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A Library for Yorkshire: The Petyts and their World

Thursday 20 June 2024, 9.00AM

The Petyt Library, housed at the University of York since 2018 (on loan from Skipton town council), represents a remarkable example of a surviving seventeenth-century book collection. The library was donated by the brothers William (1635-1707) and Sylvester Petyt (1638-1719), who both became lawyers in London, to their home town of Skipton.

The library includes nearly 5000 books and pamphlets from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century, reflecting political and religious issues of the day. This includes many Civil War tracts and political and religious texts from the Commonwealth and Restoration eras. There has been an ongoing project at the University of York to
extract data from the original catalogue and notes of carriage, and this symposium will be an opportunity to consider future major research projects.

The symposium will bring together some of the top scholars of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, considering the context of early modern libraries, the Skipton of the Petyt brothers, and the political, legal and intellectual world of the two brothers. We will begin with an introduction to the collection itself, currently housed in the Borthwick Institute for Archives.

This conference is generously funded by CREMS, CECS and the Department of History.

Register for your place

Location: Borthwick Institute for Archives/The Treehouse, Berrick Saul Building