Open as normal from 24 January 2023. Read more about our stocktake here.

Stocktake finds

Look what we found while doing a stocktake of the historic collections!

A coloured illustration re-used as a pastedownThe Library was closed to visitors and readers from 9 January to 21 January 2023, our quietest time of the year. This was to let us count and check the books in the galleries. Below are just two of the things we found.

 

We’re used to finding pages from printed books recycled in bindings, but this is a first for us. These are coloured, uncut playing cards, peeking out from a pastedown in a 1615 dictionary of philosophy, which was probably bound in France.

Uncut coloured playing cards used in a 17th-century bookbinding

These colourful pages were also used as pastedowns in the binding of a work by Jean Bodin which belonged to our first librarian, Élie Bouhéreau. They look like images from an Italian costume book or a commedia dell’arte book. We will be doing more digging to identify these!

Two coloured pastedowns
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