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VIRTUAL BOOK TALK: The Library: A Fragile History

Tuesday, December 7, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Registration is requested

VIRTUAL TICKETS | Members and VESP holders free and Visitors $5

LOCATION | Zoom

VIRTUAL BOOK TALK: The Library: A Fragile History

Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen in conversation with Nicholas Basbanes

Famed across the known world, jealously guarded by private collectors, built up over centuries, destroyed in a single day, ornamented with gold leaf and frescoes, or filled with bean bags and children’s drawings—the history of the library is rich, varied, and stuffed full of incident. In The Library, historians Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen introduce us to the antiquarians and philanthropists who shaped the world’s great collections, trace the rise and fall of literary tastes, and reveal the high crimes and misdemeanors committed in pursuit of rare manuscripts. In doing so, they reveal that while collections themselves are fragile, often falling into ruin within a few decades, the idea of the library has been remarkably resilient as each generation makes—and remakes—the institution anew. 

Beautifully written and deeply researched, The Library is essential reading for booklovers, collectors, and anyone who has ever gotten blissfully lost in the stacks. 

Andrew Pettegree is professor of modern history at the University of St Andrews. A leading expert on the history of book and media transformations, Pettegree is the award-winning author of several books on news and information culture. He lives in Scotland.

Arthur der Weduwen is a British Academy postdoctoral fellow at the University of St. Andrews. This is his fifth book. He lives in Scotland.

Nicholas Basbanes is an award-winning investigative journalist and was literary editor of the Worcester Sunday Telegram. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Smithsonian.

 

PURCHASE The Library: A Fragile History from our partner, Harvard Book Store.

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Auto-generated captions are available for most virtual programs. To request live captioning or other accommodations, please contact Hannah Weisman at weisman@bostonathenaeum.org or 617-720-7617 at least four business days prior to the event.