Over 100 alumni and friends of the University of York gathered on campus last Thursday for the inaugural Friends of the Library and Archives lecture, given by Professor Brian Cummings of the Department of English and Related Literature on ‘The Cult of the Book’.
Professor Cummings specialises in Renaissance literature, and writes extensively on the history of the book, modern poetry and the philosophy of literature. He delighted the audience with an examination of the relationship between the worship of idols and the worship of books, dating back 400 years.
The Friends group was launched earlier this year to recognise the generosity of those who support the growing collections and facilities within the University’s library network, and also the Borthwick Institute for Archives. Philanthropy has already enabled the Library and Archives to achieve great things, for example the digitisation of York’s Archbishops’ Registers and purchasing state-of-the-art digital microform readers for public viewing of the Archives. A recent generous gift has also allowed the Library to purchase new items relating to the history, politics, philosophy and social studies of Central and Eastern Europe. We are grateful to all the existing Friends who have made these initiatives a reality.