We are pleased to announce an exhibition and catalogue celebrating the project to increase access to Nicholas Crouch’s 17th-century library. The exhibition will be open to the public during Oxford Open Doors. The Library’s Exhibition and Outreach page has details of more opening times.
We’re pleased to announce a free event to explore directions for future research on Nicholas Crouch’s seventeenth-century library:
Friday 7 September 2018
Delegates are invited to hear speakers from across academic disciplines discussing research directions for a newly accessible early printed and manuscript collection in Oxford. The Library of Nicholas Crouch (ca. 1618 – ca.1690) at Balliol College was catalogued and conserved thanks to a generous grant from The Wellcome Trust. Read more about the project on the Balliol’s Historic Collections blog.
Free event. Sign-up on Eventbrite
Lunch and refreshments included
Session 1: Networks and Connections
(Chaired by Professor Seamus Perry)
- Professor Adam Smyth: Crouch’s diary and almanacs
- Dr Will Poole: Crouch and pamphlet collection
- Dr Jason Scott-Warren: Pricing and splicing with Crouch
- Dr John-Paul Ghobrial: Beyond Balliol: Crouch’s links to the wider world
- Nikki Tomkins: The binders behind the books
Questions and discussion
Session 2: From Natural Philosophy to Poetry
(Chaired by Dr Peter Elmer)
- Dr Olivia Smith: Science and experimentation in Nicholas Crouch’s collection
- Professor Elizabeth Hageman: Nicholas Crouch, Francis Finch, John Freeman, and Katherine Philips at Balliol College: 1653-1664.
- Dr Benjamin Wardhaugh: ‘Six hundred thousand different Latine Verses’: Nicholas Crouch’s mathematics
- Dr Kathleen Walker-Meikle: Nicholas Crouch: Pharmacological receipts and medical book collecting
Questions and discussion
Reconstructing Nicholas Crouch exhibition opening
A chance to see items from Crouch’s Library at Balliol Historic Collections Centre, St Cross Church
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01865 277709
The Library has recently purchased A.C. Bradley’s manuscript of his lecture on ‘Inspiration’ – what is meant by it and what value it has to society.
A.C Bradley studied at Balliol from 1868 having won an exhibition (a type of scholarship). He was elected a Fellow in 1874 and was a popular teacher in English and Philosophy. Balliol’s manuscript collections show Bradley’s involvement in the intellectual life and politics of the College during his time here; forming friendships with T.H. Green and R.L. Nettleship and earning the opposition of the Master, Benjamin Jowett. The latter is hinted at in Bradley’s entry in The Masque of B-ll—l, forty satirical poems about Balliol members printed as a broadsheet in 1881:
‘Inspiration’ was first given as an address in a Church in Glasgow, where Bradley was Regius Professor of English Language and Literature at the University from 1889. He held the post until 1901 when he returned to Oxford as Professor of Poetry. Bradley’s address formed the basis of the essay of the same name in his book, A Miscellany (MacMillan, 1929) [Balliol Library: 47 g 26 Ground Floor].
Throughout the manuscript, Bradley crosses out and rewrites as he tackles the question of what is meant by ‘inspiration’ in the secular context of poets and other thinkers. Bradley identifies three conditions of inspired thought. Firstly, that it is new; secondly, that it strikes the thinker as superior to their habitual thoughts; and thirdly that it should come upon them suddenly. He goes on to identify a paradox about the perceived origin of inspired thought which he feels is a point of comparison to religious inspiration:
“[inspiration] is something which we cannot attribute to ourself, it is given to us, and in it we lose ourself; that is the one aspect. It is something in which we find ourself, and are at last our true self; that is the other aspect.”
The manuscript has been bound in boards covered with grey paper and contains the bookplate of Glaswegian publisher and bookseller James J. Maclehose, designed by Sir David Young Cameron. It joins other manuscripts by A.C. Bradley at Balliol including the rare survival of an undergraduate essay, with the title ‘Does Literature tend necessarily to decay?’ and academic papers on Shakespeare’s work, the area of criticism for which Bradley is most famous today.