The History of the Book

Vecellio
Vecellio = Cesare Vecellio, De gli habiti antichi et moderni di diversi parti del mondo (1590)

Senate House Library's Manuscript and Print Studies collection is a nationally recognised resource for the study of manuscript and printed text. The Palaeography and Manuscript Studies Collection explores all aspects of manuscript production in Latin and the Romance languages. The Print Studies Collection covers the study of printed books, newspapers, periodicals and ephemera. The scope is international, with excellent coverage of France and Italy.

These resources are complemented by special collections holdings:

  • Manuscripts and documents from the late Middle Ages to the 19th century, ranging from deeds and charters to religious texts, treatises on trade and personal correspondence. Holdings are particularly strong in French and Spanish.
  • Early modern printed books, with particular strengths in 16th-century Italy and 17th- and 18th-century France and Spain.
  • Printed ephemera: 17th-century broadsides in the Eliot-Phelips Collection, French revolutionary pamphlets, French, Spanish and Portuguese political pamphlets and posters in the Ron Heisler Collection, and the Latin American Political Pamphlets collection.
  • Illustrated material across all periods. Holdings of particular interest include the only UK copy of the 1598 edition of Cesare Vecellio’s De gli habiti antichi et moderni di diversi parti del mondo, a rare copy of the 17th-century Le microcosme contenant divers tableaux de la vie humaine, and numerous printed volumes of engravings by the Italian artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi.
  • Archival sources related to the book trade, including for the London-based Dolphin Book Company.

The Warburg Institute library has extensive holdings on the history of the book (classmark NP) and history of libraries (NM), with specific strengths in Italian and French contexts.