Cityread 2017 at Brent Libraries

southwark16On 20 April join a virtual tour of Elizabethan London at Willesden Green Library, 2pm to 3pm. Get ready to see a very different city to the one we live in today.Elizabeth 1

On 25 April  find out about a side of Elizabethan London often overlooked in the history books when we take a look at the lives of black Londoners during this period: Blackamoores and Tudor England at Willseden Green Library, 6.15 -7.45pm. Both are free to attend but advanced booking required as spaces are limited.

Please join in with Cityread this year by reading Prophecy by S. J. Parris, coming to an event or both!


Get thee to a library – Cityread 2017 is here!

cityread logoCityread is now with us.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with this reading scheme – Cityread is an annual celebration of reading across London. Each year Cityread invites London’s residents, workers and visitors to read the same book during April. Like a huge book group!  The novel is a starting point for debate, events and other promotions.

prophecyThis year’s chosen book is Prophecy by  S.J.Parris.  The book is a historical thriller set in Elizabethan London.  The main character is Giordano Bruno, who is based on a real person, he is a former monk and now excommunicated renegade free thinker living in London in exile from his native Italy.  He finds himself embroiled in a dangerous plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I and replace her with the imprisoned Mary Queen of Scots.  Surrounded by religious conflict, occult practices, murder and suspicion he must tread with cunning to foil the plot and catch a murderer.

If you want to know if he succeeds pick up the book today!

Introduction to the Two Centuries of Indian Print project

The ‘Two Centuries of Indian Print’ project is the start of a major programme to share the wealth of Indian printed books held by the British Library dating from 1713 to 1914. The British Library’s collection spans at least 22 South Asian languages and millions of pages, and is the most significant held anywhere outside the Subcontinent. Many of the books are unique and many are also in delicate condition due to their age, so the mass digitisation of these items will not only make them widely available to people around the world, but will also help preserve the fragile originals for future generations.

To find out more about the project watch this video or you can read more details on the project website

AliaCarterAlia Carter (pictured left) is Project Manager.


This pilot project, which centres around the digitisation of 4,000 early printed books in Bengali, started in April 2016 and is due to finish April 2018.  Many of the books in the pilot project are rare or unique to the British Library.


Layli Uddin, the project curator, has also organised a series of seminars related to the project, which are open to anyone to attend:

8 May 2017: Christopher D. Bahl (PhD student, SOAS, London), “Cultural Entrepôts and Histories of Circulation: The Arabic Manuscripts of the Royal Library of Bijapur”

22 May 2017: Professor Kamran Asdar Ali (University of Texas, Austin), “Of Communists and Conspiracy: The Rawalpindi Case in Pakistan”

5 June 2017: Radha Kapuria (PhD student, King’s College London), “Musicians and Dancers in 19th Century Punjab: A Brief Social History”

12 June 2017: Simon Leese (PhD student, SOAS, London), “Visions of the Arabic Hejaz: Memory and the Poetics of Devotion in 18th and 19thcentury North India”

View a detailed programme and find out more about these events.

No advance booking is required, and the sessions are free to attend. For further information, please contact Dr Layli Uddin, Project Curator of Two Centuries of Indian Print.

Location and Time: Foyle Learning Centre, British Library, 5:30-7:00pm


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