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Conserving a Unique Literary Heritage at Chawton House Library

Chawton House

Thursday, 12 February 2015 from 18:30 to 20:00 (GMT)

Conserving a Unique Literary Heritage at Chawton House ...

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Conserving a Unique Literary Heritage at Chawton House Library:

An Evening Talk with Caroline Bendix

Thursday 12th February, 6:30 pm


In May 2014, Caroline Bendix (an accredited freelance library conservator with 33 years’ experience) spent two weeks at Chawton House Library conducting an assessment of the rare books and manuscripts. The aim was to gain an overall picture of the condition of the collection and the suitability of the rooms in which they are kept. Items that were examined include the Sir Charles Grandison manuscript (c.1791, c. 1800) by Jane Austen.  A light-hearted dramatisation of one of Austen's favourite books, this example of a rare manuscript in Jane Austen's own hand was intended for private use at the Austen family home. And the Knight Family Pedigree, a manuscript volume which compiles the genealogical history of the Knight Family, owners of the freehold of the Chawton estate for over 400 years. 

Bendix's crucial assessment of our collection was made possible thanks to a grant from the Leche Trust in February 2013, alongside generous funding from the North American Friends of Chawton House Library. The survey concluded that, although well cared for now, approximately 75% of the collection needs conservation work in order to save it for our use and for future generations.  

On Thursday 12th February, Caroline Bendix returns to share her passion for conserving real books in a digital age. Her talk is a chance to learn about the rare books collection here at Chawton House Library and the steps that can be taken to safeguard its future.

Entry to this event is free, but donations to our book conservation appeal are very gratefully received.

Please note that numbers are limited and registration is essential.

Do you have questions about Conserving a Unique Literary Heritage at Chawton House Library? Contact Chawton House

When & Where


Chawton House Library

GU34 1SJ Chawton
United Kingdom

Thursday, 12 February 2015 from 18:30 to 20:00 (GMT)


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Chawton House

Step back in time as you visit Jane Austen’s ‘Great House’, owned by her brother Edward. See the dining table where she enjoyed meals with her family and stroll through the walled garden built by her brother Edward.
Discover the inspiring stories of early women writers, from novelists and travel writers to philosophers and activists. Our collection includes first and early editions, original manuscripts, and paintings.
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