Founded by King Henry I in 1121, the abbey dedicated to the Virgin and St John Evangelist at Reading flourished throughout the Middle Ages. Amongst its famous treasures was the arm of St James, a popular object of pilgrimage. Less well-known are its manuscript treasures, but from the twelfth century the abbey boasted a rich library. Some of these manuscripts were produced in the abbey’s scriptorium, but others were acquired as gifts or through purchase. This conference will explore the evidence for the production and use of books at Reading from its foundation to the dispersal of its possessions at the Reformation.
Topics covered might include, but are not limited to:
- – The production, management or acquisition of books at Reading Abbey.
- – The collections of books at Reading Abbey as sources for scholars and artists working in Reading and beyond.
- – The surviving manuscripts associated with Reading Abbey.
- – The uses of books in the life and work of the Abbey community.
- – The historiography of the library at Reading Abbey.
Submissions from any disciplinary perspective are welcome.
Abstracts of no more than 300 words for papers of 20 minutes should be sent to Laura Cleaver at firstname.lastname@example.org by 1st August 2014