British library

Book furniture with Charlotte Howsam and David Pearson

Ref: BL37



This course will consider the history of book furniture from the late medieval period to the 19th century, examining various types of book fittings and how they changed in style and use over time, from the functional to the decorative. The production techniques and materials will also be discussed, as well as techniques for the identification of different materials and their deterioration. Charlotte Howsam completed a PhD in Archaeology at the University of Sheffield in 2016 on late medieval book fittings archaeologically recovered from English monastic sites. She is currently a Post-Excavation Archaeologist for Archaeology South-East (UCL). David Pearson retired in 2017 as Director of Culture, Heritage & Libraries for the City of London Corporation. He is now concentrating on academic work as a book historian, is a Research Fellow of the Institute of English Studies at the University of London and the Lyell Reader in Bibliography at Oxford for 2017/18. His books include Oxford Bookbinding 1500-1640 (2000) and English Bookbinding Styles 1450-1800 (2005, new edition 2014). He regularly teaches on the Rare Book Schools in London and Charlottesville. Maickel van Bellegem ACR is the Metals Subject Leader at West Dean College. Maickel is a goldsmith and metals conservator who has worked both independently and in museums, notably the Rijksmuseum, the British Museum and the V&A Museum. He has worked on a range of metal objects for display, loans, storage and research purposes, and has published regularly. Topics of publications included historical manufacturing techniques relating to patination of 'black bronze' alloys in 19th century Burmese lime boxes and their conservation, authentication and developing conservation treatments for corroded silver. For further information about the course, please contact the Course Organiser: or +44 (0) 1243 818219. For further information about booking, please telephone the Bookings Office: +44 (0)1243 818300. Website: The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and the second largest library in the world.


David Pearson

David Pearson retired in 2017 as Director of Culture, Heritage and Libraries for the City of London Corporation, after a career working in various libraries and collections in London and elsewhere.

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