The Panizzi Lectures

A portrait painting of Sir Anthony Panizzi (1797-1879) by George Frederic Watts, Panizzi in his younger years (with brown hair and side-whiskers) is sat at a desk consulting a book while taking notes with a quill.
Sir Anthony Panizzi (1797-1879) by George Frederic Watts, NPG 1010 © National Portrait Gallery, London

The Panizzi Lectures are a series of annual lectures based on original research by an eminent scholar of the book.

Published date:

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: 

Enquiries about the Panizzi Lecture series should be directed to the Secretary, Lucy Evans, in the first instance.

Previous lecture series

The 2020 Series

Please note the 2020 series has been postponed until 2021 when Cynthia Brokaw will deliver the series. Dates will be confirmed early 2021.

Future Series