The Eoin MacNeill Lecture 2022 — Intricate threads and bigger pictures: lives in archives



The 2022 Eoin MacNeill Lecture was delivered by Ludmilla Jordanova, Emeritus Professor of History and Visual Culture and Emeritus Director of the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture, Durham University.

Professor Jordanova examines the special case of extra-illustrated books as archival objects and how these often elaborate artefacts raise questions about the emotional and sensory dimensions of collecting. She considers the role of prints and especially portraits in their dynamic interplay with text, the sense of the past that compilers of extra-illustrated books manifest, and the ways in which institutions elicit attachment and devotion and the meanings generated by the resources involved — time, money and skills.

She argues that these intricate connections offer threads for historians to follow while such case studies have the potential to shed light on broader issues, including professional identities and the mediating capacities of portraits, which enable people to explore and express their kinship with past lives.

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Edited by

Ludmilla Jordanova



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