Mania and Imagination: Perils and pleasures of the private collector, present and future

King’s College, Cambridge 18-19 June 2016

A follow-up conference to the celebration of A.N.L. (Tim) Munby, ‘Floreat Bibliomania’—Great Collectors and their Grand Designs, held in 2013.



The theme of great collectors was chosen in 2013 to celebrate the life and achievements of Tim Munby, Librarian at King’s 1946-1974, and a pioneer of the historical study of book collecting. The conference was met with great enthusiasm and proceedings were published in a special issue of the Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society in December 2015.

John Schroder collection of Rupert Brooke
Items from the John Schroder collection of Rupert Brooke acquired by King’s College in 2015

King's College held a follow-up conference on 18-19 June 2016 to focus on the theme of modern private collecting, one of Munby’s great interests. The title was ‘Mania and Imagination: Perils and pleasures of the private collector present and future’. The aim was to investigate the nature of book collecting by private individuals today, and to look at the future in a rapidly changing world. We invited speakers who are collectors themselves, or who are involved in the manuscript and book trade, or who study modern collectors and their collections.  

Principal speakers included Justin Croft, Mirjam Foot, Meg Ford, Peter Jones, Michael Meredith and Toshiyuki Takamiya. The event also featured themed discussion panels and as in 2013 included presentations from young collectors and bibliographers. 

A reception was held by kind courtesy of Cambridge University Library on 18 June, followed by a dinner at King’s College.