An eternal archive - Lyell Lectures 2017

11 May 2017 5.00pm 6.00pm


Lecture Theatre, Weston Library (Map)


Professor Paul Nelles, Carleton University


Janet Walwyn


Since its inception in the fifteenth century, the Vatican Library served as an important repository of papal records. This lecture explores the fortune of the library amidst initiatives to found a centralized ecclesiastical archive in sixteenth-century Rome.

The Vatican Library and the Counter-Reformation

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.

The remaining Lyell lectures 2017 will take place at 5pm on:


This event is free but places are limited so please complete our booking form to reserve tickets in advance.

Please note: tickets can be booked for the entire Lyell Lectures 2017 series by adding all five lectures to your basket at the same time. Subject to availability.

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This event is listed under: Lectures and talks; Free events
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