Almanacs have existed for as long as people have attempted to interpret the seas and the skies. The Babylonians compiled star catalogues, and the early Greeks and Egyptians knew the importance of correctly predicting the weather. Medieval almanacs introduced elements of divination to their texts. And, as early medicine associated human physiology with astrology, almanacs soon carried health advice too, with an edict of the University of Paris decreeing, in 1437, that all physicians must own a copy of the latest almanac. To read a bit more about the history of early English almanacs and their role in the practice of medicine, check out this fascinating blogpost from the Wellcome library.
The Stationers’ Company exhibition at Guildhall Library is now open. Claire Scott, the organiser, has found some beautiful pieces to display, including a selection of paper lace – apparently British paper-makers were renowned for the quality of their output. The exhibition is designed to be quite interactive, and younger visitors are encouraged to try their hand at printing with ink stamps.
Ruth Frendo, Stationers' Archivist, writes:
For the exhibition accompanying our very successful 2017 Archive Evening, we were loaned some fascinating items from Cambridge University Library. These included a first edition of Robert Hooke’s
The Stationers’ Company records are now available on ROLLCO, a site providing records of Apprentices and Freemen in the City of London Livery Companies between 1400 and 1900. You can visit the site here: www.londonroll.org.
Robert Hooke - the man who measured London after the Great Fire of 1666 and claimed Newton stole his ideas about gravity - also observed the world through lenses and in his Micrographia of 1665 illustrated in the minutest detail the smallest things. Come and see his great book at the Archive Evening event 'Printing and the Mind: Seventeenth-Century Transformations' on Monday 24 April 2017.
Richard Bentley - the greatest classical scholar of his times and one of the most disputatious and vexatious of academics, constantly in litigation against his colleagues, but also the invigorator and re-organiser of printing in Cambridge who set the University on course to be a great academic publisher. Book now to see his work at the Archive Evening event 'Printing and the Mind: Seventeenth-Century Transformations' on Monday 24 April 2017.
Liber A is undergoing restoration and has been digitised. A previous restoration involving coating the pages has had to be removed as the coating had deteriorated through time.
The Bibliographical Society is intending to publish Liber A later this year.
This project aims to make available the records of membership of different Livery Companies. The Stationers’ Company records make available, in remarkable detail, the sustained and significant membership activity of the Company.
A development site will be available from the end of June for the Company to view and approve before being general release. Watch out for an announcement showing that the Stationers' Company records have gone live and meanwhile enjoy the information available so far on www.londonroll.org.
Gordon Johnson has stepped up to organise the 2017 Archive Evening and his title will be ‘The Enlightenment’ – a very challenging one.
Gordon is an historian who has written on India and Cambridge and amongst many other posts has Chaired the Cambridge University Press from 1993- 2009. He is currently the President of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain.