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Conferences, Seminars & Workshops

Annual Seminars

CERL annually organises a seminar addressing subjects relating to the Consortium’s objectives, preceding the AGM.

2015 Annual Seminar
Date: Tuesday 27 October 2015
Place: University Library, Antwerp
Theme: Library History: Why, What, How?
Please register your attendance no later than 10 October 2015.
Programme and Abstracts and bios.
A downloadable programme, with abstracts and bios is available here

The study of the history of libraries and library collections can produce useful information to support a library’s collection and conservation policies, to better understand its particular features and to strengthen its attraction for a broad public.

Additionally, library history can be considered as a particular form of cultural history: libraries have always been at the heart of intellectual life, and have functioned as nodes within the Republic of Letters. Considered from this double point of view, library history has the potential to bring together librarians and academic historians. Both categories of professionals with a special interest in libraries, however, do not always share the same paradigms. Many a (heritage) librarian will scorn present-day historians with their theoretical approach and lack of connoisseurship. Academic researchers, in their turn, will sometimes label the research output of librarians as too much heritage-oriented and inventory-like, losing itself in details and passion, much to the detriment of critical synthesis.

This CERL-seminar on library history brings together both parties. It will investigate how these diverging worlds can complement each other and how they can integrate each other’s approaches to further our knowledge of library history. Questions to be addressed are the following:

WHY? Why should we study library history? Can it fulfill its pretension to strengthen a library’s position, relevance and current management? Can it be acknowledged as an independent subdiscipline within book history and cultural history?

WHAT? What exactly do we mean by library history? What aspects do researchers in library history need to address?

HOW? Which methods can be used in library history? Should we try to match the librarian’s evidence-based, empirical connoisseurship with the theoretically supported, synthetical praxis of the academic researcher? What novel methods can be used to collect, interpret and present the research data? Do the digital humanities provide useful tools in this respect? And what can CERL do to support researchers?

It is hoped that by inviting speakers to present their views and practices, the CERL-seminar will boost library history as a strong academic discipline in close collaboration with the library world.

University of Antwerp, Hof Van Liere, on the University's City Campus, Prinsstraat 13.
A map is available here.

A list of hotels near to the venue is available here.
A list of restaurants will be available here.

Useful information about travelling to Antwerp is available here.

On Wednesday 28 October 2015, after the CERL Annual General Meeting, we will have an afternoon with three presentations.

There will be 20-minute presentations by
- Kathleen Walker-Meikle (CERL) on the CENDARI project
- Evelien De Wilde (City Museums Bruges (Prentenkabinet)) and Ludo Vandamme (Bruges Public Library) on the Colard Mansion exhibition project
- Eva Wuyts (VEB) on the Flemish Heritage Library - Vlaamse Erfgoedbibliotheek (VEB)

Time: from 14:00-15:00.
Room: Prentenkabinet on the first floor.

Other Seminars

CENDARI Expert Seminar, Large-scale digital infrastructures and their users, 6 October 2015, The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, 13.00-16.15


As the field of digital humanities evolves, it still appears to suffer from a split between large-scale digital infrastructures and the researchers who will use the created digital humanities tools. These infrastructures are often developed by institutions or consortia at an international level. Some of the more ambitious recent projects, such as the CENDARI project itself, were created under the 7th framework programme of the European Commission.

In this Expert Seminar we want to draw attention to the role of the user in large-scale digitisation projects and digital infrastructures. Who decides which tools are created or which projects are funded? Are users involved in that process? Can the target audience be accurately defined? Are the users of these databases and infrastructures involved in the creation, testing, and adjustments? What can we learn from current projects and the way they may or may not involve the user from the initial stage to the digital infrastructure launch?


