On September 6th, VIOCS members were treated to a fascinating talk by Jonathan Bengtson, the University Librarian at UVic, on seven centuries of the library at Queen’s College, Oxford.
As with several other Ox-Cam colleges, Queen’s College spans the centuries from Gutenberg, and the invention of the printing press, to the digital revolution. Libraries are vast store-houses of the knowledge of the centuries. They help us understand A. N. Whitehead’s dictum that “everything of importance has been said before by somebody who did not discover it.”
Despite Whitehead’s dictum, it is, nevertheless, the case that the stock of knowledge is ever-increasing, and that libraries are the store-house of this knowledge, whether in pictorial, printed, or digital form. Jonathan Bengtson enlightened us and entertained us with the special saga of the Queen’s College library, and its key role in the preservation of history, culture and life itself over seven centuries. We are in his debt for his outstanding presentation.
Jonathan’s talk was followed by an excellent dinner at the Paprika Bistro, which provided for good food, conversation-enhancing drinks, and warm companionship for our 28 members and guests who chose to attend. All of us are indebted to Dorothy Kennedy for organizing, and arranging, the entire event