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Cristina Dondi Sandars Reader 2022

The Sandars Readership in Bibliography is one of the most prestigious honorary posts to which book historians, librarians and researchers can be appointed. Those elected deliver a series of lectures on their chosen subject.

Sandars Lectures 2021-2022

Incunabula in Cambridge: European heritage and global dissemination

For the last twenty years, an international network of scholars and librarians coordinated by Professor Cristina Dondi has been uncovering the historical evidence for the social and economic impact of the European printing revolution still preserved in the many thousands of books printed between 1450 and 1500. The digital resource in which this evidence is being gathered is also allowing us to reconstruct virtually, and understand, the dispersal and formation of European and American book collections over the intervening centuries. Incunabula in Cambridge libraries, including Sandars’ own collection, will be set in the wider context of where they came from, and which other collections around the world they relate to.  

Tuesday 22 November: Books from the suppressed religious institutions of Europe: Mapping the dispersals

Wednesday 23 November: Samuel Sandars as a collector of incunabula

Thursday 24 November: Reassessing the European Printing Revolution, forty years after Eisenstein

Registration will open soon. Lectures will take place in-person at Robinson College, Cambridge. The lectures will also be live streamed.

About the speaker

Cristina Dondi is Professor of Early European Book Heritage, and Oakeshott Senior Research Fellow in the Humanities at Lincoln College, University of Oxford. She is also Secretary of the Consortium of European Research Libraries. During the period 2014-2019 she was the Principal Investigator of the 15cBOOKTRADE Project, funded by the European Research Council, whose results were shared with the general public in an exhibition held in Venice in 2018/19 and now online at She is the editor of Printing R-Evolution and Society 1450-1500. Fifty Years that Changed Europe (Venice: Edizioni Ca’ Foscari, 2020), and co-editor (with D. Raines and R. Sharpe) of How the Secularization of Religious Houses Transformed the Libraries of Europe, 16th–19th Centuries (Turnhout: Brepols, 2022).