WORKSHOP: Enlightened libraries 1650-1800

Enlightened Libraries: Natural Law Collections and their Role in the Intellectual Infrastructure between Lund, Copenhagen and Northern Germany 1650-1800

On 9 and 10 February 2023 the workshop Enlightened Libraries: Natural Law Collections and their Role in the Intellectual Infrastructure between Lund, Copenhagen and Northern Germany 1650-1800 will take place at the Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen.

Natural law was a prominent intellectual current from the middle of the seventeenth to the middle of the nineteenth century, shaping fields of knowledge as diverse as epistemology, anthropology, theology, law and politics. In Scandinavia, early centres of prominence were the universities of Lund and Copenhagen.

The workshop will explore private libraries of natural lawyers as windows into the intellectual culture of natural law in early modern Europe. Professors’ private libraries were often where aspiring intellectuals encountered natural law ideas, and the surviving catalogues give important indications of their use.

The workshop will include presentations on the private libraries of natural lawyers from Denmark, Sweden, and northern Germany, as well as a presentation of Spanish collections. This comparative survey will open new perspectives on the libraries’ owners and users, and their role in the propagation, circulation and uses of natural law and associated fields of knowledge.

The workshop is generously supported by Einar Hanses Forskningsfond and by the Saxo Institute at the University of Copenhagen.

The workshop is open for anyone interested. For full information about the presentations, the venue, and how to register, see the programme below.

Photo by Dana Ward on Unsplash

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