This event spans multiple dates:
9 Nov 2021 17:00 to 18:00 Robinson College and online
10 Nov 2021 17:00 to 18:00 Robinson College and online
11 Nov 2021 17:00 to 18:00 Robinson College and online


Cambridge University Libraries are hosting the Sandars Lectures 2020-21, and invite you to join this open to all event, either in person or via live stream for this year’s series. Please note that you need to register for each lecture you wish to attend in person or online.
The Sandars Readership in Bibliography is one of the most prestigious honorary posts to which book historians, librarians and researchers can be appointed. Those elected deliver a series of lectures on their chosen subject.
The Reader for the 2020-21 series of Sandars Lectures is Dr Orietta Da Rold, an Associate of Cambridge Digital Humanities, who will be speaking on the subject of ‘Paper Past and Paper Future’.
Lecture One – Tuesday 9th November: Paper in Time
Lecture Two – Wednesday 10th November: Paper in Space
Lecture Three – Thursday 11th November: Paper Futures
About the series: Paper Past and paper Future
Paper is so common in our everyday life that we sometimes fail to notice it. It is available in all sorts of shapes, degrees of quality and colour. We rely on paper for the quotidian and the extraordinary. We think with paper, we write with paper, we create with paper, we imagine with paper and we feel through paper. It is both ephemeral and long-lasting. The digital revolution, heralding the demise of paper, turned out to be a technological evolution, and we have discovered, or perhaps are still discovering, that these two technologies can accommodate rather than compete against one another.
The arrival of paper in medieval Europe also heralded an era of technological innovation and evolution. Drawing on extensive research in Cambridge collections and beyond, Orietta Da Rold will consider the significance of this material as a commodity and particularly as the stuff of which books are made. These lectures are about the stories that medieval paper can tell. Looking differently at the books on the shelves of our libraries, paper unfolds fascinating stories of technological innovation, transnational interactions and human ingenuity.
About the speaker:
Dr Orietta Da Rold is an Associate Professor at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St John’s College. She has published widely on medieval textual cultures and manuscript studies. She has recently published Paper in Medieval Britain: From Pulp to Fiction (CUP), which emerged from her British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship and edited the Cambridge Companion to British Manuscripts with Elaine Treharne. She is currently working on a project provisionally entitled ‘Paper in Time and Space’.

Cambridge Digital Humanities

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