13.00 Marian Lefferts (Executive Manager CERL) Welcome

13.10 Stijn Van Rossem & Kathleen Walker-Meikle (Project Officers CERL)
Trusted User? How to built a user base for digital infrastructures? Experiences from the CENDARI project

“We really need to get rid of the waterfall model when testing digital infrastructures”

13.25 Joris van Zundert (Researcher and Developer Computational and Digital Humanities Huygens ING)
Consider a Spherical User…

“I return once again to the question of whether large scale digital infrastructures are compatible with user needs where 'user' is loosely defined as a humanities researcher. Of course, a sufficiently tortured definition of 'user' will grant any infrastructure a theoretical audience and use. But how can we sincerely answer to vastly complex and heterogeneous research requirements?”

13.40 Emiliano Degl’Innocenti (Associate Editor at Frontiers in Digital Humanities SISMEL, DARIAH-IT)
Join or die: how large scale digital infrastructures will shape the future of digital humanities

13.55 Questions

14.05 Break

14.15 Alastair Dunning (Programme Manager Europeana)
Europeana Research as a Platform

“Users do not need to know about large-scale infrastructures”

14.35 Marnix van Berchum (Head of Data Services, DANS)
Let's Dance” - on digital musicology, preservation of research data and pragmatism

“Is there a 'versus' between the Preservation and Use of research data?”

14.50 Questions

15.00 Break

15.15 Discussion led by Marco de Niet (Director Digital Heritage Netherlands - DEN)

16.45 Conclusion

By invitation only.

Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Prins Willem-Alexanderhof 5, 2595 BE The Hague.
A map is available here.


Rome, National Central Library, Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 9:30 to 13:00
Presentation of the latest research activities and future plans of the Consortium of European Research Libraries. The main focus of the 260 libraries found in CERL is the integration of their collections of books, manuscripts and printed materials. Programme.

Past Seminars/Workshops

Most of the Annual Seminars (see Previous CERL Annual Seminars) have been published in the series of CERL Papers.
In addition to conferences and seminars the Consortium offers training workshops, aiming to introduce colleagues to the Consortium’s work, to have practical training sessions, and to invite colleague to indicate their requirements in the context of their institutions.


  • London, Senate House, LIBER 2015
    LIBER Forum for Digital Cultural Heritage workshop: 'The state of the art of image recognition'. 24 June.
    Programme and presentations
  • London, Chelsea College of Arts
    Ligatus/CERL Bookbinding Expert Seminars & Reception. Three Expert Seminars on the use of the Ligatus Language of Bindings followed by a plenary session on the guidelines for bookbinding. CERL also gave talks on the CERL Bookbinding Working Group, its European collaborations and CENDARI’s activities. 23 June 2015.
    Programme and presentations
    See the video recording and/or read a report in News in Conservation, August 2015.
  • Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana
    The first conference of the CERL Security Network Library Security: Practices and Strategies. There were four sessions covering 1. Accountability and Governance, 2. Staff interaction with collections, 3. Digital tools for prevention and detection, and 4. The process of recovery: how do we interact with the investigating and legal authority? 8 May 2015.
    The programme and PowerPoint presentations are available here.
  • Vienna, Austrian National Library
    A conference on Signa vides - Researching and recording printers’ devices: current activities and new perspectives organised under the auspices of CERL by Prof. Dr. Anja Wolkenhauer (University of Tübingen), Michaela Scheibe (Berlin State Library) and Dr. Andreas Fingernagel (Austrian National Library). 17-18 March 2015.
    The Programme and PowerPoint presentations are available here.
  • London, Warburg Institute
    A conference on A coordinated approach to recording and searching provenance records and images: moving forward organised by Raphaële Mouren (Warburg Institute) and Cristina Dondi (CERL Secretary and Lincoln College, Oxford). Sponsored by IFLA RBSC, The Warburg Institute, CERL, 15cBOOKTRADE, CILIP RBSCG. 11 March 2015.
    PowerPoint presentations are available here.
  • Göttingen, Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek
    A workshop on Scientific Questions about Provenance and Their Requirements for Future Web and Database as part of the research project Development of interoperable metadata standards for the contextualization of heterogeneous collection objects, using the 18th century scholarly collection compiled by Georg Thomas von Asch as an example. Funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG). 24-25 February.
    Programme and presentations.
  • New York, MEI Training Day
    Columbia University, Butler Library. A training day run by Cristina Dondi, CERL’s Secretary, and John Lancaster, MEI Editor. 21 January 2015.
  • New York, CERL Presentation
    Columbia University, Butler Library. Our latest research activities and future plans presented by CERL’s Secretary, Cristina Dondi, CERL Directors Richard Ovenden (Oxford) and Edwin C. Schroeder (Yale), and MEI Editor John Lancaster (for Smith College and Harvard collections). 22 January 2015.


