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John Cooper elected Trustee of the Society of Antiquaries

Posted on 2 May 2018

York academic to serve on the society's governing council.

York historian John Cooper has been elected a Trustee of the Society of Antiquaries of London, to serve on its governing Council. Founded in 1707, the Society of Antiquaries fosters research and public understanding of the past through its architecture, art and material culture. A magnificent library at Burlington House on Piccadilly houses an internationally significant collection of books, manuscripts, portraits and artefacts. 

John explains: ‘I became involved with the Society through my AHRC research project on St Stephen’s Chapel at the Palace of Westminster. The Antiquaries played a vital role in recording the medieval architecture and wall-paintings of St Stephen’s before they were destroyed in 1800.  That work to record, to preserve and to protect our heritage remains central to the Society to this day. To be asked to serve alongside such distinguished scholars on the Council is a real honour.’

In 2017 John co-curated an exhibition of the Society’s collection of sixteenth-century portraits and manuscripts, ‘Blood Royal: Picturing the Tudor Monarchy’, bringing nearly 9,000 visitors to Burlington House. An intern from the Institute for the Public Understanding of the Past worked on the exhibition, and the Library is now making its collections available to York research students. Heather Rowland, Head of Library and Collections at the Society, says: ‘this is a fantastic opportunity to learn about our collections, hear from Fellows who are experts in their field, and network with other students and early career researchers’.