The Vatican Library in the Lyell Lectures 2017

LECTURES: Paul Nelles (Carleton University), Libraries, Space and Power, Lyell Lectures 2017, Oxford, Lecture Theatre, Weston Library, 4  – 18 May 2017. Lectures will take place from 5.00pm — 6.00pm. This event is free but places are limited so please complete the booking form to reserve tickets in advance.

In the 2017 Lyell Lectures Paul Nelles enters the social and material world of the Vatican Library in the late sixteenth century. At the vanguard of the Counter-Reformation, the library gradually adapted to its new role as an instrument of papal policy and hub of ecclesiastical reform. The lectures locate the Vatican Library within a constellation of new state-sponsored collections in early modern Europe.

Framed around the vibrant fresco cycles that graced the new library quarters constructed under Pope Sixtus V (1585-1590), the lectures visit specific episodes in sixteenth century cultural history to probe the dynamic of script and print within the space of the Vatican Library. Particular attention is given to the individuals, practices, and working tools that intersected with libraries in this period.


Thursday May 4: The Vatican Library in the Counter-Reformation
Tuesday May 9: Cardinals and councils
Thursday May 11: An eternal archive
Tuesday May 16: Scribes in the city
Thursday May 18: Urbs et orbis. Popes and printers.

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