Promoting Europe's cultural heritage in print and manuscript

CERL seeks to share resources and expertise between research libraries with a view to improving access to, as well as exploitation and preservation of the European printed heritage in the hand-press period (up to c. 1830). The organisation was formed in 1992 on the initiative of research libraries in many European countries and legally came into being in June 1994. For a good overview of CERL services and activities see, Ingeborg Versprille, Marian Lefferts and Cristina Dondi, 'The Consortium of European Research Libraries (CERL): twenty years of promoting Europe's cultural heritage in print and manuscript', in 027.7 Zeitschrift für Bibliothekskultur, 2,1 (2014): Konsortien & Konsorten, pp. 30-40. Online journal of the University of Basel, Switzerland, ISSN 2296-0597. Read more...

For more news you can join the CERL mailing list: please contact secretariat@cerl.org.

CERL Networks


CERL Security Network The CERL Security Network coordinates information about on-going security issues of relevance for collections. Read more...

Manuscripts Expert Group The Manuscripts Expert Group acts as a forum for curatorial concerns, and to enhance understanding and practical cooperation among curators across Europe. Read more...

CERL Bookbindings Working Group The CERL Bookbindings Working Group aims to foster collaboration between book binding projects, and encourage the use of standards across these project. Read more...

Seminars and Workshops


CERL Seminars and Workgroups CERL organises frequent seminars and workshops which address topical issues relating to the care of our heritage collections. The presentations held at the CERL Seminars are available here.

European Projects


Provenance CERL is involved in several funded projects, covering a variety of topics and with a wide range of European partners. Read more...

Other News

The Secretary of CERL receives honour for her work on the European printing revolution and in support of European and American libraries

The 15cBOOKTRADE Team at the Italian Ambassador’s Residence in London: Laura Nuvoloni, Birgit Mikus, Matilde Malaspina, Cristina Dondi, Geri Della Rocca de Candal, Maria Alessandra Panzanelli Fratoni, Laura Carnelos (PATRIMONiT), Sabrina Minuzzi, Clementina Piazza (former student).

The Secretary of CERL, Cristina Dondi, was conferred the honour of “Cavaliere” of the Order of “Stella d’Italia” (OSI) by His Excellency The Ambassador of Italy Pasquale Terracciano on behalf of the President of Italy, during a ceremony at the Ambassador’s residence in London on 4 December 2017.

Dr Dondi’s speech can be read here.

An article on the 15cBOOKTRADE Project appeared in the Italian national press, Il Corriere della Sera on 4 December 2017.

International Conference at the British Library, London, Tuesday 28 November 2017
A one-day conference on “New Sources for Book History: Combined Methodological Approaches for Manuscripts and Printed Books” (text and images; material evidence; historical bibliographical and documentary sources; sale and auction catalogues; etc.) was be held at the British Library. The programme can be found here.

CERL Annual Seminar, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Thursday 26 October 2017
The seminar was on Putting it together: Research Access for Hybrid Collections. As per CERL’s mission statement our focus was on early-printed books and manuscripts, and supporting researchers in their study of these materials. It has long been recognised that providing a historical context for the books, such as information relating to book production, their reception and provenance, is a key requirement. In this seminar, the focus was on the context offered by other exponents of European cultural heritage. The theme was offering research services through hybrid collections (i.e. books PLUS art, or museum objects, or archival materials, or all of the above). More information is available here.

CERL Newsletter - June 2017
The latest CERL Newsletter is available here.

CERL Security Network Summerschool, The Hague, 6-8 September 2017
The Security Network held a summer school on Security issues. Curators and security officers from libraries and archives shared knowledge on topics such as collection security, reading the behaviour of your readers, legal aspects, national and international collaboration, what to do after a theft, embedding security in the wider organisation, and digital security. The programme is available here.

CERL Conference in Athens, 20-21 March 2017
A two-day event on “The opening up of private and religious libraries to scholarship” was held in Athens on 20-21 March 2017. It focused on the subject of Greek libraries, their management, the promotion of their collaboration, and the integration of their resources. The programme is available here: English and Greek.

CERL Papers XII - La Stampa Romana nella città dei papi e in Europa
The volume includes all papers presented on 11 November 2011 at the annual CERL Seminar hosted by the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, as well as a number of supplementary contributions, and can be ordered here.

CERL Papers XIII - Signa Vides - Researching and recording printers' devices
The papers were presented at the CERL Workshop hosted by the National Library of Austria, Vienna on 17-18 March 2015, and can be downloaded here.


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