  • Rome, Conferenza episcopale italiana, Segnalare le provenienze degli incunaboli attraverso MEI – Material Evidence in Incunabula. A training course for librarians of Italian Ecclesiastical libraries, part of the network Polo Biblioteche Ecclesiatiche (Mons. Stefano Russo, Francesca D’Agnelli, Paul Gabriele Weston, Paola Sverzellati, Martina Pezzoni, C. Dondi, Alessandra Panzanelli, Sabrina Minuzzi, Adalbert Roth and BAVIC Team), 24-27 Nov. 2014. http://www.polopbe.it/pls/cci_new_v3/V3_S2EW_CONSULTAZIONE.mostra_pagina?id_pagina=60260&rifi=guest&rifp=guest
  • The London Booktrade conference
    Workshop on bookshops, 16-17 November 2014.
  • Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Library, Wolfenbüttel Working Group for Library, Book and Media History
    CERL’s Secretary, Cristina Dondi, delivered the papers “Database-supported bibliographies, book catalogues and source materials” and “Booksellers’ archival sources for an insight on contemporary sales, prices, and use: the Zornale of Francesco de Madis, Venice 1484-88”, 29 September – 1 October 2014.
  • Antwerp, SHARP Conference
    CERL Workshop on Historical Provenance Research: Material Evidence, Documentary Evidence, and Digital Humanities, 17-18 September 2014.
  • Venice, Marciana National Library
    Cristina Dondi delivered a paper on the unique ledger of the Venetian bookseller Francesco de Madiis, held in that library, 26 May 2014.
  • Oxford Bibliographical Society
    Cristina Dondi delivered the paper “Thinking Again about the First Printing Revolution with Both Eyes on the Books: Venetian Evidence for Prices, Trade, and Use”, 12 May 2014.
  • Oxford, All Souls conference in honour of Ian Maclean
    Cristina Dondi delivered the paper “Transforming the Early Modern Republic of Letters: Literatures, Learning, Logic, Books”, 31 March - 2 April 2014.
  • Paris, Sorbonne, Séminaire de codicologie du Lamop,
    A seminar on The 15th-century Book Trade: An Evidence-based Assessment and Visualization of the Distribution, Sale, and Reception of Books in the Renaissance, 27 March 2014.
  • Edinburgh, National Library
    Workshop for CERL members, 18 March 2014.
  • London, Victoria and Albert Museum
    Workshop on the Introduction of Printing in Europe, for the Master Course in History of Design, Royal College of Art and V&A, Part of the Option: Renaissance and Early Modern – Technological Cultures, 26 February 2014.


