Collectors and the Country House Library
Thu 19 Oct 2017  at 09:30 AM – 04:30 PM

The shelves of Horace Walpole’s Library at Strawberry Hill, emptied in the great sale of 1842, have recently been filled with the loan of books from the library of Aske Hall, North Yorkshire. To celebrate this event we are holding a study day on the Country House Library.

Particular themes of the study day are the evolution of country house libraries, and especially how the libraries of art collectors such as Walpole support and enrich our understanding of their broader collections. Country house libraries may develop over generations of owners, but they may also strongly reflect the personality and interests of one collector, whether as bibliophile or in the broader history of collections of works of art. We will be looking not only at Walpole, but at a broad range of other collectors and their collections to show how much these libraries can reveal.

Book Now 


9.30–9.50 Coffee

9.50–10.00 Greetings and Housekeeping

10.00–10.25 Paper 1: Stephen Lloyd – The Library of the Earls of Derby at Knowsley Hall

10.25–10.50 Paper 2: Stephen Clarke- Quite a paradise of well-conditioned, beautiful books’? Horace Walpole’s Library at Strawberry Hill.

10.50–11.00 Questions

11.00–11.10 Break

11.10–11.55 Mark Purcell keynote paper  The Country House Library

11.55–12.05 Questions

12.05–12.30 paper 3: Claire Reed – The Library at Osterley Park House

12.30–12.35 Questions

12.35–2.15 Lunch and tours of the house

2.15–2.40 Paper 4: Giles Mandelbrote – A Metropolitan Collector: The Library of Sir Richard Ellys (1682-1742) at Blickling Hall

2.40–3.05 Paper 5: David Pearson –Bugs and Bindings: eighteenth-century insect rolls

3.05–3.30 Paper 6: Megan Aldrich – Saxon or Gothic? An Antiquarian Library at Stowe

3.30–3.45 Questions

Refreshements including a light lunch will be provided.

For further information, please contact

This event is kindly sponsored by the Delmas Foundation