A book-historical collection at the Bodleian: Strickland Gibson

Special bindings; oak boards; surviving fragile paper wrappers; a reversible book jacket; false imprints; printing in non-Roman alphabets; contradictory dates in an edition; unusual formats; conjoined pages demonstrating imposition schemes; an example of ‘work and turn’ printing gone wrong; misbound sheets; unbound pamphlets; books in sheets; proof sheets; galley proofs; cancels; type-facsimiles of newspapers; reprints; representative editions from several centuries of European printing …. Bibliographer and librarian Strickland Gibson (Sub-Librarian at the Bodleian from 1931 to 1945) collected specimens revealing the history of printing and book-binding for the study and teaching of bibliography. These are preserved in the Gibson collection … Continue reading A book-historical collection at the Bodleian: Strickland Gibson

The Bodleian Bibliographical Press

The Bodleian’s Bibliographical Press is located in the Old Bodleian Library in a ground-floor room, the Schola Musicae, opening from the Old Schools Quadrangle. Inside are free-standing iron presses (four Albions and a Columbian), a ‘Western’ model proofing press, a star-wheel etching press, a number of table-top presses, and several composing frames, including three seventeenth-century frames, with a quantity of wooden and metal type. The room hosts classes in hand-printing for students from Oxford and other universities, and regular workshops for families, adults, and primary school groups. Latest inspirations Working presses in the Bodleian letterpress studio: Large John & Jeremiah … Continue reading The Bodleian Bibliographical Press

Retrospect of the Hilary Term 2021 Seminars in Palaeography, Manuscript Studies, and Book History at Oxford

Meetings of the two seminar series in Hilary Term 2021 took place in unusual circumstances. The seminars welcomed participants and speakers from around the world at online meetings. Bodleian manuscripts were shared ‘live’ online at all of the Palaeography seminars, and in each series one seminar session joined material from the Bodleian collections with items from other libraries. It was possible to record some sessions; the presentations can be viewed from the links below, where indicated. Seminar in Palaeography and Manuscript StudiesConvenors: Daniel Wakelin (English), Martin Kauffmann (Bodleian) Week 1 (18 January)Julian Luxford (University of St. Andrews)‘The Tewkesbury benefactors’ book‘Presentation recorded … Continue reading Retrospect of the Hilary Term 2021 Seminars in Palaeography, Manuscript Studies, and Book History at Oxford

Paper Interruptions: False Starts in Ben Jonson’s Sejanus

from Georgina Wilson, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge When does a text begin and end? Ben Jonson was an early modern playwright and poet, best known for his rowdy city comedies. Sejanus His Fall is one of Jonson’s more serious plays, printed in 1605. The play draws heavily on many classical writers to describe the fall of the real Roman soldier, Lucius Aelius Sejanus (20BC–31AD).It’s impossible to ignore Jonson’s extensive historical borrowing, because the margins of Sejanus are littered with citations of Latin and Greek texts. Sometimes these marginalia threaten to overwhelm the English play text entirely. They show Jonson as a … Continue reading Paper Interruptions: False Starts in Ben Jonson’s Sejanus

Survival of the Goostly Psalmes

Miles (or Myles) Coverdale’s undated ‘Goostly Psalmes’ contains just over 40 songs in English, mostly translations of German hymns, with printed music. It is printed in the quarto format, with colophon ‘Imprynted by me Johan Gough. / Cum privilegio Regalj’. The only known complete copy is at The Queen’s College, Oxford, consisting of 60 leaves in total. Fragments can be found the Bodleian and Beinecke Libraries. In the foldable sheets linked here, we have joined images of these two sets of fragments: two leaves at the Bodleian, one each from signature B and signature C, and three leaves from signature … Continue reading Survival of the Goostly Psalmes