Dr Karen Limper-Herz

Karen Limper Herz picture
Lead Curator, Incunabula and Sixteenth Century Printed Books
Incunabula and books printed up to 1600; the Grenville Library; bookbindings
Related Offices
Honorary Secretary of the Bibliographical Society

I have worked with the Library's early printed books since 2000, and I am now responsible for its incunabula (books printed before 1501) and its books printed in the 16th century.

My main area of research is book history, and I am especially interested in the history of collecting incunabula in England and in contemporary and later bindings on incunabula. I completed a PhD on the library of The Right Honourable Thomas Grenville (1755-1846) and focused in particular on the growth and use of his collection, the bindings in his library, and his relationship with the British Museum.

In 2013/2014 I co-curated the Library's exhibition 'Georgians Revealed: Life, Style and the Making of Modern Britain', and I continue to take an interest in the Library's 18th century printed collections.

I regularly publish and speak about aspects of the Library's collections and my areas of research in the UK and abroad.



  • 'A binding by Alexander Cleeve, c. 1688', The Book Collector, 64 (2015), 240-242
  • 'The Life of a Journeyman-Bookbinder in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries' (with Mirjam M. Foot), in Habent sua signa libelli: Beiträge zum Bucheinband in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Konrad von Rabenau anlässlich seines 90. Geburtstags am 3. Februar 2014 gewidmet (Berlin: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz, 2015) pp. 247-261
  • 'A Danish (?) Binding, 1838', The Book Collector, 63 (2014), 576-578
  • 'A German binding, 1573', The Book Collector, 63 (2014), 258-260
  • 'A binding by Clarke and Bedford for Thomas Grenville, c. 1847', The Book Collector, 62 (2013), 626-628
  • 'A German Binding, c. 1750', The Book Collector, 62 (2013), 272–274
  • 'A Binding for Philippe II Hurault, c. 1613', The Book Collector, 61 (2012), 602–604
  • 'Heinrich Institoris and Jakob Sprenger, Malleus Maleficarum. Nuremberg: Anton Koberger, 17 March 1494', in Senate House Library University of London, ed. by Christopher Pressler and Karen Attar (London: Scala Publishers Ltd, 2012), No. 6
  • 'A binding by Charles Hering Senior for Thomas Grenville, c. 1801', The Book Collector, 61 (2012), 236–238
  • '“For uniform beauty of condition and splendour of binding...": The Right Honourable Thomas Grenville und seine Bucheinbände', Einbandforschung, 30 (April 2012) 31–48
  • 'A Binding for Jacques-Auguste de Thou, c. 1573–5', The Book Collector, vol. 60, no. 2 (2011), 270–272


  • Georgians Revealed: Life, Style and the Making of Modern Britain (London: The British Library, 2013) (with Moira Goff, John Goldfinch and Helen Peden)