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Antiquarian ‘Science’ in the Scholarly Society

April 1, 2019 - April 2, 2019
Society of Antiquaries of London

Burlington House, Piccadilly
London W1J 0BE
United Kingdom

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This is workshop two of the AHRC International Networking Grant: Collective Wisdom: Collecting in the early modern academy (https://collectivewisdom.uoregon.edu) led by Anna Marie Roos and Vera Keller.

We will explore how ‘antiquarian science’ informed collecting in the early modern scholarly academy, as many members of these societies like astronomer Martin Folkes (1690-1754) also were connoisseurs and antiquaries. Folkes was Newton’s protégé, President of both the Royal Society and Society of Antiquaries of London, and he even tried to unite the two societies as they had many common members and goals.

In this workshop we will ask (inter alia):

What was the relationship between archaeological fieldwork or antiquarianism and learned travel or the Grand Tour? What does collecting on tour say about the manner and scale of personal and institutional contacts between London and the scientific world of the Continent? What tools of natural philosophy were utilised to understand buildings and artefacts? What were the implications of the collecting of ethnographic objects for political dominance and Empire?

A working session using sources from the Society of Antiquaries Library and Museum will also be part of the programme. The Society’s library is Britain’s oldest major research library for archaeology, architectural history, decorative arts (especially medieval), material culture and the historic environment. It contains books, archives, manuscripts, prints and drawings. Its accredited museum collection—which was formed before the introduction of public museums and galleries in the mid-18th century—contains prehistoric, classical and medieval antiquities, seal matrices and impressions, and paintings.

Speakers include Philip Beeley (Oxford), Dominik Collet (Heidelberg), Dustin Frazier-Wood (Roehampton), Stephanie Moser (Southhampton), Cesare Pastorino (Berlin), Anna Marie Roos (Lincoln), Edwin Rose (Cambridge), Kim Sloan (British Museum), Alexander Wragge-Morley (UCL), Elizabeth Yale (Iowa)

We welcome papers of 25 minutes duration from established and early career scholars on the themes above.  Please send an abstract of 200 words to Anna Marie Roos (aroos@lincoln.ac.uk) by 30 November 2018.

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