovery, and consider the implications of this method for the historical study of Byzantine visual art.

POSTPONED * Tuesday 12 May 2020: Dr Jean-Pascal Pouzet (University of Limoges & CESCM, Poitiers) will speak on 'The Library of Richard Holdsworth (1590-1649): New Light on the Manuscripts'. * POSTPONED

Richard Holdsworth – academic, preacher, theologian and bibliophile – bequeathed his entire library to the University of Cambridge (some 200 manuscripts and 10,000 printed books). On its arrival in 1664, this amounted to a second foundation of Cambridge University Library, but it has barely been studied at all. This talk offers a survey of current research on the collection, together with the first tangible results on Holdsworth’s manuscripts, set within a broader frame of reflection about the process of bibliographic and bibliophilic creation.

* CANCELLED * Monday 8th June 2020: Tea & the AGM followed by a private tour of the Old Library at Jesus College * CANCELLED * 

The Sandars Lectures for 2019-20 will be given by Dr Isabel de Conihout on the subject of French bookbindings and bibliophily from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. Two lectures will take place on 4th and 5th March 2020 (5-6pm), in the Riley Auditorium (Clare College Memorial Court), and a hands-on workshop (on which places must be booked) will take place at the University Library 3.00-4.30 on 6th March. More information is available here.

Journal Submissions

The Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society is a blind refereed journal, publishing high quality articles on all aspects of bibliography. Issues include substantial articles as well as brief notes. Whilst submissions on all subjects are welcome, the Editor particularly welcomes those which have, in the widest sense, some Cambridge connections—those, for example, which deal with manuscripts or printed books in Cambridge libraries, books printed at Cambridge or written by Cambridge authors. Offers of papers for the Transactions and requests for the stylesheet should be addressed to the Editor, Liam Sims, Rare Books Specialist, Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DR (email: Issues of the journal published before 2016 are available via JSTOR.

The 2019 issue of TCBS - a special issue of papers from a 2017 conference on Henry Bradshaw - is now published and will soon be sent out to members. It forms part 4 of volume 16 of the Transactions. Non-members wishing to buy a copy may do so via the Paypal link below. The contents are as follows:

Peter Murray Jones: Henry Bradshaw & the manuscripts of King's College

David McKitterick: Henry Bradshaw as Librarian

Paul Russell: "Something of a more congenial nature": Henry Bradshaw, Old Breton, and the editing of Celtic glossed texts

Richard Beadle: Bradshaw's Chaucer: some preliminary obvervations

Lotte Hellinga: Bradshaw & incunabula

Arnold Hunt: Commemorating Bradshaw: G. W. Prothero's Memoir of Henry Bradshaw.

Membership & Subscriptions

Applications for membership should be addressed to the Treasurer, Cambridge Bibliographical Society, University Library, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR (email: Subscriptions (£15.00 or $25.00 a year) cover the twelve months from 1 January, and are payable to CAMBRIDGE BIBLIOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY, University Library, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR. Members will be invoiced each autumn for the following year's subscription. Existing members may renew their membership via the Paypal links here.

Officers 2019–2020

  • President: Professor David McKitterick
  • Vice-President: [vacant following the death of Professor E. J. Kenney]
  • Editor: Liam Sims
  • Assistant Editor: Dr James Freeman
  • Hon. Secretary: Liam Sims
  • Assistant Secretary: Lucille Munoz
  • Programme Secretary: Dr Sophie Defrance
  • Treasurer: William Hale
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Library

Committee 2019–2020

Dr Nicolas Bell; Dr Tim Eggington; Peter Fox, Dr Stella Panayotova; Dr Suzanne Reynolds; Dr Teresa Webber; Dr Jill Whitelock.