Tuesday, 6 December 2011

'London 1,000 Years'

'London 1,000 years: treasures from the collection of the City of London' is the title of a newly published book written and compiled by David Pearson, Director of Culture, Heritage and Libraries for the City of London Corporation. In celebration of the 600th anniversary of Guildhall the launch, attended by the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs, took place in the Great Hall last night.
The launch was an ancillary event to the main event which was a presentation by Dr Simon Thurley on the history of Guildhall. From it's origins in 1411, built on an even older Roman site, Dr Thurley used very fine slides to compare London's Guildhall with other Guildhalls in European Cities and even old Guildhalls elsewhere in England (Norwich being the biggest one outside London) He is a masterly speaker and held captive a very large audience as he talked through the history of the Guildhall up to the present day.
He was followed by David Pearson who touched on a minute percentage of the City's enormous historical collection--70 kilometres of archive shelving just to hold what is not on display. The Corporation looks after collections on national importance going back to the Norman conquest. It even includes an original copy of Magna Carta, an original First Folio of Shakespeare and more records, paintings, books, manuscripts, gold and silver than one can easily get one's brain round. The book is a delight and a pictorial treasure trove. I would unhesitatingly recommend it to anyone.

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