  • London, CERL Office
    MEI Training Day for librarians from the Guildhall Library, London, and the Marsh's Library, Dublin, 26 November 2013.
  • University of Oxford
    Cristina Dondi and Daniela Mairhofer delivered the paper “Palaeography, Textual Criticism, and History of the Early Printed Book” at the Methods of Scholarship lectures for post-graduate students, Michaelmas Term 2013.
  • London, Bibliographical Society
    Cristina Dondi and Neil Harris delivered the paper “Francesco de Madiis, bookseller in Venice, 1484-88”, 19 November 2013.
  • London, The Warburg Institute
    CERL’s Secretary, Cristina Dondi, delivered the papers “Techniques of scholarship: Incunabula” for the Masters in Cultural and Intellectual History 1300-1650 and on “Art History, Curatorship and Renaissance Culture”, 12 November 2013.
  • Harvard University, Houghton Library
    A Masterclass by Cristina Dondi on The Price and Trade of Fifteenth-Century Printed Books , MEI, and other CERL databases for research, 3 October 2013.
  • Harvard University, Houghton Library\\, Cristina Dondi Delivered the paper “Thinking Again about the First Printing Revolution with Both Eyes on the Books: Venetian Evidence for Prices, Trade, and Use”, 30 September 2013.
  • Milan, Università Cattolica
    A Round Table was organised by CERL and CRELEB to discuss databases for the study of incunabula, strategy with relation to incunable databases and projects: goals, plans, integrations, next steps, synergies, sharing of tasks, etc. to make sure that the people involved achieve and support the best possible way to produce research using incunabula, 13 September 2013.
  • Milan, Università Cattolica and Università Statale
    An Incunabula conference. Cristina Dondi delivered the paper “Exporting books from Milan to Venice in the 15th century: evidence from the Zornale of Francesco de Madiis”, 10-12 September 2013.
  • Modena
    A talk to the Soroptimists of Modena on the Italian book heritage and CERL by Cristina Dondi, 17 April 2013.
  • The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek
    Cristina Dondi delivered the paper “Image-matching software to support the investigation of the circulation of illustration by re-using and copying” at Illustrating the Early Printed Book, a conference on the occasion of the publication of Ina Kok, Woodcuts in Incunabula printed in the Low Countries, 12 April 2013.
  • Milan, Palazzo delle Stelline
    A seminar on Oltre il muro…Promuovere e sostenere strategie di collaborazione e di partnership per la salvaguardia, la conservazione e la difesa del patrimonio culturale di archivi, biblioteche e musei, co-organised by Regione Lombardia-IFLA-AIB, within the annual Conference of the Italian Libraries organised by Biblioteche Oggi. Cristina Dondi delivered the paper “Le banche dati del Consortium of European Research Libraries: cooperazione internazionale per superare la dispersione del patrimonio librario europeo e produrre ricerca”, 14 March 2013.
  • Oxford, Friends of the Bodleian Lecture
    Cristina Dondi delivered the paper “Historical Collections from European Religious Houses now in the Bodleian Library: Evidence from the Library’s Catalogue of Incunabula”, 5 March 2013.


  • University of Oxford
    Cristina Dondi delivered lectures for post-graduate students on “Methods of Scholarship: Palaeography, Textual Criticism, and History of the Early Printed Book”, December 2012.
  • Milan, Università Cattolica
    A workshop on MEI 2.0 Gli incunaboli delle Biblioteche Lombarde e il progetto Material Evidence in Incunabula (MEI): Bilanci e prospettive, 14 December 2012.
  • London, the Warburg Institute
    Workshop on “Techniques of scholarship” for the Master Course in Cultural and Intellectual History 1300-1650, 13 and 20 November 2012.
  • London, The British Library
    CERL-BL-CILIP RBSC Group Seminar, Accessing heritage research collections through digitization: models and use, 30 October 2012. PowerPoints of the presentations are available on the CERL website here.
  • Florence, Biblioteca Provinciale dei Frati Minori di Firenze
    Workshop on Strumenti per la ricerca dei dati di provenienza nelle banche dati del CERL, 19 October 2012.
  • Florence, Biblioteca Provinciale dei Frati Minori di Firenze
    CERL Workshop on Tools for Provenance Research, 19 October 2012.
  • London, British Library
    Italian Academies International Conference, 17-18 September 2012.
  • Oxford University\\. A conference on Speaking truth to power: Making Special Collections Work in Times of Recession organised by the CILIP Rare Books & Special Collections Group, 12-14 September 2012.
  • Tartu, University Library
    The LIBER Annual General Conference, 25-28 June 2012.
  • Vienna, National Library of Austria
    CERL Workshop Tools for Provenance and Bibliographical Research for Austrian libraries, June 2012.
  • Cambridge, University Library
    A Masterclass on priced incunabula by Cristina Dondi, “How much did it cost? Incunabula and their price”, 1 May 2012.
  • Oxford, St Anne’s College
    A conference on How the Secularization of Religious Houses Transformed the Libraries of Europe, 16th–19th Centuries, 22-24 March 2012.
  • Paris, l'Université Paul Monet (Sceaux),
    A conference organised by the École nationale supérieure des sciences de l’information et des bibliothèques, Villeurbanne (ENSSIB) and the Centre de conservation du Livre, Arles, on Circulation licite et illicite des collections des bibliothèques - aspects historiques et juridiques. Cristina Dondi delivered the paper “La circulation des livres en Europe à l’époque moderne: exemples à partir de la collection d’incunables de la Bodleian Library”, 12 January 2012.


