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The Panizzi Lectures are a series of annual lectures based on original research by an eminent scholar of the book.
The lecture series is named after Anthony Panizzi, former Principal Librarian of the British Museum, they have been delivered annually since 1985.
The Panizzi Foundation
The Panizzi Foundation was established in 1982, following a donation by Mrs Catherine Devas to establish a Trust Fund whose income could be used to meet the costs of public lectures. The Trust states that the lectures should be “on a subject pertaining to bibliography whether concerning the subjects of palaeography, codicology, typography, bookbinding, book illustration, music, cartography, historical critical and analytical bibliography, or any subject relating directly or indirectly to any of the above subjects”. It further states that “the lecturer should be chosen for his or her high level of scholarship and should base the lectures on original research”.
The lecture series normally takes place in the winter and is made up of three lectures held in The British Library Knowledge Centre. The lectures are free but tickets should be obtained via The British Library Box Office from the autumn onwards. Some recent lectures are recorded; listen to them by clicking on the links listed under the 'History' theme on the British Library Player.
Speakers are selected three years before their lecture series by the Panizzi Council. The Council is currently comprised of:
- Dr David Pearson, Institute of English Studies (Chair)
- Lucy Evans, British Library (Secretary)
- Professor Ingrid de Smet, University of Warwick
- Margaret Ford, Christie’s
- Xerxes Mazda, British Library
- Liz Jolly, British Library
- Professor Jill Kraye, The Warburg Institute
- Professor James Raven, University of Essex.
Enquiries about the Panizzi Lecture series should be directed to the Secretary, Lucy Evans, in the first instance.
Previous lecture series
- 1985 D.F. McKenzie: Bibliography and the Sociology of Texts
- 1986 T.A. Birrell: English Monarchs and their Books: from Henry VII to Charles II
- 1987 K.W. Humphreys: A National Library in Theory and in Practice
- 1988 Giles Barber: Daphnis and Chloë: The Markets and Metamorphoses of an Unknown Bestseller
- 1989 J.P. Gumbert: The Dutch and their Books in the Manuscript Age
- 1990 J.B. Trapp: Erasmus, Colet and More: The Early Tudor Humanists and their Books
- 1991 Bernhard Fabian: The English Book in Eighteenth-Century Germany
- 1992 Malachi Beit-Arié: Hebrew Manuscripts of East and West: Towards a Comparative Codicology
- 1993 C.G.C. Tite: The Manuscript Library of Sir Robert Cotton
- 1994 Iain Fenlon: Music, Print and Culture in Early Sixteenth-Century Italy
- 1995 David Woodward: Maps as Prints in the Italian Renaissance: Makers, Distributors & Consumers
- 1996 Charles Burnett: The Introduction of Arabic Learning into England
- 1997 Mirjam M. Foot: The History of Bookbinding as a Mirror of Society
- 1998 Roger Chartier: Publishing Drama in Early Modern Europe
- 1999 Glen Dudbridge: Lost Books of Medieval China
- 2000 Michael Twyman: Breaking the Mould: The First Hundred Years of Lithography
- 2001 Nicolas Barker: 'Things not Reveal'd': The Mutual Impact of Idea and Form in the Transmission of Verse 2000 B.C. - A.D. 1500
- 2002 Christopher Ricks: T.S. Eliot's Revisions after Publication
- 2003 Antony Griffiths: Prints for Books, French Book Illustration 1760-1800
- 2004 María Luisa López-Vidriero: The Polished Cornerstones of the Temple: Queenly Libraries of the Enlightenment
- 2005 W.F. Ryan: The Magic of Russia
- 2006 Christopher Pinney: The Coming of Photography to India
- 2007 Jonathan J.G. Alexander: Italian Renaissance Illuminated Manuscripts in the Collections of the British Library
- 2008 Nicholas Pickwoad: Reading Bindings: Bindings as Evidence of the Culture and Business of Books
- 2009 Anthony Grafton: The Culture of Correction in Renaissance Europe
- 2010 James Raven: London Booksites: Places of Printing and Publication before 1800
- 2011 Robert D. Hume and Judith Milhous: The Publication of Plays in Eighteenth-Century London: Playwrights, Publishers, and the Market
- 2012 Brian Richardson: Women, Books and Communities in Renaissance Italy
- 2013 Robert Darnton: Censors at Work: Bourbon France, Imperialist India and Communist East Germany
- 2014 Christopher de Hamel: The Giant Bibles of Twelfth-Century England
- 2015 David McKitterick: The Invention of Rare Books
- 2016 Rowan Williams: British Libraries: The Literary World of Post-Roman Britain
- 2017 Germaine Greer: The Poetry of Sappho
- 2018 Laurie Maguire: The Rhetoric of the Page
- 2019 Ann Blair: Paratexts and Print in Renaissance Humanism.
- 2020 Series postponed to 2021.
The 2021 Series
Cynthia Brokaw delivers a series of three lectures, "Spreading Culture Throughout the Land”: Woodblock Publishing and Chinese Book Culture in the Early Modern Era”.
- Lecture 1: Woodblock Publishing in China’s First Age of Print, Tue 30 Nov 2021, 19:30 - 20:3.
- Lecture 2: The Publishing Boom of Early Modern China and Late-Ming Book Culture, Thu 2 Dec 2021, 19:30 - 20:30.
- Panizzi Lecture 3: Empire of Texts – The Expansion of Woodblock Publishing and the Rise of the Common Reader, Tue 7 Dec 2021, 19:30 - 20:30.