Winter Lecture at Matthews Hall: ‘The Afterlife of Books’ on Thursday 11th January, 7.30 pm, doors open at 6.45pm

​‘The Afterlife of Books’, by Emma Laws is our second winter lecture. One of the Museum’s trustees, Emma Laws, the Exeter Cathedral Librarian and the holder of a master’s degree in ‘The History of the Book’ from the University of London is our speaker. Every book has a story to tell beyond its text. From the moment it is printed, a book embarks on a unique journey through time, passed from one owner to another and from place to place. While it is the fate of some books to remain unread and forgotten, others bear the marks of centuries of ownership and use. Bindings, bookplates, signatures, inscriptions, annotations, and marginalia reveal the private histories of books – who owned them, who read them and why.

Emma Laws began her career in rare books and special collections at the Royal Library, Windsor Castle, and continued at the Victoria and Albert Museum where she was a curator for over 20 years, specialising in the history of the art and design of the book and book illustration.  Following her return to Devon, Emma was Director of Collections and Research at the Devon and Exeter Institution from October 2019; she was appointed Cathedral Librarian in January 2022.  Emma continues to work freelance for the Libraries of the National Trust and serves on the committees of the Historic Libraries Forum, the Chartered Institute of Library, and Information Professionals and, locally, the Devonshire Association’s Art and Literature Section.

There will be a bar with acholic and non-alcoholic refreshments available.

One more winter lecture for your diary: 14th March: ‘Paul Indigo from Romans to Jeans’ by Jennie Balfour