  • London, British Library, Rare Books Forum
    Workshop on Tools for Provenance and Bibliographical Research, 1 December 2011.
  • University Library, Glasgow
    Workshop on Tools for Provenance and Bibliographical Research, Thursday 24 November 2011.
    Further details.
    View the PowerPoint presentations on the Heritage of the Printed Book Database, the CERL Thesaurus and the CERL Portal.
  • National Library of Russia, St Petersburg
    Workshop for Russian Librarians, 14-15 September 2011
    At the annual seminar Cristina Dondi, CERL's Secretary, delivered the paper “The Integration of Provenance Data for the Reconstruction of the Dispersed European Book Heritage”. Read or download the English-Russian version of the paper and the Powerpoint presentation, very kindly translated by Dr. Andrei Masevich.
  • Merton College, Oxford
    Workshop on Tools for Provenance and Bibliographical Research, Thursday 3 March 2011.
    Further details.
    View the PowerPoint presentations on Bodleian Libraries' Luna Image Database, the CERL Portal, the CERL Thesaurus, Early Book Owners in Britain, the Heritage of the Printed Book Database, Identifying Provenance Evidences, Material Evidence in Incunabula and Provenance queries on the CERL website.


  • Soprintendenza per i beni librari e documentari, Bologna
    Workshop for colleagues from the Regione Emilia-Romagna, November 2010.
  • National Library of Russia, St Petersburg
    Workshop for Russian rare-books librarians, September 2010.


  • National Library of Russia, St Petersburg
    Workshop for Russian rare-books librarians, September 2009.
  • Academic Library of Tallinn University
    18 June 2009.
    Further details and programme.
  • Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich
    View the PowerPoint presentations on the Heritage of the Printed Book Database and the CERL Thesaurus. Thursday 5 March 2009.
  • National Library of Poland and University of Warsaw Library
    Workshop on Rare Book Librarianship, Wednesday 14 January, Thursday 15 January 2009.
    For further information, contact Monika Cornell.


  • National Library of Russia, St Petersburg
    Workshop for Russian rare-books librarians, September 2008.
  • National Library of Spain, Madrid
    Workshop on Rare Book Librarianship / Seminario Internacional sobre fondo antiguo, June 2008.
    The full programme is available on the web site of the Biblioteca Nacional de España where the PowerPoint presentations can be downloaded.


  • Rome
    Workshop for Biblioteca nazionale centrale di Roma and Istituto centrale per il catalogo unico cluster libraries, December 2007.
  • National Library of Russia, St Petersburg
    Workshop for Russian rare-books librarians, September 2007.
  • Wellcome Library, London
    Workshop for rare books librarians in the London area, July 2007. Programme and presentations
  • Yale University Library, New Haven (CT)
    June 2007.
  • RBMS Conference 2007, Baltimore (MD)
    June 2007.
  • Research Library, Dubrovnik
    'The European Manuscript and Hand Press Book Heritage: the role of the Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL)', May 2007. Programme and presentations
  • Soprintendenza per i beni librari e documentari, Bologna
    Workshop for colleagues from the Regione Emilia-Romagna, February 2007.

Previous CERL workshops

 services/seminars/main.txt · Last modified: 2015/10/03 21:02 by hart



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