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Sandars Lectures 2022

Tue 22 November - Thu 24 November

Robinson College

Incunabula in Cambridge: European heritage and global dissemination
Hosted in-person at Robinson College, and live-streamed.

The development of printing in Western Europe was not just a technological innovation; its profound social and economic impact ushered into the Continent the transition from a medieval to an early modern society, a phenomenon which was analysed in different ways by Lucien Febvre and Henri-Jean Martin, L’apparition du livre (Paris 1958) and by Elizabeth Eisenstein, The Printing Press as an Agent of Change (CUP, 1979). For the last twenty years, an international network of scholars and librarians coordinated by Professor Cristina Dondi has been uncovering the historical evidence for the seismic impact of the European printing revolution preserved in the many thousands of surviving incunabula (books printed between the 1450s and 1500). Harnessing the tools of the digital revolution is also allowing us to reconstruct virtually, and understand, the dispersal and formation of European and American book collections over the intervening centuries. Incunabula in Cambridge libraries, including Sandars’ own collection, will be set in the wider context of where they came from, and their connections with other collections around the world.

Tuesday 22 November: Books from the suppressed religious institutions of Europe: Mapping the dispersals

Wednesday 23 November: Samuel Sandars as a collector of incunabula

Thursday 24 November: Reassessing the European Printing Revolution, forty years after Eisenstein

Cristina Dondi is Professor of Early European Book Heritage, and Oakeshott Senior Research Fellow in the Humanities at Lincoln College, University of Oxford. She is also Secretary of the Consortium of European Research Libraries.

Cost: Free

Enquiries and booking

Please note that booking is required for this event.

Please visit our website for details about each lecture and to register. Queries relating to these lectures can be directed to events@lib.cam.ac.uk.



In person Live Stream

All times

Tue 22 November 5:00PM - 6:00PM
Wed 23 November 5:00PM - 6:00PM
Thu 24 November 5:00PM - 6:00PM


Address: Robinson College
Umney Theatre
Grange Road
Telephone: 01223 339100
Fax: 01223 351794