Libraries, space and power - Lyell Lectures 2017

4 May 2017 5.00pm 6.00pm


Lecture Theatre, Weston Library (Map)


Professor Paul Nelles (Carleton University)


Janet Walwyn


The sixteenth century witnessed the rise of numerous state libraries. This lecture probes the relationship of the new state collections to space. Examples from Venice, France and Spain help locate the Vatican Library in its Roman setting and against a transnational landscape.

This is the first Lyell Lecture of 2017, and will be followed by a drinks reception in Blackwell Hall.

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 series by adding all five lectures to your basket at the same time. Subject to availability.

Book tickets

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